With our monthly Body of Work feature we profile our favourite local creatives by unpacking the ‘anatomy’ of their brains to discover what makes them tick. Zizipho Poswa, the cofounder of one of South Africa’s leading ceramic studios, Imiso, merges design and art one handmade piece at a time.
Feet: Growing up, I enjoyed walking and climbing up trees barefoot. Now I like walking shoeless in my studio during the production process, and my feet get covered in clay and glaze.
Legs: I have really strong legs, which helps in my line of work because I need a lot of balance when I deal with delicate products. I’m claustrophobic and hate lifts, so thankfully my legs walk me up and down flights of stairs, and this has become my daily exercise.
Hands: My hands help me control the clay as I mindfully guide it, trying to force it to do my bidding. When forming a piece, the first process is kneading the clay and building a bond with it through my fingers, and I’m inspired by my favourite ceramicist, Imiso’s Andile Dyalvane.
Mouth: There is power in the tongue and I am where I am today because I use positive words. My mouth has opened doors for me in a few seemingly hopeless situations. I like to share my story with my clients and, most importantly, my mouth helps me close business deals. I love having good conversations with family and friends, and I’m fortunate to be able to teach my two-year-old daughter Iyana the basic, true values of life using my mouth.
Eyes: My appreciation for beautiful things is what drives my artistic nature to bring out different textures and colours in my work. I like bright hues and to adorn my eyes with bronze eyeshadow, and this vibrancy and lustre is reflected in the way I finish my pieces.
Nose: I adore the distinctive smell of clay and glaze chemistry that permeates my studio. It takes me back to my childhood when I played with clay on the riverbanks and reminds me of the fresh fragrance that rises from the soil on rainy days. I also like perfume, particularly Tom Ford Black Orchid, as well as the scent of flowers.
Ears: Sounds that soothe and relax me are the pitter-patter of the rain and the splash of the ocean’s waves. Living in Cape Town means that I get to spend time at the sea.
Head: When I’m alone with my thoughts, different ideas and images play out in my head and all I want to do is bring them to life. I wait in anticipation to see the outcome and never cease to be amazed.