Saturday, 9 January 2010

Mel Simpson Discovery

It's always nice to discover something new about a piece in my collection. I have been doing some historical research in connection with a forthcoming book to be published by the NZ Society of Artists in Glass. I was examining (not for the first time by any means) the catalogue for the 1985 Philips Studio Glass Exhibition, held at Auckland Museum. To my delight, I realised that the catalogue image shown of a piece by Mel Simpson very closely resembles, or indeed may be exactly, a piece of Mel's now in my collection. I bought it on TradeMe in December 2006, but I hadn't noticed the comparison until now.

It is 27cm in diameter and 13 cm high. On the base it is engraved 'Simpson NZ 85', and also has a white paper adhesive label printed in black 'Hand made in NZ by MEL SIMPSON'.

It's not entirely clear from the catalogue which piece this is, but it is most likely no. 39 'blue fluted bowl', for which the price was $85. I would have happily paid that for it but of course, I didn't! Mel exhibited six pieces in the 1985 Philips Studio Glass Award Exhibition, three plates, a vase, a fluted bowl and a piece, presumably sculptural titled 'Relationship Series No. 2'.