News and Trends

China town shoot

As featured in our July renovations issue now on shelf, we brought you the China Town ceramics display as our Shopping Inspiration for the month (page 28). Here, decor editor Jeanne Botes takes us behind the scenes for a sneak peek of who was behind the lens and how the various shots were arranged... In the beginning of the year Li Edelkoort had a talk where she stated ceramics were going to take over the world this year. I think this is because ceramics are so accessible and make for an affordable interior item. They can be functional or just serve as a beautiful display piece to add interest in your home. There is also such a variety to choose from that there is definitely a ceramic piece to suit all tastes. What I tried to do with this shoot - it was not really a conceptual shoot but rather a shopping/product shoot - was to include as many South African ceramic artists as possible. We really have some amazing ceramic artists that are truly world class. I also wanted to show diversity in technique and execution of the pieces. So you'll find that some pieces are quite delicate, like the porcelain work of Lisa Firer, whereas other pieces are more bulky. When it came to form versus function, we tried to keep a fair mix of both. Some pieces are therefore more functional like plates, cups and lamp bases - but with artistic flair - not just mass-produced pieces, but pieces that also showcased the artist's hand and that homemade touch. Other pieces that I included were sculptural, like the work of Hylton Nell and Ruan Hoffman - which are more like artworks than mere ceramic pieces. I then chose wood as a background because it created a neutral set for the colourful and vast array of shapes. I think it worked well to create a warm background to showcase the pieces. We also try to do something extra special for the opening shot to really "wow" our readers. For this one, I used wooden frames to frame the ceramics like artworks. The pieces also varied from vintage to contempory to include everybody's tastes. Our decor assistant Schalk and I worked with photographer Justin Patrick and his team to ensure that these shots came to life and we were thrilled with the end product.