The African sun welcomed us with a warm comfortable winter touch as we drove off to Jeffery’s Bay where we spent the first weeks with lifelong friends. Aloes with strong sharp leaves and deep orange torch lilies gave us an honorary welcome as it stood in abundance against the mountains next to the road.
Elephants often stay in big herds, protecting their young. Thy will adopt orphan baby elephants and grieve when an elephant is dying. Their social skills are very well developed.
The School of Music, Art & Design includes Ceramic Design in their studies and we were pleased to have some of these Ceramic Design students participating in my demonstration. Apart from Ceramic Design, the school caters for Drawing, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Music, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, Stained Glass and Textile Design
Close-up of one of the pieces that I demonstrated. This is a wheel thrown bowl with cut outs and new clay strips added to alter the shape and allow more surface. I successfully pushed out certain areas and incised the bowl. The limited time we had did not allow me to do decoration on both sides. See some of my other translucent porcelain bowls.
Majestic mountains covered with a heavy cloud blanket. These are winter rain clouds hanging.
Jenny Strong was kind enough to write a nice report about the workshop, which ended up published in the Cape Town newspapers.
I was honoured and flattered to be asked to write this report. Reporting events is important, as it records and reminds us of events past. But it also reveals value judgements, critiques and philosophical comment, sometimes quite subtly. I am aware of this power and responsibility and hope I adequately fulfill my duty.
Ohna Colyn and Thea Kleinhans had worked extremely hard, paying great attention to many details, to ensure that Saturday’s workshop was the wonderful success that it was. This dedicated organization set the scene of generosity and hospitality, that everyone immediately felt so welcome and at ease.
Antoinette, who has been living, teaching and working in the States for almost 2 decades now, has an easy confident unflappable manner and her friendly enthusiasm of wanting to share and tell all was so fresh and infectious.
Antoinette’s many years of successful teaching experience shone through.
To start, Antoinette shared with us about her grieving on first arriving in the States and also how she resolved these issues and found solutions. She spoke about taking her African influences to the States and how now that she is visiting, she is showing us her American influences.
Antoinette spoke about how important it is to understand porcelain, and began with a brief history of porcelain. She described some of the character of porcelain, the “Diva”, pointing out the advantages and foibles; she illustrated clearly how to work closely with these and to show them to advantage.
Antoinette demonstrated how to do wheel work with porcelain, how to wedge, to centre, to throw and to turn. She showed us how to do hand work with it, guided us though the dying process of porcelain and clearly explained what can and can’t be done at each stage. She gave us tips for handling and propping and ease of working.
“There is no right and wrong,” only a “comfortable effective” way of working. She encouraged us to learn and copy what she does, and then to go out and transform that learning, integrating into our own style those parts that we find are relevant to us.
Considerable time and effort was spent explaining about porcelain, about its character, what it does, why and when. She spoke about tools, what to use, when and why and how. Tips on tools and tips on sharpening tools, tips on turning, why, how, what, when. She clearly explained how and why you can do “this” now, but not “that”, always explaining the tricky character of porcelain and the “dance” (she says with an American accent!) that occurs in working with it.
Antoinette told us how to pack a kiln, how to fire, what temperature and answered all the “whys”.
She spoke about her own work and about how and why she made the decisions in her problem solving, the way that she did.
The dance, the movement, the light and colour.
“Try what I’m doing, then find yourself”
What a wonderful feast!
There was tea, coffee, koekies and rusks and an enormous plate of fresh cut vegetables and gorgeous dips.
We had our photo’s taken by Koos, Antoinette’s Photographer Husband. (He also showed us how to fix back pain!)
And, we were told we would be privy to one of Antionette’s e-courses that she is busy developing.
Vreugde, liefde, emosie and enthusiasm! ( joyfull,love, emotion and ............)
Thank you Antoinette.
Zebula Lodge: The beauty of this room where we slept in, is integrally part of the African Bushveldt.