Theme: South African Essence

Ten astounding ceramicists are moulding distinctively individual creations from the age-old medium of clay.

1. Jade Paton


Paton’s contemporary clay sculptures are inspired not only by the ancient vessel, but also by forms in nature, architecture, design and contemporary art. Her unique and otherworldly designs feel both ancient and futuristic, a strange juxtaposition of old and new.

2. Farah Hernandez


An illustrator and a ceramicist, Hernandez has always loved working with her hands. Often merging these two skills, her contemporary pieces are deliberate and considered, in restrained, elegant forms that are interjected with playful quirks.

3. Astrid Dahl

For Dahl, clay has “a life of its own”, which is what makes it her medium of choice. Inspired by the natural world, her fluid sculptural masterpieces capture the complexities of nature in intriguingly connected positive and negative forms and voids.

4. Lisa Ringwood


From her first pottery class as a child, Ringwood has always been drawn to the way clay has engaged both her body and mind. Her work is in high demand because of her genteel, illustrative style of flora and fauna on loose forms of traditional European pottery and

her distinctively soft colour palette.

5. Ben Orkin


Cape Town-based artist Orkin, who had his first solo show while still studying toward a fine arts degree, is a shining new star on the ceramics scene. His creations of intriguing amorphic and lumpen ceramic vessels are laden with complex, intimate storytelling, that is contradicted by brazen and confident coloured glazes.

6. Andile Dyalvane


One of the country’s foremost ceramic artists, Dyalvane’s work is guided by a deep, spiritual connection to his Xhosa ancestors. Through his artform, he celebrates both rural and city life, as well as ritual and human connection. His work is appreciated in galleries and museums across the world.

7. Vorster & Braye


Designers Martin Vorster and Colin Braye discovered the tactile nature of working with clay to be the perfect antidote to an ever-more digital world. Their aesthetic is defined by clean, simple architectural lines, a sophisticated earthy palette and a determined use of shape.

8. Madoda Fani


Fani’s serene yet brave ceramics are a contemporary evolution of traditional southern African vessels. His hand-coiled, smoothly burnished, smoke-fired pieces are perfectly scored with repetitive markings and have found a global following.

9. Louise      Gelderblom


For Gelderblom, working with clay is the perfect intersection between doing, thinking, drawing and three-dimensional creation. While she consistently makes use of the functional vessel form, her large one-off pieces are sensitively painted as undeniable works of art.

10. Ardmore Ceramics


One of the country’s most recognisable and collected global brands, Ardmore is known for its colourful, intricate and vibrant designs which draw on Zulu traditions and folklore, flora and fauna, and the self-expression of the 50 individual artists of the studio. Each once-off piece is a dynamic collaboration between a sculptor and a painter, both of whom sign the work.

100 Beautiful Things is presented by the V&A Waterfront in celebration of South Africa’s creativity, compassion, ingenuity and resilience. Every week we will be showcasing five amazingly beautiful creative things that make us proud. It is curated in partnership with Platform Creative.