Primitive pottery figurines from Africa date back to around 500 BC. The earliest of which were the Nok statuettes made of terracotta clay, combining strong formal elements with a complete disregard for precise anatomy. Their expressive quality is what inspired our now iconic ‘Collectable’, The Dlamini.
What started out as a studio project for ceramic artist Trayci Tompkins and her once a week gardener Tim Dlamini, has grown into full time employment for both Dlamini and his long time friend, Tim Buthelezi. The two both reside in rural Sweetwaters, just outside of Pietermaritzburg and work daily from their home studios gaining inspiration from their unique surroundings.. Once complete, the unfired fragile Dlamini is carefully transported in chicken crates to Tompkins’ studio on the Midlands Meander for firing and glazing, then packaged ready for sale.
‘The Dlamini’ too has risen to greatness travelling the world over, often given as gifts to someone special or awarded to top achievers in Corporate Companies.. As a truly homegrown & handmade collectable art piece, The Dlamini has fondly gained a reputation as the South African Oscar.
Individually hand built from a single lump of clay, Tim Dlamini adds character and expression to his little people in clay, each carrying a miniature clay sculpture on his or her head depicting a thought or feeling. Once glazed, The Dlamini figurines are individually fired in a ‘top-hat’ gas kiln to a melting temperature of around 1000 degrees. The red hot Dlamini’s are then removed and rolled in sawdust to burn the select areas black and encourage the glaze to ‘crackle’. This method of Raku, with its spontaneous and random patterned surface, also ensures that no two Dlamini’s can ever be the same.
Custom made Dlamini’s for corporate orders can also be accommodated, whilst retaining their individual artistic feel. A variety of glaze colours are available. Follow The Dlamini on Facebook here.
Enquiries? Contact Stuart Tompkins
- MIDLANDS MEANDER | ZULU LULU ART HOUSE, Piggly Wiggly Centre | website
- HILLCREST, SA | EMBO CRAFT, Bothas Hill | website
- JOHANNESBURG, South Africa | MOT MOT, Parkhurst | website
- U.S.A | MBARE, Contemporary Art | Buy Online | website
- AUSTRALIA | The Grace Collection | Buy Online | website