From her studio in Riebeek West, Julia Buss makes stylish ceramic homeware under the watchful eye of Della, the black Labrador. Her creative philosophy is to make beautiful and simple functional ceramics. Black Dog Ceramics speaks of the earth in the natural clay colours of ebony, brick and sand.
ME AND THE DOG
That’s me, Julia Buss, the person who feeds the black dog, Della – the ever present Labrador. I named my business and studio after her because she is a constant part of the creative enterprise (though not always a positive one I might add). She is also excellent at time management and studio clean-up. She can tell the time and gives me at least half an hour’s notice of feeding time, and thereafter minute by minute. She helps with cleaning by drinking clay water and licking lunch crumbs off the floor, and she reminds me daily to get good hospital insurance because she places herself directly underfoot. The best place, of course, is right next to or directly behind my chair. The studio by the way is hardly big enough for me let alone the two of us, but I guess I have someone to talk to – you know, the long-suffering craft maker, alone but (actually loving it). Just don’t tell anyone.
YOU , ME AND CERAMICS
Making and indeed owning ceramics places you smack bang in an ongoing process of who we are as humans. Ceramics are treasured by archaeologists as they are a marker of human habitation, with many vessels pre-dating written history. But my imagination is fired by what I learned doing my Masters degree in 2018 on the work of Zulu ceramists from KwaZulu-Natal.
The ceramic vessel is undoubtedly a participant not only in the social life of its maker and user, but surprisingly it also has a dynamic social and spiritual life of its own. It speaks for us and to us. Perhaps this is why I am driven to reveal the clay colours of Ebony, Brick and Sand in the pieces, in order to maintain the connection with the earth from which clay comes and to which it will return.
I am a maker who believes in the simple and functional above the decorative. My pieces are linear, quiet and tactile. They have something to say to you, if you are willing to listen.
3 Lang Street St.
Riebeek West, 7306