Meeting Jade Paton
How long have you been making ceramics and what brought you to it?
I attended a pottery class in 2018 and fell in love with the medium. I studied fine art at Michaelis, where I majored in sculpture. I have always gravitated towards creating three-dimensionally. I learned the basic steps in pottery class but got a real feel for the craft from having my own studio and learning from my mistakes.
I have been told that you were very familiar with flower design... Is floral art connected to your creative process?
My parents own a beautiful flower shop called Lush Flowers. I grew up working there and it definitely influenced my work ethic and creativity. I love flowers and created a zine with a friend (the very talented Cynthia Fan) – The Carnation ; where we paired photography with floral compositions inspired by the images. Strangely enough I don’t usually see flowers in my vessels. I like the simplicity of the forms and feel that they usually look best without anything inside them.
How does being based in South Africa, and in particular Cape Town impact your creativity?
I love living in Cape Town and am constantly inspired by my creative peers. It is a beautiful city with wonderful ‘way of life’ and I am so happy to be living my passion in a place I feel so connected to.
I'm obsessed with vases myself... Would you define yourself as a collector? Do you have a large collection of objects / artworks? If yes, from which artists?
I do collect ceramics! I love to look for ceramics from thrift stores and at flea markets. There are some great finds to be had. I have also inherited some beautiful 70s pieces from my grandmother. She no longer appreciates them, but I am obsessed.
I would also love to one day purchase pieces from some of my favorite ceramic artists, such as Jordan Mc Donald, Simone Bodmer Turner, Ben Orkin and Viv Lee to name a few.
I love art and objects and often do swaps with other artists and designers.
You have a very rich vocabulary of forms. Walk me through the process of how these works come to life… Do you draw? What inspires you?
I used to sketch a lot more than I do now. I feel that one shape leads to a different shape instinctively. Although there is such a strong theme in my work that is inspired by the ancient vessel, I still feel that I have more ideas than I have time to realize them. The ceramic art is so complex and I feel that I have only started to learn about the various techniques and materials that are at my disposal.
Your palette and types of glazes is also pretty large. How do you make decisions about colour?
I go through phases when it comes to colour but tend to like the combination of muted tones contrasted with more saturated hues. I’m most recently obsessed was with greens. The colour combinations are rather instinctive. I go with my gut and am always keen to try new combinations. The creative freedom that I have keeps things interesting.
What's next for you and what would be your dream project?
I am working on launching an online shop and restructuring my business. My aim is to work on commissions and collaborations, as well as having a permanent collection and homeware range. My business has grown so fast and it’s so difficult to keep up with the demand, but I am very grateful and excited about the future!