The emergence of Australian Studio Pottery in the 1940s-50s can
be traced back to a small number of Melbourne potters including
Klytie Pate. Pate, who studied drawing at the National Gallery
School and modelling and sculpture at Melbourne Technical
College/Working Men's College, was herself a teacher of ceramics
before becoming a professional potter in 1945.
The ginger jar was a favourite form of the artist, who was
inspired by the Kent Collection of Chinese ceramics at the National
Gallery of Victoria. Pate's knowledge and skill in the application
of glaze technology was exceptional for her time, and she
experimented with the varied qualities of exotic glaze recipes. She
applied her knowledge both to works that were extensively carved in
the art deco style as well as to pieces such as this ginger jar
which is unadorned except for its lustrous purple glaze.