Cats including this cheetah abound in many areas of the African continent.
This bright and eye catching cheetah trinket round box can be the spotlight of any room. A most realistically rendered cheetah perches atop this piece of whimsy!
Whether you use it as a beautiful way to bring store your precious jewelry or other belongings, this beautiful piece of fine ceramic will delight you.
Dimensions: 6 inches x 4 inches x 4 inches
Maker / Sculptor: Thabo Mbhele / George Ma
Thabo was born in 1984 in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho.
Educated until Grade 5, he travelled to South Africa and found work building houses in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal.
Thabo heard about Ardmore Ceramic Art while visiting his cousin, Bennet Zondo, who is a leading sculptor at the studio.
Bennet took Thabo under his wing and taught him to sculpt with clay, and in 2007, Thabo joined Ardmore’s studio in the ‘Berg before moving to the Caversham studio in 2009.
“Thabo is beginning to blossom and develop confidence in his artistic ability after dwelling in the shadow of his mentor Bennet,” says Ardmore founder Fée Halsted.
“He deserves to be recognised as one of our leading sculptors because he is always inventing new forms and creating fresh ideas for decorative collectables. Thabo has the incredible ability to model excellence at speed and is one of the most successful artists at Ardmore.”
This prolific artist is amiable and very appreciative of the success, artistic freedom and the financial security he has attained through his creativity at Ardmore.
His pieces often feature his favourite animal, the leopard, and his realistic rendering brings his animals to life.
His magnificent urns, bowls and tureens hardly stay on the shelves in any gallery and find homes abroad and in major collections.
In 2014 his sable teapot was selected for the Korean Biennale; and in 2015 he created pieces for the 30 year Masterworks collection.
In 2016 Thabo excelled with work for the Great Zambezi exhibition in London.
George Manyathela was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, in 1963, and trained at Mzilikazi Craft Centre.
In 1986 after finishing his training, he began mass-producing pottery items. From there he moved to Harare, where he worked at Simba Pottery and latter at Terracotta Pots.
He came to South Africa in 2002, and worked at Intu Art until March 2012, when he started at Ardmore as a thrower.
He says: “I can make any design or shape and style. I like my work and enjoy what I am doing. I love everything that the Ardmore artists create as it has a message, especially the sculpting and painting. Combined with my throwing skills it creates very good team work. I am learning a lot about contemporary art and am now also able to make pieces with a message because of the knowledge I have from Ardmore.”
Fée Halsted comments that: “George is a jovial character whose smile gets wider and wider.
George is known for his functional pieces, especially his jewelry boxes and has become a valued Ardmore team member.
Sbusiso was born on the 15th of March, 1984. Sbusiso, the Zulu word for ‘Blessing’, is the son of Betty Ntshingila, one of Ardmore’s famous sculptors at Ardmore. After finishing grade 7 at Mountain View School, he was encouraged to join Ardmore in 2000 by Ardmore artist, Nhlanhla Nsudwane.
Says Fée Halsted: “Sibusiso is one of the most talented and creative sculptors Ardmore has seen. As a youngster he enjoyed coming to the Ardmore studio in the Berg, but his sporadic attendance indicated that he was not serious about his art. It gives me great joy to discover that our Betty is his mother and Sibusiso is back working in the clay room with us again. I now understand where his talent comes from.”
Sbusiso excels at reptilian and aquatic sculptures, imaginative teapots that always create interest at Ardmore’s major exhibitions and are snapped up by collectors.
Painter: Sbusiso Mbuthu
Sbu Mbatha was born on 14th August 1996. A resident of the KwaThaza township, he attended Thuthukani Primary School and Mconjwana High School, where he matriculated.
A realist painter, whose work is inspired by Elvis, Sbu first heard about Ardmore through his uncle who was helping to build a new structure at the studio. He later joined the annual Winter School.
“I enjoy painting and I love Ardmore art,” says Sbu. “I want to be part of Ardmore’s history. Thank you Fee for everything.”