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Artist Profile – Meet Ceramicist Duma Mtimkulu
Published 6 months ago by

One-part fine artist, one-part ceramics craftsman.

Duma Mtimkulu is a young ceramics designer from the East Rand in Johannesburg, South Africa.  

He first began drawing and realizing his passion for art and design in primary school before discovering ceramics later in life while studying Fine Art at Tshwane University of Technology. 

READ: Artist Profile – Meet Visual Artist Billie Zangewa

Mtimkulu creates all manner of pottery and homeware. To contribute to the field of ceramics in South Africa’s design industry, he creates clay vessels that feature desultory, bold paint strokes as well as some that reflect modesty and sophistication. 

He was part of Design Indaba’s Emerging Creatives Class of 2018. 

The earth bender

He aptly calls himself an ‘earth bender’ while embracing the ‘form follows function’ mandate of Bauhaus artists and ceramicists such as Marianne Brandt and Marguerite Friedlaender-Wildenhain with his work. 

Mtimkulu told House and Leisure: “I believe that by designing something specifically for its function, something else inevitably emerges from that – an aesthetic that gives the piece another function.

So, when a piece doesn’t serve a utilitarian purpose, it can be appreciated as an ornament, a work of art. That is always my goal.”

He was part of House and Leisure‘s annual Kitchen Issue in May/June 2019, where they asked some of the country’s most exciting ceramicists to create a capsule collection inspired by their memories, as well as by (and featuring!) the simple joy of the colour yellow.

READ:Artist Profile – Meet Ceramicist Sarah King

Depending on the design, Mtimkulu works predominantly in different types of clay.  

He said: “Clay is a very challenging medium to work with. I love and enjoy the long process it takes to produce every single piece. This teaches me new things and how to overcome difficulties, which is when I develop and come up with new techniques.”

His collection of earthy pots and vases are inspired by simple forms and shapes, with an emphasis on the surface, whether it resembles elements of nature, landscapes or clothing. 

See more of his work here. 

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