Art has all gone to pot, and we can’t get enough of it


Art has all gone to pot, and we can’t get enough of it

The clay craze is still making home decor fans swoon

Roberta Thatcher

Make your way into any design store worth its salt, or visit the homes of your stylish friends, and you’re bound to come across an array of beautiful ceramic pots and sculptures.
It’s no secret: the clay craze is still making home decor fanatics swoon.
With fresh ceramic talent and a newfound fascination with the medium, pottery is thriving on the local design scene right now. These are five local talents whose work we can’t stop crushing on:
Schilling CeramicsAt just 23, Pretoria-based potter Jona Schilling is already making a name for himself in the industry. He is obsessed with “the freedom to explore, to create, and to tackle the challenges that comes with clay”. His passion is evident in his functional and decorative pots.Schilling ’s sleek and simple designs have been bought by local and international fans alike and the ambitious young maker’s star is rising, especially since he was selected as one of Design Indaba’s Emerging Creatives for 2018. @schillingceramics
Imiso CeramicsThe founder of Imiso Ceramics, Zizipho Poswa, aptly describes her work as elegant, colourful and full of life, with a feminine touch. “It reflects who I am,” she explains. Poswa is best known for her hand pinching work, a method that, for her, allows her to bond with the medium.“Touching clay and smoothing out rough edges allows me to use my hands in their best ways. It makes it so easy for me to bring out endless possibilities in the medium,” she says.
Astrid DahlAstrid Dahl’s art form is a vocation. “I love being a potter because I love clay. I am able to express my innermost self in a way that’s not in words, but form made present,” says the Midlands-based ceramicist, whose work challenges the boundaries of clay.Using nature as her inspiration, Dahl creates sculptural masterpieces that manage to capture snapshots of nature in a vivid and, in her words, incredibly “present” way. Her work has been exhibited and profiled around the world and is sought after by collectors of South African art.
Vorster & BrayeWith their contemporary designs featuring muted colours and geometric lines, Vorster & Braye have given a sleek twist to the local ceramic industry since their launch last year. The duo consider themselves less potters and more designers, given that they employ various manufacturing techniques including throwing, slipcasting and jiggering.“What we love most is the immediacy of the medium, along with its organic nature,” says director Martin Vorster. “It can yield unpredictable results, which are sometimes frustrating, but often very rewarding.”
Clay and LibertyFor Henriette Els of Clay and Liberty, working with clay is like alchemy.  “You can make it do just about anything,” she says. “As long as you show it the necessary respect. Otherwise it will smack you in the face.”
Clearly she has found a happy medium in her sleek and minimalist porcelain tableware. Els say each piece is, given its handmade nature, unique and not machine perfect, but perfectly made by a human with a beating heart.”

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