The Vibrant World of Ardmore Ceramics

The Vibrant World of Ardmore Ceramics

Celebrating Collaborative Creativity

16/05/2024     General News, Timed-Online Auctions

Ardmore Ceramics is a celebrated South African studio known for its vibrant and intricately designed ceramic art. Founded in 1985 by Fée Halsted in the scenic KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, Ardmore has evolved into a renowned artistic community, producing unique pieces that celebrate South African heritage, wildlife, and culture. The studio’s work is characterised by its rich detail, whimsical themes, and bold use of colour, making it a distinctive name in the world of ceramics.


The process of creating an Ardmore ceramic piece is a meticulous and collaborative endeavour that involves several stages. It begins with the sculptors, who shape the clay into intricate forms. These forms often draw inspiration from African wildlife, flora, and cultural motifs, showcasing the rich biodiversity and cultural tapestry of the region. The sculptors use their hands and various tools to mould the clay into detailed, three-dimensional figures, ensuring each piece is unique and expressive.



Once the sculptures are completed, they are left to dry before undergoing bisque firing in a kiln. This initial firing is crucial as it prepares the ceramic for the next stage: painting. This is where the pieces truly come to life. Ardmore’s painters adorn the bisque-fired pieces with vibrant, detailed designs using underglazes. These designs are not only decorative but also narrative, often telling stories of South African life, folklore, and the natural world. The painters work with a rich palette of colours, meticulously applying layers to achieve the desired depth and vibrancy. After the painting is complete, the ceramics undergo a second and third firing to set the underglaze and clear top glaze, giving the ceramics a glossy, durable finish, enhancing their colour and ensuring their longevity.



Each Ardmore piece is signed with the names of both the maker and the painter underneath, celebrating the unique contributions of each artisan involved. Every piece passes through the hands of multiple creatives, each adding their own ideas and techniques. This process allows for a rich exchange of skills and artistic visions, honouring the collaborative spirit of Ardmore Ceramics.



Ardmore Ceramics is not just about creating beautiful art; it is also about community and empowerment. The studio provides employment and training opportunities to local artisans, fostering a supportive environment where creativity and skill can flourish. This commitment to social responsibility has been a cornerstone of Ardmore’s success, allowing it to uplift the community while producing world-class art.


Browse and bid Ardmore Ceramics lots on the current 20th/21st Century Classics auction. 


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20th/21 Century Classics

9 - 21 May 2024


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