Desiree Malan

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Desiree Malan

The main focus of my work as a ceramic artist the past 8 years were ceramic beads and jewellery components which are sold to local and international jewellery designers who appreciate art beads with a sense of origin.

During an artist residency in 2013 at the Cite des Arts Internationale in Paris, France I became immensely interested in jewellery as art.  Paris hosted Circuits Bijoux, a contemporary art jewellery show, which opened my eyes to the possibilities of combining ceramic and metal to create art jewellery.

Pod Necklace, 2015, Ceramics, Sterling Silver, Wellington, South Africa

Running a busy production studio leaves me with very little time to explore and design jewellery.  I wish to take time out in Thailand to rethink my work process and to allow the residency to inspire me to go into a new direction.  I would use the work visit to sketch jewellery designs and allow the new environment to influence my design process.  I hope to return home with a file full of new ideas and with a clear sense of how I can combine ceramics and metal to create exciting, authentic African art jewellery.

I have been experimenting with pitfiring and with metal casting the past two years and now need to combine these in well designed jewellery pieces.  I find that when I’m away from my day-to-day activities and comfortable studio space, I ‘see’ things differently and inspiration comes to me much quicker.  I cast directly from fabric, lace and organic material and often find the most interesting pieces to cast when I’m travelling. I also hope to collect interesting objects, fabric and organic material during my stay at ComPeung which I can cast and use in jewellery.

Love Lace Necklace, 2017, Gold plated brass, pearls, Wellington, South Africa

I am a full time, professional ceramic and jewellery artist and work from a studio which I rent in a cultural centre in Wellington, South Africa.  My studio is a production as well as teaching studio.

The main focus in my ceramic studio is the manufacturing of ceramic beads and jewellery components which are hand made by a group of single mothers from a disadvantaged community in my home town.  I design, glaze and fire the beads in my studio.

I also make ceramic tiles and have completed several large ceramic tile installations and mosaic murals.   I am often invited to take part in art exhibitions for which I make pots and vases and recently, also jewellery.

Paris in autumn, Ceramic clay, gold lustre, Paris

During the past 3 years I have taken a huge interest in metalsmithing and have done several courses.  I use the lost wax casting process to make one-of-a-kind jewellery which are sold through a local gallery.

I was commissioned in 2014 by a cultural institution to train 5 young women in ceramics over a period of 9 months.  It gives me tremendous pleasure to teach and share the skills I have learnt through the years.

Autumn leaves, 2014, Terracotta, Copper, Sterling Silver, Wellington, South Africa