ABC – The Collectors

Eighty-nine year old Jean Learmont can’t really explain what it is that attracts her to perfume bottles except that she likes the idea of collecting works by a living artist. Her obsession is the works by Tasmanian glass artist, Richard Clements. Jean’s interest in collecting perfume bottles made by Richard all started in 1982, when a member of her family raved about a wonderful artwork she’d seen in Hobart. Jean came to Tasmania to have a look and decided to buy one. An invitation to meet Richard Clements at his studio in Franklin was an irresistible opportunity to meet the maker, and over the years she became friendly with the artist. Soon after getting to know him, Jean told him honestly that she didn’t like some of his work. Being truthful as well he told her that he didn’t make it to suit her, but rather what he liked, but she has obviously found enough to her taste. Now she has over 400!

After arriving back home from the Tasmanian trip, Jean regretted not buying more glass ware. Being able to contact Richard over the internet solved that problem. Over the years Jean has expanded her collection to include other types of glass works by Richard, not just the perfume bottles. What she loves is the beautiful form and colour of each piece. Each art work is special to Jean. There are no favourites. Some of the pieces are a little risqué, but Jean just laughs and enjoys these as much as the others. Her sense of humour matches Richard’s perfectly. 

Jean doesn’t feel that her collecting habit is out of control, as she is quite disciplined and will only buy four pieces a month. These she chooses on the internet as soon as Richard posts new pieces at the beginning of each month. She is up early to get first pick. 

Jean is Richard’s oldest collector, not just in terms of her age, but in the length of time she has been collecting his artworks and thinks that she’ll collect until she drops, or at least runs out of puff.”

Article provide by the ABC – Collectors

Jean has past away since the filming of this documentary. She was 92 born 5 /11 /1921 died 20/7 2014, she was a good friend and had collected my work for over 35 years.