Storied pots for ‘True Stories’ finalists

2009-09-26 00:00

THIS year’s Witness True Stories of KwaZulu-Natal competition is a celebration of 10 years of readers writing their stories about lives and events of our province. In the past decade, the winner received a huge monetary prize, while the finalists were given the privilege of having their stories published. This year, however, 10 open category finalists and five snapshot category finalists are being rewarded with a ceramic pot uniquely designed by Zulu-lulu ceramic studio.

The pots have been donated by Trayci and Stuart Tompkins, who run their studio and ceramic boutique from the heart of the midlands. Trayci Tompkins, a respected ceramicist in the midlands, is at the Gracious Living Expo at Garlington, where she explained the significance of the prize.

“The pots were inspired by traditional beer-drinking pots, or ukhamba, which are used in Zulu custom when beer is passed around a room,” she says. “The pot is at the centre of a gathering of people, where very personal stories are told.”

The contemporary nature of the pot gives it added meaning, the ceramicist explains. “The pots are individually smoke- fired in a pit, resulting in random smoke patterns, which gives the pots their own personal story,” she says, “just like the stories in this competition have their own unique message.”

Creating crafts that are unique is at the centre of Zulu-lulu Trading’s vision. “The artists that work at the studio are trained to use their personality in their work,” she says. “We model a lot of our products around the character of the artists.” For example, the famous Dlamini collectables, which were designed by Tompkins for artist Tim Dlamini, each carrying a different facial expression.

“The Dlamini figurines have found a place in numerous board rooms and company award ceremonies,” she says. “Varsity Colleges proudly award a Dlamini to their top ‘shining star’ graduates at their annual award ceremony and The Tourism Enterprise Partnership is backing the Dlamini as their mascot for 2010 World Cup.”

* Visit Zulu-lulu Trading at Garlington during the Gracious Living Expo or at their shop at Piggly Wiggly Centre on the Midlands Meander.

Watch out for the first finalist’s story in Monday’s Witnes.

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