Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

Crown Lynn


									Crown Lynn

Image credit: Crown Lynn swan vase,1950s. Photo: Studio La Gonda.

City Gallery Wellington’s Education service is supported by the Ministry of Education’s LEOTC fund.
City Gallery Resource Card

Crown Lynn
About the exhibition                                                                    6. Many Crown Lynn products continue to be used and have
                                                                                           endured the test of time, comparing favourably to a lot of the
Crown Lynn was the main provider of crockery and ceramics for New                          cheap, throwaway crockery that can be bought today. When
Zealand from the 1940s to the 1980s. Crown Lynn’s familiar dinner                          buying an item, what is more important to you the cost, quality
sets could be found in most New Zealand homes from the 1950s                               or whether or not it has been ethically and sustainably
onwards and in its heyday the company produced 15 million items per                        manufactured?
year. The factory closed in 1989 due to company takeovers,
economic problems and the lifting of import restrictions which resulted
in an influx of cheaper, foreign goods.                                             Pre/post-visit activities

The notion of collecting Crown Lynn would have been surprising to                   Ask your parents, guardian or grandparents if they have a Crown
many New Zealanders in the 1950s and 60s. Today, these New                          Lynn story they can share with you. Write down their story and
Zealand made products have become treasured collector’s items,                      illustrate it with a picture.
fetching high prices from a loyal fan-base.
                                                                                    Research the history and process of kintsugi. Follow up your
Touring Crown Lynn: Crockery of Distinction, students will experience               learning by giving a chipped, flawed or broken item of crockery a new
examples of this New Zealand icon through a series of Crown Lynn                    lease of life by embellising it with ceramic paint or a gold metallic pen
collections and collectors’ stories. Students will view early New                   inspired by the kintsugi tradition.
Zealand object design and consider the shift in values around New
Zealand made goods, manufacturing processes and handcraft, and                      In the 1950s Crown Lynn made a limited edition of commemorative
the appropriation of Māori visual culture for use in domestic and                   mugs for various occasions a sporting event, the centennial of
commercial ware.                                                                    the province of Canterbury and the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
                                                                                    in 1953. Design an item of crockery to remember or commemorate a
                                                                                    special event in your life.
Crown Lynn quote
                                                                                    Investigate the history of high tea. How has this tradition changed
“As long as there is a Crown Lynn dinner set on a New Zealand table                 from when it started in the 1600s? Once you have a good
or an NZR cup souvenired from a Taumaranui tearoom, Crown Lynn                      understanding, write a menu for a high tea, or better still, organise a high
will endure, tangible reminders of our industrial history.”                         tea in class.
WESTERN LEADER, 28 July 1989. (Ringer Monk, 2006, p.5)
                                                                                    Observe your family’s rituals and ceremonies around food. Does
Ringer Monk, V. (2006). Crown Lynn: A New Zealand Icon. Auckland, New Zealand:      your family still eat at the table? Who sets the table? Does everyone
                                                                                    have their own place? Do you have an everyday set of crockery and one
                                                                                    for special occasions? Design a range of crockery that caters for a
Key terms                                                                           particular meal or occasion. For example, Friday night fish and chips, a
                                                                                    birthday meal or a festive occasion particular to your cultural
Appropriation in visual art means to take, copy or sample images,                   background.
generally to make new works and usually without permission from the
original work’s creator.                                                            Design your own version of a Crown Lynn Made in NZ back stamp.
A back stamp is the mark pressed into clay before it is fired and is                Crown Lynn mainly used the coronet (a small crown) symbol as the
used to identify the pottery company and date it was made.                          company’s logo and back stamp because of its connotations of quality
Bone china is a type of porcelain made partly from animal bone and                  and association with England. What symbols can you think of that would
known for its whiteness and translucency, high strength and chip                    best reflect New Zealand’s identity for a Made in NZ back stamp?
Earthernware is pottery made from a porous type of white or ivory                   Design a new Crown Lynn crockery pattern from an existing
coloured ceramic usually fired at relatively low temperatures.                      product line. Some of the names of Crown Lynn product lines such as
A trade tariff is a duty/tax on a particular class of import or export.             the Dad Series, Down Town and Wildlife range lend themselves to being
Free market is a market in which there is no economic intervention or               re-interpreted in a contemporary way. Look in your kitchen cupboard,
regulation by the state. It is the opposite of a controlled market, in              local op-shop or on pages 154-160 of Ringer Monk’s book Crown Lynn:
which the state directly regulates how goods, service and labour may                A New Zealand Icon for a list of Crown Lynn’s product line and back
be used, priced or distributed.                                                     stamps to use as inspiration.

Discussion                                                                          Crown Lynn designers and related artists

    1. Do you have a collection? What do you collect and why did                    Frank Carpay began working for Crown Lynn in 1953. Dutch-born,
       you start to collect it?                                                     Carpay developed a crockery range called Handwerk, which
    2. How do you value your collection? By its monetary worth,                     acknowledged the handmade aspect of the crockery which he would
       rarity, popularity, historical or sentimental worth?                         finish with distinctive, dramatic brushstrokes.
    3. Crown Lynn is thought of as a New Zealand icon. What do
       you think makes something iconic? How does something                         John Parker is one of New Zealand’s foremost contemporary
       attain this status?                                                          ceramicists. He works in the tradition of Crown Lynn designer Ernest
    4. Crown Lynn’s short-lived 1940s souvenir range Wharetana                      Shufflebotham an English ceramicist whose work is known for its
       was designed for a tourist market and exemplifies the                        perfect white glaze, a finish that continues to hold strong contemporary
       exploitation of Māori art and culture. The range featured                    appeal.
       moko head bookends, tiki salt and pepper shakers and whare
       whakairo ashtrays. Can you think of examples where Māori                     Asumi Mizuo is an Auckland artist who collects cracked and broken
       art and culture continues to be appropriated for commercial                  pieces of Crown Lynn which she mends using a traditional Japanese
       ends?                                                                        ceramic repair technique called kintsugi. In kintsugi, a lacquer resin is
    5. Since import restrictions were lifted in the 1980s, New                      applied and a gold powder sprinkled over the lines where the pieces are
       Zealanders have had a greater range of products to choose                    joined. Mizuo makes contemporary art through salvaging and
       from. Buy New Zealand is a campaign that aims to                             transforming discarded pieces of Crown Lynn through Japanese ceramic
       encourage consumers and organisations to buy New Zealand                     procedures one of the original sources of inspiration for Crown Lynn.
       goods and services. Do you think this still a relevant
       campaign? What do you think about the quality of New                         Atelier NL is a Dutch collaborative whose series of ceramic vessels
       Zealand made products? Do you think about where the                          Drawn From Clay explores the historical and geographical significance
       products you use come from and how they have been made?                      of the Noordoostpolder region the largest land area in the Netherlands.
       How might having cheaper imported products and more                          Each bisque ware vessel is created from a specific plot of soil taken from
       choice affect New Zealand industries?                                        farms in the Noordoostopolder region and back stamped to identify the
                                                                                    land where the clay was sourced.

Resource Card written by Keila Martin, Educator at City Gallery Wellington, 2010.

To top