Sir, Getting ‘airbrushed from history’ is not unusual where the known facts appear uninteresting or not nearly as commercially compelling or as attractive as an alternative story, not that I’m saying the founders of Island Porcelain are not all attractive, I’m not that brave, but nevertheless it is only fair to them to set the record straight.
The story about Island Porcelain in the Banner of May 5 coming full circle is a good positive story and it is great to see Tracy resurrecting an old island business. However, the part of the story about the origins and development of Island Porcelain is somewhat misleading and unkind at best to the founders of Island Porcelain.
It gives the strong impression that Alasdair Dunn was the creative mind behind the business and his ‘dedicated team’ were dragged along in his creative wake. Alasdair was a talented artist and potter but even with his talents he would have found it difficult to design for or manage Island Porcelain given that he died two years before the company was established in 1988 by Ile Ash, Ann Rhead, Janette Head and Marie Park. The reality is that none of the 52 designs created and manufactured by Island Porcelain was created by Alasdair Dunn. They were designed from 1988 to 1996 by Ile and Ann and from 1996 onwards by Ann alone until the business was sold in 2005 and, as I understand it, these comprise almost all the Island Porcelain designs still on sale now.
Alasdair Dunn is recognised as an outstanding artist and potter, and I’m sure he wouldn’t have been averse to seeing these four local girls getting some praise for the effort, quality of workmanship and creative talent they put into the business over 17 years.
Donald McNicol, Kings Cross.
Editor’s note: The original article was written in good faith largely from information contained in the Banner archive and included all those named in this letter.