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Ardmore's Own Wonderwoman

Ardmore's Own Wonderwoman

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In celebration of Woman's month we would like to introduce our very own Wonder woman, Nombulelo Happiness Sibisi. Happiness has been with Ardmore for 13 years and has become an integral part of the Ardmore team. Her love for each piece as well as the artists always shines through in her work ethic.

In 2010, Happiness travelled to Miami in the U.S as well as to Russia, which experiences she says she will treasure forever.

We asked Happiness to give other single mothers, like herself, some motivation: “The advice I can give to women, especially women from my society (with a poor background like myself) is to never look down on yourself, always pursue your dreams, never be scared to start a new challenge no matter how hard it looks. We as women may look soft on the outside but we have the strongest inner-strength. Let’s use this gift to full-fill our dreams and carry on doing the best for our homes and our families. I say the sky is the limit, there is nothing to stop us, lets us not allow even poverty to stop us from doing what we love and what we believe in.”
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Ardmore goes on Safari

Ardmore goes on Safari

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Ardmore Artists are excited to be creating for another fabulous Charles Greig Exhibition at Hyde Park, Johannesburg. This years theme features 'Safari Romances', traveling across Africa to experience the bushveld and its majestic creatures.

Come and marvel at this spectacular Safari exhibition from 16 August - 5 September. View the magnificent collection here.
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A New Addition...

A New Addition...

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Our newest addition to the Ardmore tableware collection includes a range of placemats and coasters, celebrating the beautiful Ardmore artists designs. The Coasters (set of four) and placemats (set of two) are packaged beautifully and make for a perfect gift!
 
(Only available at the Ardmore store and selected South African outlets)
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Mandela Day at Ardmore

Mandela Day at Ardmore

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Ardmore took to Khaya community centre in Johannesburg 18 July to celebrate Nelson Mandela day in true Ardmore spirit. As our ties are strong with Khaya centre and their community based work, which we support through our collaborating efforts of the umSisi Collectors' Tea canister collection, we thought it would be the opportune time  for our team to meet the centre's beneficiaries. Our team spent a fun day painting the children's faces and playing with them.
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An Ardmore inspired dinner table

An Ardmore inspired dinner table

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Our friend, blogger and interior enthusiast, Stacie Flinner, created a gorgeous Summer table setting in true Ardmore style! The table setting included our eminent Monkey Paradise table cloth in Sundowner, our Feather napkins in Coral and Bush bandits’ napkins in frost amongst our iconic Lovebird Leopards scatter cushions in Tanzanite. The table was iced by two Ardmore ceramic candlesticks, which ties the table together beautifully!

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Have a cuppa for a good cause

Have a cuppa for a good cause

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We’ve once again teamed up with Orange Babies to help them in their fight against HIV/AIDs. We have collaborated with Yswara, who make extraordinary, ethically and beautifully packaged African teas, to create the umSisi Collectors' Tea canister in support  of the charity. 

UmSisi is the sacred African Lucky Bean tree believed to have both medicinal and magical properties. All profits of the purchase of this collectors' tea are donated to Orange Babies to raise funds and awareness for their ongoing projects. This limited edition black tea is only available at our Hyde Square store in Johannesburg. Find out more about Orange Babies here.

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Voyage Of Discovery opens in London

Voyage Of Discovery opens in London

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After a hugely successful show in Cape Town, Ardmore Ceramic Art's latest exhibition, Voyage Of Discovery, opens in London tomorrow (17th May). If you are in the capital, do make a date to see this wonderful collection of artworks, from intrepid monkeys to hot-air ballooning hippos, all of which will be on display alongside Ardmore Design's Zambezi sofa, new table linens, fabrics and cushions. The exhibition runs until Sunday 27th May in the beautiful surroundings of Patrick Mavros’ flagship Fulham Road store. Don't miss it!

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Ardmore adds African luxe to Design Joburg

Ardmore adds African luxe to Design Joburg

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Design and decor lovers will head to Design Joburg at the Sandton Convention Centre in a few week’s time to see the leading lights in South African design. The premier interiors event is in its second year and we’re thrilled to have teamed up with the show’s creative directors, Andrea Kleinloog and Megan Hesse, along with Hendrick’s Gin to bring you the ultimate Gin Bar. We’ve transformed an area of the show into an uber-glam place to wile away the hours or to make a quick pit-stop between browsing the exhibits. Featuring our River Chase design, the cocktail lounge screams African luxe. If you're planning a visit to the event, make sure to stop by!

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Meet the Artists: Betty Ntshingila

Meet the Artists: Betty Ntshingila

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In the second of our Meet The Artists series, we focus on Ardmore Ceramic Art’s mother hen Betty Ntshingila. Betty’s latest works will be on show at the Voyage Of Discovery exhibition at Patrick Mavros' flagship London store next month. 

Betty was born in 1962 in Loskop, Emangweni, in KwaZulu-Natal. On leaving school she worked as a domestic worker on a farm in the Champagne Valley, close to the original Ardmore studio. She then built mud and daub houses near the town of Estcourt.

In 2002, Betty was introduced to Ardmore by sculptor Nhlanhla Nsundwane, as a way to support her family of six children. She began her sculpting career under Nhlanhla’s mentorship.

Betty’s skills as a female sculptor are unusual at Ardmore, yet she has found her niche and excelled in the traditionally male-dominated sculpture studio. Her caring and nurturing instincts are reflected in her work and her maternal traits are seen in her choice of subject matter: birds and bees all busy with life’s chores, building nests, laying eggs and feeding their offspring.

She is a special person and her pieces always reflect her kind and warm nature. She loves creating elephants and birds, especially owls. Her main inspiration is “imvelo”, which is Zulu for nature.

In May 2011, Betty accompanied Fée and painter Punch Shabalala to a symposium entitled Clay: The Art of Earth & Fire at the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut, United States, where her talent was applauded. This trip proved to be a life-changing experience for Betty.

Betty says: “I am happy to be at Ardmore. It gives me fresh ideas every day and now I have experience in my art… I went to the USA and I was inspired by what I saw there.”

She continues to produce wonderful and inspiring work for Ardmore and is looking forward to her work being exhibited when Voyages sails to London next month. View some of her work here.

 

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Tis the season to… update your home

Tis the season to… update your home

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We adjust our wardrobes with the change of season, so it makes sense to tweak our interiors, too. While warmer months signal a desire for brighter colours and the great outdoors, winter months herald hibernation, nesting at home under a sea of blankets and indulging in comfort food. 

It’s easy to make a few small tweaks to your home in order to embrace a particular time of year - for example choose different textiles to suit the seasons: light and fresh linens for summer or luxurious velvets in winter. Swap linen scatters for silks and velvets and you’ll create an inviting space to wile away the chillier months.

A darker palette makes for a cosy ambience, while brights mirror what’s happening in nature when the sun shines. Roll out rugs in colder months and enjoy floorboards and bare feet in the summer. When daylight is in short supply, make the most of table lamps, candles and dimmer switches.

Set your table to reflect the time of year: our Bird Fynbos tablecloth will look wonderful in the springtime, while Leopard Lily in Frost from our Zambezi range will make any dining room a feast for the eyes when the nights draw in.

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Meet the Artists: Jabu Nene

Meet the Artists: Jabu Nene

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The Ardmore Artists are an extraordinary group of talented people, who spend their days creating ceramics that wow collectors around the world. Under the expert guidance of Ardmore founder Fée Halsted and her daughters Catherine and Megan, the team of artists at Ardmore continues to grow and now numbers almost 70.

Jabu Nene is the fitting first subject of our Meet The Artists series. She was introduced to Fée when she was 15 years old, having discovered a passion for art at school. She joined the Ardmore team in 1991 and was mentored by renowned painter Punch Shabalala.

Jabu has developed her own unique painting style; her intricate designs come from her imagination. She fills the petals, leaves and animal skin she creates with geometric designs, zigzags, chevrons and squares in earthy tones. Her palette features soft pinks and rich browns and she often scratches into her paint with a sharp piece of wire, creating a sgraffito effect.

Her work has been exhibited at Christies in London, the Art Basel Design Fair in Miami and the Korean Biennale to mention just a few. One of the hugely successful Ardmore Collection wallpapers from British wallpaper house Cole & Son, inspired by one of her pieces, is aptly named "Jabu" in her honour

Her favourite artwork to date is the Big Five Urn.

 

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The devil is in the detail: the Zambezi Sofa

The devil is in the detail: the Zambezi Sofa

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The jewel in the Zambezi Fabric Collection, the Zambezi Sofa is an artwork in its own right and, oh, how we love it so. From the princely leopard who lounges centre stage, to the striking strelitzia blooms and feather detail, it perfectly depicts the Ardmore brand: authentic, playful, beautiful and bold.

The Zambezi Fabric Collection takes its name from the Zambezi River, which has captivated Ardmore founder Fée Halsted since she was a little girl growing up in Zimbabwe. The life that emanates in and around this vast stretch of water has been captured perfectly by Fée and the Ardmore Design team. 

Ardmore Artist Sidney Nyabeze hand painted the sofa design, which combines large-scale elements from the entire collection, telling a whimsical tale of life by the river. “You cannot get a true Ardmore Design look and feel unless you draw the original by hand - and there are no shortcuts,” says Fée. Check out one of the original drawings of the sofa in our main image above.

Upholstered in fine printed cotton, the sofa is made up of ten separate panels and has kiaat legs to create a French-style feel. As Fée says in her notes: “This sofa is not for boys to chill on”! A limited edition, it makes a statement wherever it sits.

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Everybody's talking about... the latest trends

Everybody's talking about... the latest trends

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As Dutch trend forecaster Li Edelkoort wows audiences at the Design Indaba this week, what better time to talk about what’s hot in the world of interiors…

Are you a dedicated follower of fashion or do you refuse to be a slave to the latest trends? At Ardmore, we love keeping an eye on what’s new, what’s hot and what’s had its moment. But how do you translate the latest trends into your own home?  Whether you want to dip your little toe in or embrace one trend wholeheartedly, here’s how:  

It’s all about Animal magic

Animals take centre stage, the wilder the animal the better. The love affair with all things Africa continues apace and we’ve seen many princely leopards, frolicking zebra and lions roaring through interiors all over the world. Paper your walls with the Ardmore Collection from British wallpaper house Cole & Son, a veritable feast of animal intrigue which will transform any interior. Or add a touch to your table with our new Zambezi table linens, where leopards bask in the African sun and buck frolic amongst vines - a guaranteed dinner party conversation starter.

 Go luxe with Velvet

Velvet is having a moment, according to Li Edelkoort. Oozing luxury, use velvet to create texture to your surroundings. Add velvet scatters to your sofa to up the glamour stakes whatever the season. 

Black is Back

The muted greys of the last few years have been replaced with black in all its saturated glory. Don’t be shy, go bold. Make an impact in a room with a single piece of furniture like our Zambezi Sofa, which has set hearts racing all over town.

Red Alert

We’ll admit it, red can be a touch scary when it comes to incorporating it into your home. But if you’re brave, it can give the most fabulous results. Picture the scene: lunch outdoors on a blue sky day, your table dressed in our Royal Leopard Runner in Sunset. You get the idea.

Blooming Marvellous

There’s nothing new about florals in interiors, yet the 2018 slant on the stalwart is fresh and bold. Rather than feminine florals, think furniture upholstered in striking blooms like our Zambezi Monkey Bean Night Velvet Couch or nod to the trend on your table with our Leopard Lily napkins.

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Ardmore's Fée on her own Voyages of Discovery

Ardmore's Fée on her own Voyages of Discovery

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As Ardmore Ceramic Art's latest exhibition Voyage Of Discovery gets underway at Cellars-Hohnenort in Cape Town this week, we asked Fée Halsted about her favourite places to travel...

What is your favourite holiday destination? 

Anywhere in the bush. I love the peace, the stillness, the night skies. No one cares if you are wearing make-up! I love the bird calls in the morning and the sounds at night. You get a lot of peace there. And I enjoy the unexpected - you never know what’s around the corner.

Where did you holiday as a child? 

We went to Plettenburg Bay, where I went mussel cracker fishing with my uncle. And to our ranch in Matetsi near Victoria Falls. Those holidays were about family, camping, sleeping under the stars…

Favourite place in South Africa? 

Home in the KZN Midlands. I live on the confluence of two rivers. There is so much peace there and the rivers talk to me. On one side the landscape is very Bush-like and the other is more European where poppies and roses grow. I get the best of both! 

Where should someone who has never been to SA before visit? 

KZN Midlands. It’s paradise! Green, lush, rolling hills, lots of rain and oak trees. 

Which city most inspires you? 

London, Paris and New York. I enjoy all the things I don't get at home: the museums, theatre, shows. I love the art galleries, the beautiful shops and shop windows. 

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Fly away with Ardmore Ceramic Art's latest exhibition

Fly away with Ardmore Ceramic Art's latest exhibition

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Ardmore founder Fée Halsted celebrates her 60th birthday this year and, to mark the occasion, she and the Ardmore Artists are preparing to take you on a fantastical journey with their latest exhibition Voyage Of Discovery. Be it by Hot Air balloon, mokoro, bicycle, bakkie, bus or plane - or even on the back of a hippo or on the wings of a butterfly - the exhibition is set to be an intrepid adventure, exploring the world of Ardmore and its African roots. Running from 16th-18th February at Cape Town’s Cellars-Hohenort, if you’re in the Mother city, make a date and get carried away…

Read about Fée's very own Voyages of Discovery here.

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