Our ceramics are made by local artists - ordinary people from the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal,
who are given training, materials, a studio and a guaranteed market for their work,
under the guidance of our founder, Fée Halsted.
Mthandeni Mkhize, whose nickname is Obed, was born on the 12th December, 1981, at Loskop Kwala.
He did his education at Zuzinfundo Primary School for two years, then he went to Mountain View for four years, Sizathina Primary School for one year, and finally to Hlabae High School where he achieved his Matric.
Obed is not married and has no children, and both his parents are still alive. He started work at Williams Farm as a temporary labourer, and was there for almost four years.
When he heard about Ardmore through Sifiso Mzelase, Obed came asked Fée to teach him. Sifiso taught Mthandeni how to sculpt with clay. He started at Ardmore in 2000.
Obed’s favourite animals are dragons, giraffes, leopards and fish. He enjoys creating vases, dishes and candlesticks. His form is made up of the subject and function is secondary. Scales and feathers are intricately moulded into his forms, so painting is of less importance to the form.
“I feel very happy because I now can manage to do things, I could not do before. I wish to see more changes in my family. In my art I wish to see more improvement and knowledge,” he says.
When the Drakensberg studio closed in 2009, Obed chose to remain behind in the mountain valley that has inspired so much of his work.
In 2014 one of Obed’s bowls, painted by Matrinah Xaba was used to illustrate a South African postage stamp.
South African postage stamp created with an image of a bowl made by Obed and painted by Matrinah Xaba
Charles Greig JewellersJohannesburg
City Arts CouncilEdinburgh
‘Men of Ardmore’Johannesburg
Amaridian GalleryUnited States
Everard Read GalleryJohannesburg
‘Cats of the World’Johannesburg
Amaridian GalleryNew York
‘Wonderful World of Ardmore’Cape Town
South Africa HouseLondon