Special guest at art collection launch

Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi with Fee Halsted Berning, the founder of Ardmore Ceramic Art.

Ardmore Ceramic Art launched their new ceramic and fabric collection at the Cellars Hohenort hotel in Constantia on Thursday February 13.

The hand-painted ceramic functional art and African-themed fabrics originate in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal.

Ardmore Ceramic Art even had a special guest attend the launch Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) who was in Cape Town for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address later that evening.

Chief Buthelezi returned to his home in Ulundi the following
day.

Ardmore Ceramic Art was established by Zimbabwean-born ceramic artist, Fée Halsted in 1985 on Ardmore Farm in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains of KwaZulu-Natal.

Over the years, Ms Halsted has trained many women and men in KwaZulu-Natal to become ceramic artists and work for Ardmore Ceramic Art. In 2016, Ms Halsted won the women’s Mbokodo Award for her contribution to the arts in South Africa.

British travellers currently on holiday in Cape Town, Sabelle, Sarah and James Carter, were among those who attended the launch of the new collection.

The Carters were so taken with the Ardmore pieces on display at their brother Daniel Carter’s Newlands home, that they decided to come to the exhibition to choose something representative of the “warmth of South Africa”.

They said that cushions from the Sabie range would soon have a place in their English home in Devon.

Clarissa Kirstein, from Kenilworth, who worked at the exhibition said that the visual and tactile opulence of the fabrics was what appealed most to her senses.

Nicole Carr and her mom Karen Cronje, travelled together from Fish Hoek to admire the creativity and excellence of both the fabrics and the ceramics. Ms Carr is an artist and wallpaper designer who draws much of her inspiration from the natural beauty of Kirstenbosch.

Ardmore collectors Louis and Helen Wege, who are annual visitors to the exhibition, drove from Bloubergstrand and spent the morning choosing a piece to add to their collection.