Thirty five years ago, Robert ‘Andy’ Gordon walked into a ten by eight foot tin shed, picked up a lump of clay and turned his potters wheel. The Pack Track Pottery was born. But the story and inspiration for Robert Gordon dates long before 1979 and a rickety home made studio.
Andy’s mother, the renowned Australian potter June Dyson, set up her studios in 1945. June formed a formidable partnership with her husband Colin who became the company’s business director. And it was June’s second son Andy, who showed most interest in the pottery, helping out in the studios from his early twenties. It was inevitable that Andy would one day follow in his mother’s footsteps. And having married his English wife Barbara, the couple set about moulding their dream.
By 1987 it was time for the company to expand. A factory in Pakenham was bought and Robert Gordon had grown from a tin shed with a dirt floor to a large purpose built headquarters. It was also the time to bring new staff into the business. Andy and Barbara didn’t have to look far, their four children Hannah, Kate, Bobby and Sam all joined the business. History had repeated.
Fifteen years forward and the children are an integral part of the company. Each one plays a different and vital role, helping to shape Robert Gordon today. More than sixty years of heritage and three generations of potters. Robert Gordon. Proud of its past, its future fired with imagination.
The rickety one man studio that was the Pack Track Pottery has now developed into a large production pottery, employing over 30 staff. Robert Gordon has gone from supplying wares to Sunday tourists at the St Kilda markets, to providing some of the world’s most reputable retailers and restaurants with quality ceramics. The early years spent as a studio pottery means we still place enormous importance on the craft of pottery.
A love of pottery has been handed down from June Dyson to Robert and his four children. The family has been immersed in the world of ceramics for over sixty years. This is a story unlike any other pottery in Australia.