The pandemic has reminded us that creativity and art always find a way. The world came together as the people stayed apart.
Dramatic changes is now in our daily life because of the Covid19 around the world. The pandemic has torn us apart, far away from each other, and the new normal life is here for us to bear.
Ardmore artists were subject to the weeks-long lockdown like everyone else in South Africa. By staying at home, they have spent their time to interpret their hope and fears then reflect them on ceramic while Ardmore Studio was closed.
Ardmore Ceramics and Designs are made by local artists – ordinary people from the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, who are given training, materials, a studio and a guaranteed market for their work, under the guidance of the Ardmore founder, Fée Halsted. Each piece of Ardmore Ceramics begins as earthenware clay from a quarry beneath the ancient soils of Gauteng, South Africa.
The Ardmore artists have brought to life amazing artworks and striking new ceramic designs presenting the beauty of African wild animals during the lockdown.
“ The Covid 19 pandemic and the lockdown that followed came upon us suddenly and dramatically changing all our lives. I have been astounded yet again by the incredible creations of the Ardmore artists, emerging from humble working conditions in the Lidgetton Village close to our studio. The artists were inevitably impacted and influenced by what was happening around us. The luxury of time gave us the opportunity to return to story telling. We now question the way humans help create the conditions that lead us into the pandemic, and the artists have explored new ways to find balance in nature” Fée Halsted, who studied at the Natal University, Pietermaritzburg, for a BA Fine Arts degree before opening the Ardmore Studio.
In 1985, Fée’s first student in ceramic lesson in the KwaZulu-Natal on the Drakensberg mountain was Bonnie Ntshalintshali, the daughter of a farm employee. Bonnie’s natural aptitude for ceramic art soon attracted other members of Bonnie’s family who asked if they too could learn from Fèe. This led to the creation of Ardmore, the largest ceramic art studio in South Africa.
The Ardmore Studio has collections of ceramic, design, and decor. You can see them in its official website.