From atelier to a studio in Walmer

AN award-winning ceramic artist, Delphine Niez, who has exhibited her work in her native France, in Cape Town and everywhere in between, continues to make works of art in the quiet suburb of Walmer.
Niez, 32, grew up in France and studied ceramic art at the National School of Applied Arts in Paris. She moved to South Africa eight years ago to be with her husband, Julian Hutz, who is South African.
Her achievements include a merit award at the regional ceramic exhibition of Ceramics SA – Eastern Cape last year, and an award for excellence at the same exhibition this year.
Now that Niez is a mother of two young children she spends less time at the kiln and more time being a mom.
“Before I had kids I would go to France to exhibit there. But now it is difficult,” said Niez.
The stay-at-home mom works on her art for three hours in the mornings and three hours in the afternoons as her toddlers Victor, 3, and Margot, 1, keep her busy.
For Niez the spontaneity and the simplicity of the material is what hooks her.
“I like to play with the material and I like the surprise I get when I open the kiln. Ceramics is between art and craft,” she said.
Spending time moulding a piece is Niez’s “alone” time and she finds it meditative, as it is a slow process.
The artist’s influences include seeds which she worked with in France, and proteas and aloes which she started using when she came to South Africa.
Niez said the Bay had some good ceramic artists, especially in Walmer, and she would like to see them come together more often to share ideas.
She wants to start exhibiting her art again, and plans on approaching people in South Africa as well as in France to display her work.
Her current short-term goal is to show her work at the Pretoria national exhibition later this year.
“I have the luxury of not having to make a living out of it,” said Niez.

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