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estelle

Artist Bio

The mystics will tell you that it was written in the stars. Born under a fire sign, born in the year of a fire creature. But then, if you were raised by two scientists like I was, you will be cautioned about putting your faith in the stars…

The gist of this story is more about an inquisitive mind, a passionate nature and an endless fascination with the transformative power of fire. Maintaining a holy respect for it, whilst constantly striving to find the balance between creation and destruction. Restless hands. Hands that constantly need to give shape to things the mind conjures.

I was born and raised in South Africa. I have lived in North Vancouver, Canada since 1997. I graduated with degrees in Political Science and Journalism, and worked in the film industry both in South Africa and Canada for almost two decades.

Involved with different art forms since childhood, I started working with clay as a teenager, training with a number of potters both in South Africa and in Vancouver, Canada.

When I don’t wrestle with clay, I work metal. I have received all of my metalsmithing training from various goldsmiths in Vancouver.

I have always been inspired by the design aesthetic of tribal art from my native continent. I love the stripped down lines and the soft geometry of African art, and strive to apply them to both functional and decorative clay pieces as well as metal jewellery.

Fire is only one part of it. The rest of them are important to me too. Earth, wind, water. This is my celebration of the elements… welcome to my sanctuary.


raku

Raku:

Raku firing pottery is an act of submission to the universe. If you do it long enough, you get an idea of the things that could happen, but there is never complete control over the what, where, when and how. That, I suspect, is the root of the addiction. Not every result is breathtaking. It is a crap shoot at best. Then again, there are the days when the gods smile down, and the gratitude from pushing yourself through the heat, smoke and soot gives you an indescribable high.... There is nowhere else I would rather be..


rings

Metal Working:

It’s primarily a texture thing. But in saying that, I don’t for a minute mean to downplay the simple thrill of taking a piece of metal and feeling it take shape under my hands. I love the process of fabrication. Shaping, texturing, polishing… all of it.

More recently I have discovered a childlike, gleeful joy in taking some scrap metal and casting grain, melting the hell out of it and pouring red hot metal into a cuttlebone mold which I carved by hand. I guess I like “kicking it old school” – this form of casting has been in the jewellers’ repertoire for hundreds of years…

Everything you see on this site is hand made by me in North Vancouver, Canada.