News and Trends

Farah Hernandez

Ceramics, porcelain, clay and other malleable materials have made a big comeback on the trend scene. People are going back to individual, handcrafted creations. Farah Hernandez is a Spanish illustrator who has taken residence in South Africa and opened a studio in Cape Town. She uses porcelain as her canvas, creating beautiful once-off items. Her porcelain pieces are unadorned, the focus being on her drawings. House and Leisure were eager to find out more about this artist and her work... What art do you produce? I make porcelain things. I really enjoying using porcelain as a canvas for hand-painted illustrations or doodles. I leave the shapes very clean and simple so that the focus is on the painting. The concept is to have unique pieces of art that are functional – vases, planters and framed tiles. What drew you towards the materials you work in? I've always loved working with my hands and getting messy – I'm a very tactile person. Porcelain allows me to combine two great loves: getting my hands dirty and drawing. I started working with clay first but I was drawn to the delicacy of porcelain. It’s so beautiful! It’s an interesting medium to work with because it doesn’t get boring as there’s so much to play with – its texture, translucency, how thin you can make it. Now that I've started with porcelain, I don't think I could ever leave it. Where do you draw inspiration from? From everywhere! Life, nature and people. My new range was inspired by porcelain’s very classic theme and colour (cobalt blue) and the intricate paintbrush work. Most of my drawings are very instinctive; I don't plan what I'm going to draw, it starts with a line that becomes a pattern and that creates a shape. What is your biggest challenge as an artist? Right now, my biggest challenge is finding the balance between satisfying the demand for work from my current range and finding the time/ space to create new work. What new/ future work can we look forward to? All sorts! I'm working on a range of bottles and frames using different colours and new shapes. I’ve been interested in creating light boxes so I'm experimenting with that. I would also love to create more tiles, lamps as well as porcelain jewellery. There’s so much, my mind is always onto something new. Not originally from South Africa, what do you think of the role of the artist in South Africa today? Artists, from South Africa or anywhere in the world, play crucial roles in society. They are the brave people in the front line, showing different perspectives, raising questions, making new objects, challenging designs and pushing boundaries. If you wish to see more of Farah's work, visit her website at You can contact her on 084-853-5148 or email Interviewed by Lisa Wallace