Welcome to my new website and the first of my Clay Stories! I am feeling all kinds of gratitude and wonder. I am overjoyed to share my work and process with you and excited at what lies ahead.
I returned a week ago from a hiking holiday to the Wild Coast, Eastern Cape, the old Transkei. I am filled with the colours and sights, smells and textures, and the gentle soul of the land I seemed to feel on the rural and wild paths we walked. I have no doubt that these memories will become sculptural works. That is how inspiration is for me. My work is about my life, my experiences and what and how I see.
When I scroll through my website, I see the colours, the forms, the nature and history that have inspired me, but I also see the influence and input of the people who have helped this small creative business grow and evolve.
The illustration used for Clay Stories is by French illustrator Eleonor Gras. We found each other through Instagram, hers being @les_contemplations. She was inspired by the warm and earthy tones of my terracotta Mud Jug and spent time, unsolicited, illustrating it in a charmingly exotic setting, the work of her hands adding a story to the work of mine. Thank you Eleonor. At last, I have used your gift where I think it belongs.
My branding and logo design were conceptualized by former studio mate @dayfeels. We shared a kiln when she still made ceramics. Knowing me, my work, and clay gave her a unique insight and the deceptively simple logo is full of carefully considered meaning and whimsy.
The process of working with my website designer Megan, @nutmeg_design, has clarified and strengthened everything I believed about my business and my brand. Through our communication and Megan’s intuition and understanding of my work, she created the feel that flows through the photographs and the content. Megan took the warm and evocative lifestyle photographs herself, at her home in Franschhoek, on a sunny winter weekend. I am so happy to have found the perfect synergy with her to bring you my work.
I think often of the clients who have taken my interpretations in clay forms of the things that have inspired me, and that I have formed in my hands, into their homes and projects. It is both connection and sharing, a support of local small business and a personal affirmation I truly feel grateful for. I have so much more to share and cannot wait to do so.
My family: sisters, daughters, brother, parents. My friends and studio mates. My lovely studio assistant. Everyone has played a meaningful role in inspiring me, encouraging me, and making it possible for me to create. I am so thankful.
When walking the Transkei trail with my sister and friends, new colour and vessel form inspiration has emerged from the sight of dreamy cows in every shade of brown from rusty red to deep chocolate, charcoal spotted, creamy white and deepest black. Rock formations and cliff faces of blue-black granite, arches of rock and caves full of secrets have set my imagination alight. A pile of shells and driftwood has become a new work in progress. Walking in rain through hills and paths slick with clay in its pure muddy form, water in rivers and waterfalls… it struck me that these are the elements that my vessels are made of: water and mud. Bound together by fire, literal fire, but also the fire of grit and determination.
I hope to bring you stories of discoveries that find their way into my clay and into my vessels, from my hands to your hands. Stories of those close to me and what they have brought to my work. Places and books, songs and poems, a collage of inspiration, acknowledgement and appreciation.