Tessa (Blem-) Gawith
Tessa was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1964. She graduated from Rhodes University South Africa with a BA and set off to Amsterdam in 1987 where she spent 9 years working as a linguistic editor and silkscreen designer/printer. In 1997 she returned and took up a job with Chris Silverstone at The Potter’s Shop in Kalkbay Cape Town. There she fell under the spell of ceramics, thanks to Chris and the studio team at that time ( Willemien de Villiers, Tiffany Wallace and Theo Mtuntwana). A family of young children lead to her leaving The Potter’s Shop and setting up a home studio. In 2002 the home studio outgrew its confines and moved to Atlantic Road. And so began The Pot Spot.
Jean – Paul Tshimwamba
Jean – Paul was born outside Lumumbashi, DRC, in 1969. He took art as a high school subject, and after completing his schooling, maintained a relationship with the school art studio during his early adulthood. Forced by the escalating violence in the DRC he fled to SA in 2002, bringing with him an innate feeling for clay and a will to survive. He happened upon the Pot Spot in 2002, 6 months after arriving in South Africa, and dusted off his high school pottery skills (at the of age 32!).
Carmen Jones is a born (1965) and bred Capetonian. At the youthful age of 19 she started working s a pottery studio assistant for the Cowleys in Rondebosch. During her lunch breaks she put aside her sandwiches and started to explore the wheel. Tutored by
Dr Cowley she quickly gained skill and by the time the home studio was bought out by Terrapotta, she had reached sufficient skill to be employed as a thrower. For 15 years or so, Carmen worked a 40 hour week on the wheel gaining mastery as a production thrower. In 2004, after a child-raising sabbatical, she joined the Pot Spot.
At the Pot Spot, the sum is greater than the parts. Like the traditional African cooking pot with 3 legs, Tessa, Paul and Carmen combine wheelwork wizardry, a fine touch for handle-shapes and footrings and glossy, buttery glazes or tongue-in-cheek decoration to create ceramics that are robust yet elegant, contemporary yet retro and practical yet charming. Shape, function and finish dovetail in the humblest of household receptacles.