Friday, December 31, 2010


New Year's Day

Everyone has two birthdays
according to the English essayist Charles Lamb,
the day you were born and New Year's Day--

a droll observation to mull over
as I wait for the tea water to boil in a kitchen
that is being transformed by the morning light
into one of those brilliant rooms of Matisse.

"No one ever regarded the First of January
with indifference," writes Lamb,
for unlike Groundhog Day or the feast of the

this one marks nothing but the passage of time,
I realized, as I lowered a tin diving bell
of tea leaves into a little body of roiling water.

I admit to regarding my own birthday
as the joyous anniversary of my existence
probably because I was, and remain
to this day in late December, an only child.

And as an only child--
a tea-sipping, toast-nibbling only child
in a colorful room this morning--
I would welcome an extra birthday,
one more opportunity to stop what we are doing
for a moment and reflect on my being here on earth.

And one more might be a small consolation
to us all for having to face a death-day, too,
an X in a square
on some kitchen calendar of the future,

the day when each of us is thrown off the train of time
by a burly, heartless conductor
as it roars through the months and years,

party hats, candles, confetti, and horoscopes
billowing up in the turbulent storm of its wake.

Billy Collins
From Ballistics
(Random House, 2008)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010



These are images of some of Hennie Meyer's work on our show 'Ceramic Conversations' - although his work is very different from mine, in many ways it has been driven by a similar impetus.

The high quality of international craftsmanship and exploration of form and content, as well as exposure to historical ceramics via the wonderful London museums, has motivated both of us to internalise the awareness acquired through the experience and apply it in the South African context.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


One of my exhibition panels titled 'Eden' - a new palette and introduction of some relief and botanical imagery

Post exhibition frenzy, this morning my partner Albie referred me to the following passage in Mario Vargas Llosa's The Storyteller - an apt reminder of the need to return to a sane life again!

"The most important thing is not be impatient and allow what must happen to happen....If a man lives calmly, without getting impatient, he has time to think and to remember.
That way, he'll meet his destiny, perhaps. He'll live content, maybe. He won't forget what he's learned.

If he gets impatient, rushing to outstrip time, the world gets out of order, it seems.
(My emphasis)
And the soul falls into a spiderweb of mud.
That is confusion.... Then he doesn't know what to do, where to go. He doesn't know how to protect himself either, saying: What shall I do? What must I do?
Then the devils and the little devils creep into his life and play with it. The way, perhaps, that children play with frogs, making them jump. Mistakes are always the result of confusion, it seems."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Final touches done today, including placing 160 plus flowers in our wall of flower vases! I have to say - and I usually am far more reticent - that this is really an extraordinary show... More images of the exhibition will follow in the next days.

Monday, December 13, 2010


These are some of the side plates for the dining room installation at The Irma Stern Museum

Thursday, December 9, 2010


My work on this show seems rather diverse - in a way it is the result of many different creative directions...more to follow

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


This is a very frantic week finishing off work and setting up an exhibition at The Irma Stern Museum to open next week. This is a joint show together with Hennie Meyer, inspired by our annual 'pilgrimage' to participate in Ceramic Art London at the Royal College of Art. In the next few days - time permitting! - I will be posting images of the work to be exhibited , so if you can't get to the show, then watch this space!

An exhibition by Clementina van der Walt and Hennie Meyer
Reflections and influences inspired by an annual 'pilgrimage' to participate in Ceramic Art London at the Royal College of Art, London
To be opened by Robert Mulders, Chairperson of the Friends of the Iziko South African National Gallery
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
6.30 pm

Cecil Road, Rosebank, Cape Town 7700 Tel. 021 685 5686

Exhibition closes Saturday 15th January 2011

Furniture kindly loaned by Ebony

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Furniture by Vogel

Table - Collaboration by Willem Boshoff and James Mudge

Sculptural felt by Ronel Jordaan

Wooden tables, lamps, chairs by David Krynauw

Quirky objets by Gerhardt and Anthony of Ceramic Matters

There was a wonderful article in this past Sunday Times on Ceramic Matters, highlighting their work and mentioning their stand at the Food Wine and Design Fair.
All the images above show some of the excellent design that was on show. It was truly a fabulous fair with a great vibe...

Friday, November 26, 2010


A part of my stand promoting my new SJOE! range with a wall of vases and flowers

Exquisite cardboard cutout trophies by Head On Design

Powerful monumental vessels by Louise Gelderblom

Baa Baa Black Sheep , a delightful restaurant from Riebeek Kasteel who are making the tastiest food at the show with everyone queuing to sample it

Wow! what a pile of sausages from The Charcuterie - enough to drive away all vegetarians, but certainly a huge drawcard for all meat lovers.

The Food Wine and Design show is buzzing...very relaxing yet vibey atmosphere, lots of wonderful deli foods, charcuterie, oysters, wines and champagnes. What is usually the roof parking area of the Hyde Park Shopping Centre has been transformed into a beautiful landscaped terrace with loads of pot plants and bark chips covering the tar. There is an excellent selection of design stands with the cream of South African creatives selling their wares. If you are in Johannesburg this weekend, get to Hyde is a real treat!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


The first Food Wine Design Fair is happening this weekend on the rooftop of the Hyde Park Shopping Centre in Johannesburg.

Friday 26, Saturday 27 November 12 noon - 9 pm
Sunday 28 November 10 am - 4 pm

Entry fee R70

This promises to be an incredibly exciting event with top creatives from all over South Africa selling their wares.
If you are in Johannesburg, please visit my stand B16 where I will be showcasing my new range -

'SJOE! Maar dis mooi...'

(WOW! But that's beautiful...)

Friday, November 19, 2010


This morning I read a most inspiring article in The Cape Times by Glenn Ashton on what he calls Economic Degrowth - It is a very comprehensive article and well worth reading.
An excerpt ...
Degrowth examines the flipside of an economy founded on growth. It emphasises putting a human face in how we transact and perhaps more importantly, interact. After its initial conceptualisation by Romanian economist, Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, it has been elegantly expounded upon by many other articulate thinkers like Serge Latouche. Its roots lie in the Club of Rome report “The Limits of Growth” and can be traced back to other philosophers like Thoureau and Ghandi, who emphasised concepts like simplicity, justice and equality.'

And then I came into my studio this morning and to my delight noticed how yesterday's tulips in my tulipiere have moved gracefully into another uplifting position. It seemed appropriate to link this image and phenomenon to the above article, an affirmation of the wonder of ' a simple life'.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


For ages I have been wanting to make a tulip vase, inspired by those wonderful 17th Century Delft tulipieres. So now I have finally got it together, working in collaboration with my assistant Sandile Cele. I am going to be participating in the Food Wine Design Fair in Johannesburg next week, so this will be travelling along with me for the event. More on this next week...

Monday, November 15, 2010

If you happen to be in London, Shanghai or Cape Town...

My peer, Hennie Meyer, will whom I will be exhibiting at The UCT Irma Stern Museum in December is showing at Cecilia Colman Gallery in London opening tomorrow, Degas Art Space in Shanghai from 11th December, Irma Stern Museum on 14th Dec and again, together with me at Ceramic Art London 2011 at the end of February 2011. Whew! Hectic schedule...

Friday, November 12, 2010


' DO NOT DISTURB ME, PLEASE' is the sign which hung at the entrance to the studio of Irma Stern, the famous South African painter. In December I will be exhibiting at the museum which bears her name and which was her home. For the occasion I am making a series of plates where I have used images of her works which hang in the house. The plan is to make a whole dinner table setting in the dining room to be titled something like 'Dinner with Irma Stern and friends'.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


What promises to be a wonderful exhibition opens next week(16 nov 2010 - 29 Jan 2011) at Casa Labia in Muizenberg. 'Casa Labia in Bloom', curated by Margie Murgatroyd of Africa Nova, will show all floral related themes in paintings, ceramics and the real thing - plants and flowers.. These are some of the plates I have made for the show, and the vases which will be used for the floral installations.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


As the end of the year looms, there is suddenly a deadline frenzy in the studio, all round..but currently most felt in the Heartworks section where they are all frantically stitching up monkeys and pumpkin shaped ottomans that are soon to be dispatched to Hong Kong and Paris (I think!) Ceramics section is pretty hectic too..more in the next post on that.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


One of the challenging factors of making ceramics in the west today is that there is so much competition in the form of cheap well-designed, high quality ceramics imported from China. So what a rare and wonderful pleasure to see a reversal of roles - Hennie Meyer, top South African ceramist will be having a solo show of his work at the Degas Gallery in Shanghai in December. Congratulations, Hennie!

Friday, November 5, 2010


The other day I posted some images of the ceramics of Nico Masemula from Calitzdorp in the Karoo. His mentor Hylton Nel is one of South Africa's most famous ceramists. Here is a recent plate of his and a tombstone he designed in memory of a neighbour.