Cheryl MaloneWork in porcelain began in 1988 after studying Fine Art in South Africa and the UK during the 1980s.

The working process begins with a pinched vessel which slowly gains height by the addition of numerous coiled layers. The porcelain body is simultaneously pinched and smoothed on the inside and outside until the vessel walls become fine membranes, making them translucent when fired.

Going with the grain of this coil-forming process (the passage of the metal kidney from centre to rim and the rhythmic marks created by pinching), the fine brush drawing on the surface of the vessels makes this often imperceptible porcelain working process visible. In this respect, the brush drawing constitutes the completion of the piece, as the inner nuances of the building process are re-imagined in graphic form.

Similarly, the integrated coiled oxide bands make the stratified porcelain layers visible in colour.

The analogies found between the coil-forming process and growth patterns of plants continue to be my most important source of inspiration, with Fibonacci rhythms, phyllotaxis and logarithmic spirals all informing the work.

The freehand ink on paper line drawings are an interesting counterpoint to the porcelain vessels in that they are done more rapidly. A pyramidal motif as seen from above is the point of departure for these drawings, initiating a journey of focused intuition. While completing this circuitous route, a linear network opens outwards and then loops back incrementally to the centre, making some improvised clustered organic growth patterns, that when repeated form complex statements within the context of a particular piece. An ‘abrash’ is often revealed as a result of this process.

These drawings are part of a continuing series started in 1996.


Exhibitions include:


Everard Read Centenary, Cape Town


Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town
‘Vessels’, Solo exhibition, porcelain vessels and ink on paper line drawings

Dubhe Carreño Gallery, Chicago


SOFA Chicago, Portals Gallery


SOFA Chicago, Portals Gallery


Portals Gallery, Chicago

SOFA Chicago, Portals Gallery


Ceramics S.A. Artscape, Cape Town

The  Cape Gallery, Cape Town

SOFA Chicago, Portals Gallery


Ceramics S.A. Artscape, Cape Town

‘Porcelain’ Rust-en-Vrede, Durbanville


The Cape Gallery, Cape Town


Altech Triennale, Artscape, Cape Town


‘African Earth’, Museum Africa, Johannesburg

FNB Vita, Museum Africa, Johannesburg

‘Variations’, art b, Bellville Centre


APSA Nationals, Cape Town

Salon at the Bay Hotel, Cape Town


APSA Cape Regionals, Cape Town


National Ceramics Biennale, Johannesburg


The Camden Arts Centre, London


Also see:

Everard Read Gallery Cape Town past exhibition

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Museum permanent collection

Ellerman House art collection

Cape Town Creatives featured artist portfolio

Cape Town Creatives blog

Pottery Making Illustrated November/December 2012

Handbuilding Techniques, The American Ceramic Society, 2015