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Gemma Orkin

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Gemma Orkin is a Cape Town based Ceramic artist with over 20 years of experience. Her collections of beautiful, functional ceramics are created in classic elegant shapes and adorned with all manner of subjects close to her heart.

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She is inspired by the flora and fauna of the exotic Cape as well as her family and her pets. Her work reflects her love of the great outdoors, birds, flowers and all the simple, wonderful and all too frequently forgotten things in life. ‘It is inspiring living in Cape Town’ says Gemma. ‘We have the mountain, birds, flowers and the sea. We’ve a lot of brightness and colour. And all different kinds of people live here- they are all accepting and open.’

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‘What grabbed me about ceramics’ says Gemma ‘is that it’s a long process when you’re working with clay. You create a shape, you have paints and glazes and only at the end do you get the surprise of what you’ve actually created. I love making bowls, jugs and plates- in very simple traditional shapes. On to those I paint my design work. A very strong theme I have is the indigenous birds and flowers of South Africa. I really like painting owls, little birds in the trees, colourful weeds in the grass. Anything that is really bright and strong’. I have been inspired by Barbara Jackson, one of South Africa’s leading ceramic artists. She inspired me to see that anything’s possible if you put your mind to it.’

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