Rudolf Dybka

Rudolf Dybka (1935- ) came to Australia through the Australian Austrian Assisted Passage Scheme. In 1968, with his then-wife Anne Dybka the glass engraver, he set up a pottery studio in his backyard at Rydalmere, NSW. The following year, he and the sculptor Vladimir Tichy, newly arrived from Czechoslovakia, established Studio Dybka Tichy in nearby Parramatta. Joe Sartori, who was production manager there from 1972-1980, says that the studio produced architectural murals, handmade tiles and a range of decorative and funtional pottery, mostly supplied to the Grace Brothers and Waltons department stores.

Dybka left the partnership in 1974, moving to Victoria, and setting up a pottery at Kyabram. Struggling financially, he eventually placed the pottery in the hands of receivers, where it was bought by his latest partner, John Stroomer, in 1977. Dybka went on to become manager of the newly set up Albury Pottery for the party plan company Cooperware until 1983, then moved to Brisbane, where he still lives and works.

In Queensland, Dybka established the Four Winds Pottery and became a supplier for the Natural Décor party plan. In 1986, he and his second wife Judith set up their own party plan company, Wangrove Pottery Pty Ltd., which remained registered as a business until 2003.

Studio Dybka Tichy works are marked with a 'Studio Dybka Tichy Sydney Australia' printed stamp. Works produced in Victoria may have the printed stamp 'Studio Dybka "Jacarandah" Kyabram, VIC' or the impressed stamp 'Dybka Stroomer Handmade Pottery Victoria Australia'. Dybka's own works may be impressed or painted 'Dybka' or 'R. Dybka'. The Four Winds Pottery mark - four dots in a quartered circle - may be impressed or printed with the text 'Four Winds / Made in Australia'. Work made at Four Winds may have a 'Natural Décor Australian Made' printed stamp. Work distributed under the Wangrove Pottery party plan is marked with a 'Wangrove / Hand decorated / Made in Australia' printed stamp.

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