Gemma Orkin Handmade Ceramics

While I was getting a recent coffee fix at Melissa's Food Shop, I couldn't help but notice the collection of ceramics adorning one of the walls. They belonged to Cape Town-based ceramicist Gemma Orkin whose many passions are evident in her work. When asked what inspires her, Gemma says, 'I am inspired by all the things I love. I love life, I love nature, I love being outside, I love the sky, I love the sea, I love my family, I love love songs, I love cooking, I love eating, I love bright colours, I love beautiful shapes and I love delicate lines.' These lines are what make her creations so special; her loose drawing technique adds character to each piece, while the simple shapes have an almost child-like feel about them. When it comes to a preferred colour palette, Gemma has chosen creamy shades for the background and more prominent, bold colours for the designs in the foreground. Her mom, Gail Caitlin, also an artist, influenced her appreciation for the 'sensitivity one should try and capture in one line'. The fact that each piece is specially handmade and hand painted means that you'll always have something entirely original that includes Gemma's own signature touch. We love her assortment of cheery drawings that range from flowers, birds, cats and rabbits, to washing lines, kitchen objects and hearts. 'Birds and flowers have the most intense beautiful combinations and juxtapositions of colour. It kind of makes my heart sing and I try and translate this in my work', she explains. Prices are available on request and shapes, colours, designs and patterns can be customised accordingly. Bear in mind that the lead time on any order is two to three weeks. Stockists include Anthropology, Carrol Boyes New York, From Africa with Love in Amsterdam, and Melissa's Food Shop locally. gemmaorkin.co.za