Saturday, April 23, 2011


The platter marathon was won...managed to complete all 25 platters which had been commissioned for an event (with a 10-day) deadline. Thanks to my assistant Sandile who worked
with me throughout that weekend and applied his mind to some innovative drying of the platters so that they did not crack further. We did a selection of various platters, the images here reflect a new colour palette which might lead to some further development....we shall see...

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Today - a rather windy start to the morning permitted a somewhat jumbled display at the Designer Maker Artisan Market. Turned out to be a lot of fun, very sociable and lots of colourful easter eggs, children, and bunny images on many makers' products...all quite a frivolous relief from the bigger serious world outside...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


In between working furiously on the 25 platters which have to be finished this weekend, I have also been nipping off at short intervals to make some 'bunny' cups for Easter which I will have at my stand at the Designer-Maker Artisan Market on this Saturday 16th April from 9.30 am to 3 pm.
This is going to be a lot of fun...last year they had a pre-Christmas market which was a great success with really really lekker (wonderful!) items to buy. It is definitely the best market in town. If you are in Cape Town this Saturday be sure to come by!
It is in the courtyard behind the Evangelical Lutheran Church at Freeworld Design Centre, 71 Waterkant Street, Cape Town (on the city side of the fanwalk)

Oh, and a reminder - it is also the Chinese year of the rabbit...

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I received a fabulous order last week to make 25 large platters for a special function to be delivered this coming Friday.
A tall order..!! Possible if the weather is right - i.e. not too wet, and not too hot. As luck would have it, it is HOT(mid thirties today in Cape Town I think) and the platters are c r a c k i n g..very nerve wracking..but we WILL pull it off somehow..trying now to control the pace of drying more slowly yet quickly enough to finish the order...aaah ceramics!! What a teacher of patience and stoicism...

And this afternoon a bit later we are off to a wedding up the west coast - about 100 kms away.
The images posted here are the gifts I have made - a commemorative platter for the bridal couple and a 'christening' bowl for their tiny daughter Sophie. Should be fun!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


The past weekend I visited an exhibition of current work by the well-known South African ceramist Charmaine Haines at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunsfees (Little Karoo National Arts Festival) in Oudsthoorn(about 400 km from Cape Town). Charmaine's work is charming made with a strong sense of form and decoration, a pleasure to view that kind of maturity and skill in the ceramic medium.

To quote from her website
Working within the realm of figurative clay, Haines uses both abstract and stylised symbols and motives to embellish both her sculptural and utility forms. Vessels are thrown and altered incorporating sculptural elements and semi-reliefs. Coloured stains and natural oxide washes are used to further exemplify the manipulative and expressive qualitiy of the clay surface, including carving and textures showing a strong sense of surface pattern.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Julie Lovelace, whose ceramics I posted on the blog last week, referred me to the exciting work of Chilean ceramist Livia Marin who is currently based in the UK. Her work evokes a whole complexity of associations...

At the end of 2010 House of Propellers, together with curator Cecilia Brunson, present the first solo exhibition in the UK of the celebrated contemporary Chilean artist Livia Marin.

“Broken Things” highlights the meticulous work of Livia Marin, a process–oriented approach, which appropriates mass-produced and mass-consumed objects, turning them into precious and uniquely, handcrafted art objects. For this exhibition, Marin finely sculpts everyday objects – cups, bowls jars and plates – modeled with ruptures, splits and crevices. The fractures represent fatality and loss, but in repairing and keeping the object she stresses the relationship of care and continuation. Surreality and repetition are important procedures in the artist's work, creating a mechanization of the intimate relationship we have with objects of everyday use.

What also fills these pieces with a unique essence is a printed ‘Willow Pattern’. This Willow Pattern, copied from fine hand-painted Chinese pottery was manufactured in the UK using transfer prints signaling a transformation to industrial mass–production. Marin plays with the dignity and uniqueness of the original –but also with its dissemination into universal consciousness via industrialization. In the artists own words “I see my work as situated within a more formal Minimalist agenda. Equally, however, I would want to extend that agenda to include the more ‘impure’ aspects of things that have been handled and used bearing a trace of a social history.”

Livia Marin was born in 1973 in Chile; she lives and works in London. Trained as a sculptor, Marin earned her MFA from Universidad de Chile. She is currently completing her MPhill/PhD in Arts at Goldsmith College, University of London. Recent exhibitions include “El lugar de lo invisible”, Sala Gasco, Santiago, Chile; “Manuf®actured: The Conspicuous Transformation of Everyday Objects”, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, Oregon, USA (2008); “Poetics of the Handmade”, The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles, USA, “Maximinimalist”, Institute of Visual Arts (Inova), Milwaukee, USA (2007); “Multiplication”. Museum of Contemporary Art, Santiago, Chile (2006); “IV Bienal MERCOSUR”, Puerto Alegre, Brasil (2003). Marin was nominated on five occasions to the National Fund for the Arts and Culture (FONDART), Government of Chile.

Cecilia Brunson is an independent curator based between London, New York and Santiago.

More of Livia Marin's work can be seen at Museum of Contemporary Craft exhibition called Manufractured.

Friday, April 1, 2011


'Tis the year of the rabbit in the Chinese calendar, and easter is coming up... so I have made some 'bunny' cups

joined by some 'kitty' cups with fun texts on the back, featured here unfired, still to be glazed

and then some human faces which will form elements in wall panels