Tag Archives: Sth.African art

Diversity of clay designs – South Africa



Yellow ceramic vase – Xhosa artists project


Traditional craft arts continues to thrive in South Africa in the fields of beadwork, pottery, basketry, jewelry and wood carving. There has been a gradual shift in the ‘folk arts’ for several decades where the status of the artists no longer remain anonymous and many have established a name for themselves through gallery promotions and the internet. However there are still a lot of unsigned products turning up in the market place with the importance of building a name going unappreciated.
Black and white artists in South Africa alike have always interacted with the rich visual stimuli of their environment, resulting in a plethora of different interpretations combining traditional patterns and geometries with expressionist, abstract, surreal and conceptual arts into a unique tapestry of styles. Apartheid provoked artistic movements such as “resistance” art and other protest statements that filtered through to the street and poster arts and paintings. The influence of their religious and spiritual worlds also maintained a presence in ceramics, sculpture and paintings and other folk arts. Increasingly, and inevitably, black artists began to give voice to a political sensibility that led to realist depictions of township life and their struggle along with the exploration of other issues like identity and marginality. Artists like Gerard Sekoto reacted to the harsh surroundings with forceful expressionist paintings. Other arts like video, music, performance and installations also became an important means of expression that were used effectively to spread their message globally.


black-and-white-head-bride by Cecil Skotnes woodcut art

‘Bride’ – Cecil Skotnes

The Drakensberg range of mountains, being home to a large collection of ancient cave art, has also has been a source of influence with the local artists, appearing in ceramics, sculpture, painting and textile designs. The channeling of African art by Picasso, Karl Hagenauer and other European artists along with the Africanism movement raised awareness of the African arts and has stimulated demand and activity to this day. South African artists like Cecil Skotnes delivered a cubist influence in his woodcut and panel art and other contemporary artists like Charmaine Haines and Andile Dyalvane also created Picasso inspired ceramics.

Traditional non glazed pottery, with a highly burnished finish is still popular with the ceramic artists in South Africa and exquisite shape and rhythm is a striking feature in the forms of their work. Amazing contemporary designs have also been added to the already rich heritage of art expression in South Africa, to further expand its evolution and reputation of diversity.



Christine Gittins, ZA, Wales



christine-gittins-ceramic-vessel raku fired

Narrow neck pot –  Christine Gittins, Wales

Saggar fired in a kiln using a combination of smoke, salt, copper and sawdust to achieve a contemporary looking finish. After the firing she also uses a layer of wax which is burnished to achieve a soft shine finish. In an interview with Cymru Culture she states that the rock art of the San people in Sth Africa, where she was born and raised had an influence on her pottery.





Tall saggar fired vessels by Christine Gittins


Catherine Brennon



Dream Box ‘spring celebration’ by Catherine Brennon

Permanent collection at the Pretoria Art Museum.




‘Dream Box for Serahani’ by Catherine Brennon





‘Heaven & Earth’ Dream Box by Catherine Brennon








Zebra handled coffee cup – Ardmore




 Ardmore Ceramic Art – Feathered Armour SOLD  – Sculptor  Somandla Aaron Ntshalintshali and painter Jabu Nene

Great Zambezi Masterpieces series



ardmore-ceramic leopard tureen

 Ceramic leopard tureen – Ardmore





Carmine Bee-Eater Teapot made by Ardmore bird-lady, Betty Ntshingila, and painted by Wiseman Ndlovu





   Ardmore Ceramic Art  Zambezi Crocodile Queen Vessel – Sculptor Sondelani Ntshalintshali & Painter Zinhle Nene

Great Zambezi Masterpieces series



south-of-the-sahara-ardmore-ceramic dish with pink flower motif and zabra, tiger and leopard relief figures

Ardmore ceramic dish with pink flower motifs and winged zebra, tiger and leopard relief figures





Ceramic box with zebra lid – Ardmore



 Catherina Pagani


Resident in Cape Town since 1981, Catherina Pagani is a practicing ceramist and sculptor who creates stoneware works of a distinct nature.


catherina-pagani south african ceramic sculpture

South African contemporary sculpture – Catherina Pagani



catherina Pagani three ceramic sculptures with ellyptical sshape

Three piece sculpture set – Catherina Pagani




catherina pagani ceramic sculpture

Wood fired stoneware sculpture – Catherina Pagani, Cape Town




catherina pagina ceramic contemporary sculpture

Ceramic sculpture – Catherina Pagani



catherina-pagani three piece sculpture

Three piece stoneware sculpture – Catherina Pagani



Cecilia Robinson


cecilia-robinson-black ceramic-vase, twin handles, ribbed and wavy textures

Black ceramic vase – Cecilia Robinson





Two porcelain vessels – Cecelia Robinson



cecilia-robinson Black ceramic vase - Cecilia Robinson

Black ceramic vase – Cecilia Robinson




Cecil Skotnes



 ‘Puppeteer’ panel – Cecil Skotnes, ZA

Cecil’s early use of the medium of woodcutting soon translated into a focus on the block itself. Instead of cutting the block and then using it as a means to an end – the print – he began to colour and shape the blocks, using them as a surface for paint and dry pigment. He also began to work in mural, using a technique of coloured cement laid into lime plaster which he would then engrave away exposing layers of colour and incised lines.

For Cecil, his lifelong mission has been to nurture talent and encourage creativity, particularly in places where the apartheid government had deliberately excluded this possibility. The effect of this has been a major contribution to the diversity of South African art. He set up the first art school for black African artists in South Africa.

On travelling to Europe, Skotnes was inspired by the rich heritage of the Renaissance, Greek mythology and Greek and Roman architecture and art. Later in Africa he would be nourished by the space, its harshness and its sense of wild mystery.



“Whatever achievements have been registered by black artists are monuments to their natural ability and their desire to create in the face of the most astonishing difficulties.” – Cecil Skotnes


Charmaine Haines



Charmaine Haines Cubist vase

photo  Marie-claire Dubourg





Ceramic wall plaque – Charmaine Haines



charmaine-haines ceramic haed sculpture

Charmaine Haines


See another Veniceclayartists article on  Charmaine Haines here



Potterseed, Capetown




Native ZA flora bowls – Potterseed




potterseed-leaf motif cups and saucers

Leaf design cups & saucers – Potterseed




potterseed-curvy-blur bowl with large leaf motif

Curvy bowl – Pottersee




christine-williams-porcelain - vase with bird in flight

Christine Williams




blue-head-1961-gerard-sekoto - painting of african woman

‘Blue Head’ – Gerard Sekoto





three clementina-vessels

Three vases – Clementina van der Walt, Cape Town




gerhard-van-den-heever vertical ribbed vase

 South African ceramist Gerhard van den Heever





Ceramic guinea fowl tea coffee set

Cultures International African Marketplace




South African ceramicist Helen Vaughan





Embroidered ceramic wall art – Hendrik Stroebel




Andile Dyalvane


As a well traveled designer, Andile prides himself as being South African and presents it through his work at every opportunity. Clay gives him the ability to create something beautiful, valuable, and usable with four elements of life: Earth, Water, Air and Fire. 


Imiso ceramic ovoid floor vase - andile-dyalvane

Large floor vase – Andile Dyalvane, Imiso Ceramics



imiso-ceramics Andile-Dyalvane ceramic cup and plates

Ceramic cup and plates – Andile Dyalvane, Imiso




imiso-ceramics-africasso-stoneware-coiled-vase-self-portrait by Andile Dyalvane

Imiso ceramics ‘Africasso’  coiled vase –  ‘Self Portrait’ by Andile Dyalvane





   ‘Nkwakhwa I’  –Small (Clan Totem Animal), 2016 –  Andile Dyalvane





 Imiso stoneware press moulded ‘Africasso ‘vase ‘Ubuhle bentombi’ ( beauty of a virgin)



andile-dyalvane in his Cape Town studio

Andile Dyalvane in Cape Town studio




Geometric and free form sculpture – Andile Dyalvane





Slimline Soma planters from Indigenus, ZA





Lady Godiva – Tania Babb



Louise Gelderblom


“I make large-scale one-off original sculptural vessels, which retain a strong element of traditional African craft production methods while embracing a modern global urban aesthetic. My working methods are firmly rooted in the vibrant African clay tradition.”


louise-gelderblom twin handled classical form pot with black/white striped patterns

Louise Gelderblom contemporary pot with classical from





Black and white striped jug – Louise Gelderblom




Abstract motif vase in black and white – Louise Gelderblom



Michelle Legg


I make one off pieces inspired by the strong forms of South African Traditional Ceramics. I am passionate about age old coiling techniques using terracotta clay. I don’t let the technique of production dictate the end result and sometimes use alternative methods of production such as throwing and casting based on the African forms.



Michelle Legg, Sth. Africa



michelle-legg-black and white long neck vase

Michelle Legg, Sth. Africa – long neck globular base sgraffito vase




Monica van den Berg


“Central to my work is humanity, and most notably, the human head, the center of thought, reason, and creativity. My sculptures reflect an intense relationship between myself and the clay with which I am working.”



Monica van den Berg ceramic head sculptures




Monica van den Berg ceramic sculpture



South African Zulu artists:



Nic Sithole




Jabu Nala uphiso




jabu-nala Zulu pottery vessel

Jabu Nala burnished pot



jabu-nala ceramic vessel Zulu

Jabu Nala




Zanele Nala




clive-sithole ceramic vase with flared rim

Clive Sithole



Cheryl Malone


“The analogies found between the coil-forming process and growth patterns of plants continue to be the most important source of inspiration, with Fibonacci rhythms, phyllotaxis and logarithmic spirals all informing the work.”



South African ceramist Cheryl Malone, Porcelain vessel





South African ceramist Cheryl Malone, Porcelain vessel




Ruan Hoffman



Ruan Hoffman – ceramic baluster vase with gold foil





Ruan Hoffman asymmetrical vase




Ruan Hoffman blue baluster vase



shelley-maisel carved ceramic cup

Shelley Maisel



South African clay pot –  Tsonga and Pedi people

height 15 inches




Magdalene Odundo, Kenya



Magdalene Odundo black asymmetrical pot




Magdalene Odundo black and tan burnished pot





Magdalene Odundo orange pot with flared rim




magdelene-odundo black and tan African pottery

Magdalene Odundo




Lidded ceramic vessel –  Muya, Ethiopia



African Allure


african_basket_ukhamba african-basket-zulu-ilala-palm-ukhamba-8

Ukhamba African basket Zulu ilala palm

African Allure




green shona_stone_sculpture zimbabwe-africa hippo

Shona carved stone sculpture hippo





African mask Ashanti

21 inches tall


33595_african_mask_large tikar-coin-mask-11-inches-tall

Large Tikar coin mask

Height – 11 inches




Large Zulu uphiso pot

African Allure




Carved stone Shona sculpture, Zimbabwe




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