Top ceramicist's exhibition

2008-06-17 00:00

An exhibition of ceramics by Jabu Nala of the famous Nala family of potters opens at the African Art Centre in Florida Road at 5.30 pm on June 18, closing on July 4. Clive Sithole will open the exhibition.

Jabu Nala is the eldest daughter of Nesta Nala and has been pushing boundaries with her recent collections of pots, breaking away from traditional Zulu beer containers into more sculptured forms. Jabu was born in 1969 near Eshowe and was initially taught by her mother. She has built a reputation for herself in the South African ceramic art world with large vessels, banded design work and improvisations using the inkanyezi or star design.

The clay she uses is hand-dug in two places near to her home. The clay is ground using a traditional Zulu grinding-stone and then finely sieved. Her pots are hand-coiled, then smoothed before being burnished with river pebbles. When the pots are dry they are placed on their sides and covered with dried grass, aloe leaves and stalks. Firing lasts around three hours, followed by a second firing to smoke the pots black. When thoroughly blackened they are cooled and then rubbed with animal fat or oil and burnished. For more information, phone 031 312 3805.

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