art, decor

Cloth becomes clay


For ceramicist Sikho Mququ working with clay is a magical experience that seems to permeate the work he produces. Each art piece tells a story about the places and people he loves, perhaps none more than his iTyali-inspired bowl. 'Since playing with clay as a young boy, the environment and nature has always formed part of my inspirations,' he explains. The bowl, which is inspired by the traditional blankets worn by Xhosa women in the Eastern Cape, is the item that got him recognition as one of Design Indaba's Emerging Creatives for 2016. It took him more than a year exploring the idea of translating his experiences on the potter's table until he finally settled on the iTyali-inspired fruit bowl. '[To] many people, no matter the person's race or culture, a blanket represents warmth, and through my iTyali-inspired checker patterns, I try to clothe my work.  In the Xhosa culture, women and warmth are representations of home,' says Sikho of his work, adding, 'Everyone who utilizes my creations should have an experience of home through my hands.'

ityali-detail The detail on one of Sikho's iTyali-inspired bowls.

Sikho now runs Ckho Ceramique, working together with the Three Potters and a Painter studio on the R44 in Stellenbosch. He produces a range of crockery, including mugs, tea sets, bowls, jugs, vases, jars and lamps and is also open to commission work. 'The future for my business is one of continuous growth and development and taking the local and international markets by storm.' There’s little doubt that Sikho is most at home when working with clay: ‘I adore and live for the moment I can transfer a vision, a dream and an idea through a lump of clay by throwing it onto the wheel, spinning, adding water, putting my hands to work and shaping to get to my goal.’
ckho600 Sikho Mququ pictured with his creations in 2014.

Meet Sikho and view his work at the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives exhibition, running from 17 to 21 February at the Watershed Mezzanine, V&A Waterfront. Follow Ckho Ceramique on Facebook.