William Merric Boyd, known more as Merric Boyd (24 June 1888 – 9 September 1959), was an Australian artist, active as a ceramics, ceramicist, sculptor, and extensive chronicling of his family and environs in pencil drawing. He held the fine mythic distinction of being the List of people considered a founder in a Humanities field, father of Australian studio pottery. The Boyd family of many generations includes painters, sculptors, architects and other arts professionals, commencing with Boyd's parents Arthur Merric Boyd and Emma Minnie Boyd, Emma Minnie a'Beckett Boyd. Boyd's brothers were Penleigh Boyd, Penleigh, a landscape artist, and Martin Boyd, Martin, a writer. His sister Helen Read, a navy wife, enjoyed taking to painting late in life. He and his wife, Doris Boyd, Doris, raised noted Australian artists, painters Arthur Boyd, Arthur and David Boyd (artist), David, and sculptor Guy Boyd (sculptor), Guy.Their eldest daughter Lucy's ceramic painting benefited greatly from her unique inheritance. Subsequent generations of Boyds are or have enjoyed their rightful approaches in the arts perceived around them.


The second of five children of Arthur Merric Boyd (1862–1940) and Emma Minnie à Beckett (1858–1936), both an established painter, Merric Boyd was born on 24 June 1888 in the Melbourne (Victoria), Melbourne suburb of St Kilda, Victoria, St Kilda, in Victoria (Australia), Victoria. Arthur Merric Boyd and family were supported financially by Merric's maternal grandmother Emma à Beckett. It was Emma's fortune, inherited from her father John Mills, an ex-convict who founded the Melbourne Brewery, that allowed their family to live ''comfortably''. Boyd lived in Sandringham, Victoria, Sandringham where he was educated at Haileybury, Melbourne, Haileybury College until he was eight. The family moved permanently to the family farm at Yarra Glen, Victoria, Yarra Glen and Boyd attended Dookie Agricultural College with aspirations of turning his hand to farming; and then he considered entering the Church of England in Australia, Church of England as a clergyman, spending time studying at St John's Theological College, Melbourne; later Martin Boyd's good available material for his ALS Gold Medal, award-winning 1955 novel, ''A Difficult Young Man''.


In 1908 at Archibald McNair's Burnley Pottery, Boyd enjoyed successfully Pottery#Methods of shaping, throwing his first pot. Boyd established a studio workshop at Murrumbeena, Victoria, Murrumbeena and pottery kilns were established there in 1911 with the support of his family. He studied under Lindsay Bernard Hall, Bernard Hall and Frederick McCubbin at the National Gallery of Victoria Art School, National Gallery School and where he took up ceramics as a path to sculpture, but settled on pottery as his medium. He held his first exhibition of stoneware, fired in McNair Bros kiln, at the Centreway in Melbourne in 1912 and his second exhibition at Besant Lodge soon afterwards."Merric Boyd–Australian Potter", ''The Home : an Australian quarterly'', Vol. 2 No. 4, 1 December 1921, p.60 In 1915 he married Doris Boyd, Doris Lucy Eleanor Bloomfield Gough, a fellow student and painter. Before enlisting for WW1, Boyd was employed by Hans Fyansch of the Australian Porcelain Works, Yarraville, Victoria, Yarraville. Boyd joined the Australian Flying Corps but was discharged later in England before returning to Australia in September 1919 undertook six months training in pottery technique at Wedgewood, Josiah Wedgwood and Sons, Stoke-on-Trent, and studying in the diploma under Dr. Mellor at Stoke Technical School, and kiln construction under Mr. S. T. Wilson, former President of the English Ceramic Society. Boyd's best works were produced between 1920 and 1930; mostly pieces for domestic use, often decorated by Doris, and some pottery sculptures. He and Doris often used Australian flora and fauna as decorative motifs, their concession to creating works that would most likely sell well. The Boyd's Murrumbeena pottery was destroyed by fire in 1926. Boyd worked commercially and was able to provide for his family as he and Doris raised painters Arthur Boyd, Arthur and David Boyd (artist), David, and sculptor Guy Boyd (sculptor), Guy and their two daughters Lucy and Mary. Mary, the youngest, married artists John Perceval, and later Sidney Nolan. Subject to epilepsy, epileptic fits and somewhat a recluse in his latter years with a strong interest in Christianity, Merric Boyd died at Murrumbeena on 9 September 1959. His wife, Doris, died nine months later.

See also

*Boyd family *Australian art


External links

Jug 1933 Ballarat Fine Art Gallery
(William) Merric Boyd (1888–1959)
Gravesite at Brighton General Cemetery (Vic)
Merric Boyd and the Boyd Family at Murrumbeena
{{DEFAULTSORT:Boyd, Merric Australian ceramists 1888 births 1959 deaths Boyd family, Merric 20th-century ceramists People educated at St John's Theological College, Melbourne