In the House and Leisure Art issue, we explore the South African art scene and take a closer look at the graphic art, the sculptures and the homes that represent the power of creativity. Inspired by the dynamic, flourishing nature of the local art scene, we approached four ceramicists to each create their own rendition of a Hendrick’s Gin-inspired teacup. The result was an amalgam of unique approaches to the unusual and whimsical character of the Hendrick’s Gin brand.
Vote for your favourite teacup design on the competition page and you could win the complete set of four, as well as a Hendrick’s Gin hamper. Competition closes on 16 September 2018.
Mervyn Gers (@mervyn_gers_ceramics)
Mervyn Gers is a name that has become associated with award-winning restaurants, safari lodges and international retail outlets. As one of South Africa’s top ceramicists, Gers’ ubiquitous presence is due to his adaptable and eclectic style. Inspired by the heritage aspect of the Hendrick’s Gin brand, Gers created a teacup that is classic in black, with a modern metallic twist. The design revisits an aesthetic that is characteristic of the whimsical nature of the Hendrick’s Gin brand, and adds something new and refreshing as the perfect finish. ‘Beauty’ and ‘tranquility’ are the two concepts that the teacup design embodies. For Gers, marrying functionality with form takes craftsmanship and an eye for the natural allure of organic shapes.
Zizi Poswa (@imisoceramics)
Zizi Poswa is the founder of Imiso Ceramics. The design of her teacup brings together what she refers to as the ‘botanical orchestra’ that is infused in the Hendrick’s Gin recipe. The shape of the cup was inspired by the shape of the Hendrick’s Gin bottle and was moulded using a slip-casting technique. This process involves the piece being cast into a mould, before it is finished using the technique of hand-pinching, to afford it with an organic, handcrafted character. Staying true to the decorative nature of her trademark ceramics, while ensuring that the piece could perform a specific function, was an interesting challenge for Poswa. Green was a strategic choice as the predominant colour. It represents life, renewal, nature and energy – concepts which she associates with the intimate moment of drinking tea with loved ones.
Ceramic Matters (@ceramicmatters)
Ceramic Matters is the brainchild of creative duo, Gerhard Swart and Anthony Harris. For the design of their teacup and saucer, Creative Matters drew inspiration from the two iconic ingredients in Hendrick’s Gin – the rose and the cucumber. The overarching concept was inspired by the idea of a Victorian High Tea experience – a visual aesthetic that takes its cue from the ideosyncratic character of the Hendrick’s Gin brand. Combined with this aesthetic is an element of steampunk design, inspired by the shape of classic distilling apparatus with its engineered rivets and metallic facets. The quirky design is imbued with a sense of tongue-in-cheek humour and delicious spontaneity. In the design of this teacup, Ceramic Matters has succeeded in turning an ordinary teacup and saucer into a narrative, conceptual piece.
Ben Orkin (@nebnikro)
Ben Orkin is a Cape Town-based artist and a student at the Michaelis School of Fine Art. The Hendrick’s Gin story is a ‘tale of two types of stills’ – namely, Bennett and Carter-Head. The harmonious marriage of the dissimilar, yet wildly compatible spirits yielded by these two stills is what inspired Orkin’s teacup design. The teacup, round and organic in shape, contrasts sharply with the geometrically structured handle and saucer. Creating something as angular and precise as the handle, by hand, was an interesting challenge. For Orkin, his craft involves playing with shapes. So, to make this Hendrick’s Gin-inspired piece, he simply played his way to creating something utilitarian. Speaking about how his background in design frames the way he sees the world, Orkin remarks, ‘I can’t imagine seeing the world in a non-creative way. I feel like it is constantly feeding me ideas of things I can make or things I would like to do’.
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This post was sponsored by Hendrick’s Gin.