/ PAST Exhibitions

Potter of the Month:  May 2019


Alex Shabalala

Alex Shabalala was the Association of Arts Pretoria & Ceramics SA’s potter of the month in May 2019.  
 
Originally from KwaZulu-Natal, Alex Shabalala now works at a studio in Fourways, Johannesburg.  His work is “delicate and fun”.  Alex says he has always been tactile.  As a child he made toys out of waste materials.  He also often used to play with clay.
 
In October 2008, he joined Ardmore Ceramic studio, where he strove to translate print-making techniques into his clay painting and developed a unique graphic style.  In 2010, Alex was singled out to work extensively on designing a limited-edition range of dinnerware as part of Ardmore’s new venture, the Ardmore Design Collection.  The same year his design of African wildlife and flora was selected for the commemorative Relais & Chateaux Plate.
 
“In 2013 I came to Johannesburg with the hope of fulfilling my ambition as an artist.  Since I arrived here I had the opportunity to work with Bronwen Findlay running several mosaics projects.   Currently I own a ceramic art studio in Fourways Riverside View,” the artist says.
 
He works with earthenware clay and uses underglaze paint - which is waterbased - and then covers this with a transparent glaze before firing it in a kiln at between 1 000 and 1 100 degrees Celsius.  Because the glaze is subsequently covering it, such decoration is completely durable, and it also allows the production of pottery with a surface that has a uniform sheen.
 
The artist creates with three themes: Divine, Flora and Butterfly.  The Divine design is inspired by South African wildlife (white background), the Flora design by South African flowers (black background) and the Butterfly in a full design.  His creations are not only visually gripping, but can also be put to practical use.

 
Animal peanut bowl - zebra
Animal sculpture set
Animal skins
Animal skins
Animal peanut bowls - giraffe and leopard
Black headed heron
Flora lid urn
Flower vase
Pangolin animal set
Porcupine animal set
Small wild dog platter