Ardmore Ceramic Art was established by Fee Halsted on Ardmore Farm in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains of KwaZulu Natal in 1985; where she lived after obtaining her BA (Fine Arts) Honours degree and lecturing at the Natal Technikon. Here she met Bonnie Ntshalintshali, daughter of their housekeeper, whose polio meant that she was unable to work in the fields. Fee and Bonnie quickly developed a synergy and under Fee’s mentorship, Bonnie’s natural skills as an artist blossomed.
Five years later in 1990, Fee and Bonnie were jointly awarded the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist award, the first such artistic partnership to be recognised. With this success came the demands of creating ceramics for their exhibition, so Fee offered other other local women the opportunity to train at Ardmore, producing pieces to generate income for the fledgling studio. They, over the years have expanded, relocated and built spacious gallery and offices.
The artists from the Ardmore studio are given training, direction, materials, a studio and a guaranteed market for their work, supported by a skilled marketing and administrative team. Over the years, Ardmore’s artists have won numerous awards and exhibited widely in South Africa and around the world. Ardmore artworks feature in leading galleries and collections, including the Museum of Art & Design in New York, the Museum of Cultures in Basel, Switzerland. The acclaimed auction house Christie’s has aknowledged Ardmore artworks as ‘modern day collectables’.
Ardmore ceramics are available at Artisan Gallery.