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Ardmore Ceramic Artwork

Ardmore is a thriving artist community creating unique ceramics in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands of South Africa. The studio was founded by Fée Halsted in 1985 when she moved to a remote farm in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains and began teaching local people how to model and paint pottery.

There are now more than 80 Zulu and Zimbabwean artists working in collaboration at Ardmore under Fee’s guidance. Two or three artists are involved in each piece, which is individually thrown on the potter’s wheel, modeled and hand-painted. Each piece is unique and masterpieces can take several months to complete. Energetic movement, intricate detailing and vibrant color defines the Ardmore aesthetic. Safari animals burst with life from luxuriant foliage to form quirky vases, candlesticks, tureens and teapots. There are also exciting forms of sculptural art based on Zulu folklore and tribal traditions. 

The sale of these wonderful works uplifts and supports the Ardmore community and their families. The ideas of a new generation are now making an impact at Ardmore with young sculptors and painters, including children of the original Ardmore artists.

The Christie’s auction house has acknowledged Ardmore artworks as “modern day collectibles”. Exhibitions of Ardmore are held in art galleries around the world and represented in public collections, such as the Museum of Art & Design in New York and the Museum of Cultures in Basel. The largest American collection can be seen at the Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts in South Florida.