Ian Dowling

  • Ceramics
  • Installation
  • Pottery
  • Sculpture

Ian has worked with clay and fire for most of his life. He presents many functional pots, decorative and sculptural forms. Form and surface are the main focus with patterns indicating connections to his location.

Studio Details

Margaret River Pottery
41 Devon Drive
Margaret River

Opening Hours

  • Sat 7 Sept10am - 4pm
  • Sun 8 Sept10am - 4pm
  • Mon 9 Sept10am - 4pm
  • Tue 10 Sept10am - 4pm
  • Wed 11 Sept10am - 4pm
  • Thu 12 Sept10am - 4pm
  • Fri 13 Sept10am - 4pm
  • Sat 14 Sept10am - 4pm
  • Sun 15 Sept10am - 4pm
  • Mon 16 SeptClosed
  • Tue 17 SeptClosed
  • Wed 18 SeptClosed
  • Thu 19 SeptClosed
  • Fri 20 Sept10am - 4pm
  • Sat 21 Sept10am - 4pm
  • Sun 22 Sept10am - 4pm

Turn left off Devon Drive at number 41. Use the bitumen driveway up hill 100m to the blue roof studio. Parking is available at the studio.

  • Parking suitable for cars
  • Universal access
  • Family friendly (suitable for children)

Ian began a lifelong involvement with clay and fire in 1970. He began working professionally in 1976 with Joan Campbell in her Fremantle workshop. The Greenough River Pottery was established as a “pioneer” pottery workshop where clay and glaze materials were collected locally and the high temperature stoneware was fired using a large wood-fired kiln, built on site.

In 1982 Ian and family moved to a bush block near Margaret River and he continued developing his understanding of materials, firing, form and surface. The Margaret River Pottery was established that year first working in the bush, then at various workshops around the Margaret River area.

During the 1990s a large studio and gallery was established on the main street and continued for about 10 years then Ian moved to a quiet studio at home. At this time he completed a Master of Visual Arts at Monash University in Victoria.

Pots began as individual functional pieces, developed into decorative and sculptural pieces and began to complement the public art work undertaken from 2000. Many large public art projects were completed up until the last in Sydney Barangaroo in 2020. Some involved thousands of smaller pieces on textured wall arrangements, others are more sculptural large forms but always using ceramics with other materials.

Observation of patterns and the progressive development of these are things Ian likes to include in his ceramic work. He particularly works toward developing rhythmic surfaces. This applies whether he’s making a small porcelain teacup, larger sculptural single forms or an arrangement of several thousand pieces. Ian’s experience in arranging multiple modular pieces for public art commissions has influenced the way these individual sculptural forms have evolved. The work has become more visually complex with interacting patterns on the surfaces of symbolic forms.

There is a range of making techniques drawn on to achieve these pieces. They begin on the potters wheel, are added to, subtracted from and reshaped using hand-building, slab work and cast sections. The physical process of the making of the work is as important as the final result.

Ian is gradually returning to a more sustainable way of working, using local materials for making and glazing, re-using and reclaiming materials and firing to high temperature with wood sourced from coppiced trees onsite.

The work displayed at MRROS in 2024 will include decorative, sculptural and functional pots.