Monday, 26 September 2011

Clementina van der Walt at Kim Sacks Gallery

From the Table, to the Wall, and Back.


Clementina van der Walt requests the pleasure of your company
at the opening of an exhibition of recent ceramic works.

There will be a discussion and a “walk-about” at 3pm
on the day the exhibition opens.
Refreshments will be served.

This exhibition will run for the month of October.

OPENING: Saturday 1st October 2011 - 10am to 5pm
PREVIEW: Friday 30th September 2011 - 10am to 5pm

TEL: 011 447 5804 MOBILE: 083 377 9076
ADDRESS: 153 Jan Smuts Avenue - Parkwood

GALLERY HOURS: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm - Saturday 10am to 5 pm
And any other time by appointment – and with great pleasure!
Secure parking on the Property

Sunday, 18 September 2011

A New Direction

When I first started working with Bone China I pierced most of the pieces. I have decided to revisit this work but instead of only drilling I am now also cutting the work. Quite different from my work with soluble salts but definitely a direction I want to explore more. Let me know what you think.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

The Watercolor look

I am posting these images of what I call the watercolor look. I have had  positive feedback on my new work and yet there is something about the ethereal quality in these that I find really successful.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Exhibition Time Again

It's all happening.
'David Walters and Friends' at WHAG, which I was once again honored to be part of, opened in Kimberley 2 weeks ago.
I am looking forward to tomorrow night's opening of the C S A Gauteng regional exhibition at the University of Pretoria, always and exciting event.
This weekend in Johannesburg, together with painters Rudi Trap and Andre Naude I am  the third part of the exhibition '3 South African Artists'.
It is really wonderful to have all this happening at this time and for those of you that might not get to see the exhibitions here are 2 images of some of my new work for these shows.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

A Time of Transition

I cannot believe that it is over 3 months since my last post. Although I may not have been blogging  I have been doing what I enjoy the most, and that is experimenting. Still using the soluble salts I have come up with a new method of applying them in combination with wax resist. I think the results are quite different to my previous work, and I really like them. I have included 3 images and I would really appreciate your opinion.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Continuing the Casting Process

Trimming the cast after it has stood for about 10 minutes

The day after casting the piece is dry and can be removed from the mould. the cast has released completely from the mould.

Inverting the mould and releasing it onto my hand

Free of the mould

The cast is flipped

And ready for bisque firing

Bisque fired pieces ready for sanding

Wet sanding the bisque fired work. The sanded pieces are dried overnight before decorating.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

My Casting Process

Here I am showing the casting process I use to make my Bone China vessels which are later decorated with soluble salts before being fired to vitrification. Thanks to Eugene Hon for the images.

All my moulds are one piece drain moulds made from a paperplaster mix. Instead of the conventional Plaster of Paris spare I use a wide adhesive tape which I place around each mould before casting

Before each session of casting the slip is well stirred and then passed through a small sieve to remove any lumps and to ensure thorough mixing

The slip is then poured, again through the small sieve into the moulds, where it is left to cast for 60 - 90 seconds
 Once the cast has sat for the required time the mould is emptied

And the adhesive tape removed. After draining inverted for about 10 minutes the mould is set upright and the top is trimmed after a further 10 minutes. The pieces are left in the mould overnight and removed the following day.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Workshops Coming Up

I will be presenting, ‘Decorating the Glazed Surface’, this coming Friday, 25th March. The workshop covers numerous ways of working on the fired glaze surface including using on-glazes and lustres as well as applying underglazes employing a variety of masking and application methods. Also covered will be the making of decals that can be carried out without any specialised equipment. You can make your own decals at the workshop and if you wish to use a design of your own please mail me before Wednesday evening and I will tell you what you need to send me, alternatively you can use designs that I will have prepared. Please bring a small glaze fired piece or glazed tile if you wish to apply a decal.

‘Paperplaster; the Mould Making revolution’ will be presented on Friday 15th April. The revolutionary paperplaster method has changed my approach to mould making forever. Introduced to me by Australian ceramist Sandra Black as taught by Trudy Golley of Red Deer College, Alberta, Canada, this is an excellent introduction to basic mould making as well as a great new method for those more experienced in this area. This method uses about 75% less plaster than is usually used for mould making. This workshop is strongly recommended for anyone who has been considering exploring the use of moulds and casting in their practice. I will also be demonstrating and demystifying slip casting.

Both workshops will be presented from 9:30 – 12:30 at The Pottery Studio, 24 Old Kilcullen Road, Bryanston and cost R300.00 each. As space is limited, booking is essential. Please contact me stating which workshop you are interested in attending.

Monday, 7 March 2011

The Case of the Disappearing Colors

The colors as seen under normal conditions

Under strong light dark blue appears from below the surface
 I have recently come across something quite extraordinary in my work with soluble salts. This is the absorption of the color into the body which is only revealed when held over a strong light source. The example shown above has a weak solution of Cobalt Chloride painted on then resisted and painted with Potassium Dichromate and has all but disappeared except for a plae green on the surface. When held over a strong light (apologies for the poor image) the piece shows a definate blue trapped beneath the surface, and the resisted area a pale green. What is the cause of this? My theory is that the body was too absorbant after bisque firing. I have found that if the piece is warmed before painting on the salt solutions and fired almost immediately the decorating is completed this problem disappears. Anyone got any other ideas on what could cause this. I would really be interested to hear from you.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Stronger Colour

Here are a few images from my latest firing. I have been experiencing some colour fading recently which caused me some concern, but I think I have solved that problem and am pleased to say that I have produced wonderfully vibrant colours in this firing as shown by these images. I think that the challenge is what keeps me going and results like these make it all worthwhile!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Mentorship Programme and Workshops

Due to demand I will be presenting another Mentorship Programme starting on 4th March. Designed for those who have a ceramic practice and have reached a cross roads with their work. The reasons for participating on this programme are numerous, and yet the aim is clear; to arrive at a solution for whatever problems you are encountering in your work. It could also be looked at as an ongoing journey for the serious ceramist wanting to expand the boundaries of their work and to create their own identity through the medium of ceramics.
The purpose of the programme is to give the participants insight into what they want to be making and also to assist with the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of it.
Critical assessment will play a major role in the programme as will exploration of the motivation informing the work produced.
The programme requires a commitment of 6 months. We will meet once a month for 3 hours and to get the maximum results from the programme it is expected that the participants carry out whatever work is required of them between meetings.
Please be aware that this is not a practical class, but rather an opportunity for discussion, assessment, feedback and debate.
On registration for The Mentorship Programme you will be required to complete a questionnaire which must be submitted before commencing the programme.The dates of the sessions are: 4 March, 1 April,
6 May, 3 June, 1 July and 5 August. The cost of the programme is R1800.00

I will be presenting my most popular workshop, Decorating Techniques – on green and bisque ware, this coming Friday, 18th February. The workshop covers a variety of surface treatments. Among the techniques I will be demonstrating are a numerous resist methods, as well as etching on raw clay, underglaze and majolica painting and also stamping sponging and lining. I will also discuss how to make your own underglaze and majolica colours and ceramic crayons. This is the ideal workshop to open your mind to new processes and get your creativity flowing. Cost R300.00

On Friday 25th February I will be presenting a new workshop, Photographing Your Work. Whether for a portfolio, an exhibition, or simply for record keeping, good photographs are a must for every ceramist. More and more exhibitions and competitions today require digital submissions, and a poor image can lessen your chances of acceptance. With today’s digital cameras, even the most simple, it is easier than ever to create images of n excellent quality. This workshop is designed to improve your images using simple point and shoot cameras. Using SLR cameras is beyond the scope of this workshop. It is specifically for those who are unsure how to go about photographing their work and to provide a better understanding of your camera and how to best show your work to get you started using your camera to better effect. As this is a participating workshop you will need to bring your camera as well as 1 or 2 of your pieces of work that you want to photograph. Cost R300.00

These workshops will be presented from 9:30 – 12:30 at The Pottery Studio, 24 Old Kilcullen Road, Bryanston. As space is limited, booking is essential. Please contact with name and date of the workshop you wish to attend at also please let me know if you wish to be informed of any workshops I will be running in the future

Saturday, 29 January 2011


Two pieces from yesterday's firing. I like the broad white rim on the top piece. The bowl below it is very small. I have glazed it on the inside resulting in a different look and feel.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Wonderful Weekend, this one past

The view I woke to each Morning
This past weekend I was in KZN as a guest of Andrew and Leanda Walford.  I was there to present a workshop to the local branch of Ceramics S A and was fortunate enough to spend the weekend in the Walford's home. What a luscious part of our country this is! It was a privilege to spend hours talking about ceramics in those beautiful surroundings, enjoying food out of his magnificent work and just generally throwing ideas around. Andrew will be running a workshop at his studio in a few months time and I cannot urge you strongly enough to be there. He is, in my opinion, a national treasure and I felt honoured to spend time in his company, as I am sure you will.

Ceramic Collective at Market on Main. Photo Colleen Lehmkuhl
Also this past Sunday was the opening of Market on Main. What an incredible turn-out there was to the first day and I am sure this is going to be a truly worthwhile venture. A group of us have got together to form 'Ceramics Collective' an mix of local ceramists currently comprising Colleen Lehmkuhl, Dale Lambert, Elsbeth Burkhalter, Hazel Sherman, Julie Lovelace, Karen van der Riet, Michelle Legg, Sandy Godwin and myself, with a shared vision "to create a destination for those interested in fine ceramics made by hand for the discerning eye."  'Ceramics Collective' will be at Market on Main every Sunday so make sure to get there soon!

Monday, 10 January 2011


I love discovering new books and I find this to be a particularly beautiful one. Really wonderful to look at and at the same time a great book to read, filled with personal stories and insights from a variety of makers, including a number of ceramists the book also contains a highly informative 'behind the scenes' section.

I quote from the cover "In a retail environment where product design is becoming a cloned marketplace, Batch celebrates those products which have a story behind them and which have a high level of care and finish, which make them stand out in a crowd."
I consider this new publication a truly remarkable and rewarding find. Highly recommended to all makers and collectors of fine pieces.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Year Resolutions

I very seldom make New Year Resolutions, mainly because I forget about making them. This year I have one and that is to update the blog on a more regular basis and to include more images in my posts. I am fortunate enough to be able to do what I love and I am resolved to continue doing so. Happy New Year!