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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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Splash out on colour this season

Splash out on colour this season

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Maison & Objet Paris: eight vast halls bursting with the latest and greatest from the world of interiors. The trade show is a mecca for style hunters from all corners of the globe; influencers looking for the next big thing. At last month’s event, colour took centre stage. Jewel tones, deep blues, hot reds and a smattering of ultraviolet - Pantone’s rather controversial colour of 2018 - were all on show. At Ardmore, we’re not shy when it comes to colour. In fact, we’re positively obsessed by it. You can add a pop of colour to your home in many ways: go bold with our brand new selection of tablecloths, add drama with a statement piece of furniture, like our Zambezi Monkey Bean Bench in Flame Velvet or simply incorporate a few scatter cushions into an existing scheme. Go on, colour your world.

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Now you can mix food, wine and design!

Now you can mix food, wine and design!

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We’re delighted to introduce our latest table linen range, based on our successful Zambezi Fabric Collection. The sumptuous tablecloths, napkins and runners will add African luxe to any setting. 

Fée Halsted says: “Our table linens have a celebratory feel; rich, colourful and elegant in design. Royal sable antelope, zebra, leopard and our mischievous monkeys entwine with lily and vine motifs.” 

The collection comprises of tablecloths, runners and napkins all made from the finest linen/cotton blend. Available in an array of fresh and timeless colourways, designs include Leopard Lily, Monkey Bean and Bush Bandit. To make your table a talking point, shop the collection here.

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Magical Beans, Princely Leopards, and Mischievous Monkeys

Magical Beans, Princely Leopards, and Mischievous Monkeys

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At Ardmore, there’s a story behind every design, whether it’s one of African folklore or simply the wonder of the flora and fauna that surrounds us, the designs offer a talking point that goes hand in hand with their aesthetic appeal.
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Four by Four Feathered Occasional Chairs

Four by Four Feathered Occasional Chairs

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Back in December 2016, when we were getting ready to launch our Zambezi Collection, we decided to create a few furniture pieces to accompany the collection launch, so that we could exhibit our designs and fabrics as we envisioned others using them. One of these pieces was an occasional chair in the modern style, which has taken so to heart, that we've now had the chair upholstered in all four colourways of our afro-geometric Feather design. 
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Linen Cushions from the Zambezi Collection

Linen Cushions from the Zambezi Collection

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With Summer having all but overtaken Spring in South Africa, we thought a supplement to the Zambezi Collection was necessary, so in addition to our luxurious velvet cushions, we've added a selection of scatter cushions to the line-up made of fine, natural linen, featuring the designs from our Zambezi Collection.
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A Warm Farewell to our Handbag Collection

A Warm Farewell to our Handbag Collection

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Chic, elegant and beautifully crafted, our handbags are a must-have accessory. Made near Johannesburg in South Africa, with incredibly high standards of workmanship, our handbags are proving to be true lifelong companions. We developed them with our Qalakabusha range, featuring spirited depictions of our effervescent local fauna and flora, and patterns inspired by nature. With full-grain leather handles and detailing, the bags are ready for lifelong journeys. 
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Ardmore graces the walls of Rand Club

Ardmore graces the walls of Rand Club

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Since the launch of Cole & Son's Ardmore Collection of wallpapers, the designs have ended up in some stunning spaces, from a Harrods bar to Rand Club in Johannesburg. Founded in 1887, Rand Club was established out of the need for a place for distinguished visitors and residents of what became Johannesburg to call and be received at, during the early years following the discovery of gold in the area. The club has hosted two royal residencies, and lists many of South Africa's most distinguished names as its members. We couldn't be prouder that the walls of this famous institution have been adorned with wallpaper from our collaboration! (Photos included through the Read More link).
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It's a flowery affair for Ardmore's latest Hermès scarf

It's a flowery affair for Ardmore's latest Hermès scarf

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Our latest collaboration with French fashion house Hermès has been released. This stunning scarf, entitled Flowers Of South Africa, features a pin cushion protea at its heart and is an ode to beautiful African blooms. It is Ardmore's third design for the House of Hermès, following The Savana Dance, where leopard and monkey take centre stage, and La Marche du Zambezi, which is a gorgeous gathering of elephant, zebra, giraffe, crocs and leopard. Flowers Of South Africa comes in ten colour ways - can you choose a favourite?

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See Ardmore at Charles Greig's O'Kavango Exhibition

See Ardmore at Charles Greig's O'Kavango Exhibition

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The Okavango provides the inspiration behind Christopher Greig’s upcoming exhibition at Charles Greig Jewellers in Johannesburg this August. Alongside the array of gems, Ardmore Design will be showcasing textiles and scatter cushions. Look out for our River Chase design, which features crocodiles and strelitzias - a celebration of life on the water.

Ardmore Ceramic Art have created a host of one-of-a-kind artworks, too. Get set to see hippo riders transporting men in makoros across the Delta as they fish. Birdlife is represented by Pelican, saddle-billed storks, Great White Herons and flamingos. Wild date palm fronds, papyrus and water lillies provide the colour and decorative foil to our animal friends. The energy and lushness of this special area is found in every piece. If you listen carefully, you can hear the cacophony from here… 

The exhibition runs from 16th August - 4th September at Charles Greig, Hyde Park Shopping Centre, Hyde Park, Johannesburg.

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It's all happening in the Hamptons!

It's all happening in the Hamptons!

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We’re thrilled to be bringing a touch of Africa to the exclusive American seaside resort of the Hamptons. Margaret and Garry Southern will play host to a three-day exhibition and sale of artworks from Ardmore Ceramic Art and textiles from Ardmore Design. Taking place from Thursday 20th - Saturday 22nd July, both Fee Halsted and Jonathan Berning will be at the event and look forward to meeting Ardmore fans old and new. For more details, please click here.

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