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Thabo Mbhele

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.


‘Cats of the World’Johannesburg

‘Wonderful World of Ardmore’Cape Town

Amaridian GalleryUnited States

SA House exhibitionLondon

Pascoe & Co.United States

Anagama GalleryFrance

NAADA (National Antiques & Decorative Arts) FairJohannesburg

‘Travellers of Africa’Johannesburg

‘Ivory & Ebony’Cape Town

‘Earth & Fire'United States

Le Negresco HotelFrance

Hallwyl MuseumSweden

NAADA (National Antiques & Decorative Arts) FaireJohannesburg

‘Sprung from the Reeds: Ardmore and Ukhamba’Ardmore Caversham

Eboka Spring CollectionPretoria


International Ceramic ShowUnited States

‘Ardmore Aviary’Cape Town

Les Ceramiques Zouloues ArdmoreFrance

‘Endangered Animals’ exhibitionLondon

An African CollectionAustralia

Naada Faire Antiques and CollectablesJohannesburg

Fabric and book launch: Ardmore, We Are Because of OthersHermanus

Fabric and book launch: Ardmore, We Are Because of OthersCape Town

‘Grand Carnival’, fabric and book launch: Ardmore, We Are Because of OthersJohannesburg





Patrick Mavros Christmas Safari WeekLondon

A Celebration of Zulu Life and ArtistryUnited States


Pascoe & CoUnited States

‘Monkeys and Magnolias’London

‘Just So Crocodiles and Other Curiosities’Johannesburg

Naada FaireJohannesburg

Safari WeekLondon

Christmas ShowZimbabwe

Pascoe & Co.United States

‘Great Herds of Africa’,Cape Town

‘Great Herds of Africa’,London

‘Inspired by the Ocean’Hermanus

‘Birds of Africa’Johannesburg

‘Great Herds of Africa’,Kenya

Korean BiennaleKorea

Objects BiennaleUnited States


WMODA, Pascoe & CoUnited States

Animal Botanical’Cellars-Hohenot, Cape Town


‘Kalahari Cats'Cellars-Hohenot, Cape Town

‘The Great Zambezi’Patrick Mavros, London

'Celebrating the Year of the Monkey'Charles Greig, Hyde Park, Johannesburg


'The Great Zambezi'Cellars-Hohenot, Cape Town

'Savuti Dance'Patrick Mavros, London

'o'kavango'Charles Greig, Hyde Park, Johannesburg

'pangolin'Charles Greig, Hyde Park, Johannesburg