Welcome to the magical wonderland of Ardmore ceramic art where . . .
F is for Fish
The Fish Footmen in Lewis Carroll's magical world of Wonderland move the story along, delivering messages to and from the King and Queen.
This Fish Expresso Cup is one of the most whimsical Ardmore fine ceramics we've ever seen. Look closely at the handle to view an exquisitely rendered fish!
Beautiful flowers are also depicted on this lovely piece - in what we think are simply lovely colours. Ardmore's artists have a lovely fascination with the natural world.
Enjoy your coffee even more in this magical cup!
"The Fish-Footman began by producing from under his arm a great letter, nearly as large as himself, and this he handed over to the other, saying, in a solemn tone, "For the Duchess. An invitation from the Queen to play croquet." From Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
Heirloom quality fine ceramic art that will be passed down for generations to come.
|Sifiso Mvelase/Lovermore Sithole||Thandeka Mavundla|
|Maker/Sculptor and Thrower||Painter|
Sfiso was born in 1980 with a twinkle in his eyes and, despite the difficulties of growing up in KwaZulu-Natal at that time and the poverty he experienced when his father deserted the family, he never lost his sense of fun.
He showed his talent and enjoyment of sculpting at a very early age, sitting on a river bank when his family could not initially afford to send him to school.
Fée’s ability to teach and to give space for individual creativity has resulted in Sfiso losing none of the delightful humour and fun of his creative mind.
In 2003 Sfiso initiated a body of educational work that deals with a satirical view of HIV/Aids, something which had come to a standstill because of taboos and fears. These works were exhibited at International Aids day in 2009 at the Tatham Art Gallery.
In 2011 his works travelled to the ARS 11 exhibition at Kiasma Helsinki in Finland and his major HIV sculptures were also part of the HIV Human Tragedy collection, selected for the solo exhibit in at the Istanbul Biennale. In 2013 the same works were exhibited at the Gerisch Museum in Hamburg, Germany and in 2014 at the Reina Sophia Museum in Madrid, Spain.
In February 2014 Sfiso’s large wall mural featuring fragments of the wings and heads of Bearded Vultures illustrated the fragility of this magnificent bird’s existence. It was shown at the Southern Guild exhibition in Cape Town.
In October of the same year his Pangolin teapot was selected for the Korean Biennale, African Forms.
Thandeka's mother, Mavis Shabalala (cousin of Bonnie Nthshalintshali and sister of Punch Shabalala) was one of the first young ladies to join Fee in early 1990s.
Thandeka’s dream was to join Ardmore. She says that she loved watching her mum paint and wished to follow in her footsteps.
Thandeka sits next to her Aunt Punch and has the same flair for intricate patterning which is closely linked to Zulu traditional beadwork and basketing. Fee is delighted that this traditional design and color lives on in the younger generation.
Lovemore Sithole was born in 1962 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. His early schooling was interrupted when he joined recruits to train as a freedom fighter during the Zimbabwean War of Independence.
After the war, in 1982, he returned to Bulawayo and joined the Mzilikazi Arts and Craft Centre where he learned his ceramic skills.
Four years later, when trouble broke out between the ZANU and ZIPRA forces, Lovemore fled to South Africa. Safe in his new home country, Lovemore used his talent as a thrower to find work in Johannesburg, creating large terracotta planters for various clients.
After ten years, and nervous of growing xenophobia in the city, he moved to the calm of the rural Free State where he found part-time work producing tableware.
Realising he had great skill, Fée invited him to join Ardmore as a thrower for the sculptors, who needed forms onto which they add sculptural elements.
Today, Lovemore has become Ardmore’s main thrower, and is a stable father figure and respected leader, emphasising a strict code of moral decency to the community and leading by example through his inherent trustworthiness.
His technical skills have heightened the studio’s quality and his disciplined work ethic assists with increasing productivity.
He is known for his spectacular large tureens, and also threw all of the plates for the limited edition Ardmore Design Collection dinnerware.
Lovemore, who is the general production manager at Ardmore, says: “I enjoy working with Ardmore – here I can live a better life and feed my family.”