Nell McCredie’s Pottery Studios: Creating space for women to work and socialise in the interwar years.

Nell McCredie’s Pottery Studios: Creating space for women to work and socialise in the interwar years.

Kirsty Volz

This is an art history paper looking at the work of Nell McCredie in Sydney in the interwar period. Through her pottery studios McCredie created spaces in the city for women to work and socialise.  The discussion is framed around women creating their own spaces in both the domestic sphere and public life. Virginia Woolf’s infamous essay A Room of One’s Own was first published in 1929.[1]Woolf’s work was part of a much broader movement in the interwar period by divergent groups and individuals to insure women’s safety in the home and in the city.[2]Nell was involved with one of these groups, the Young Women’s Christian Association and through her work in architecture and ceramics she was creating space for women to safely and independently work and live.[3]Nell also set up a studio at 318 George Street in Sydney’s CBD where she ran pottery classes and worked as an architect alongside other women architects. Later, in 1936 she designed and built The Pottery Studio in Epping, which she worked from until she passed away in 1968. The central thesis of this paper to discuss how McCredie and her pottery studios helped to liberate women from domesticity in the interwar period.

[1]Woolf, Virginia. A room of one's own and three guineas. OUP Oxford, 2015.

[2]Warne, Ellen. Agitate, Educate, Organise, Legislate: Protestant Women's Social Action in Post-suffrage Australia. Melbourne Univ. Publishing, 2017. p.2

[3]Warne, Ellen. Agitate, Educate, Organise, Legislate: Protestant Women's Social Action in Post-suffrage Australia. P.4