The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

International ceramic artist visits NE

By Elyssa Whaley/reporter

Student artists try a new style of ceramics during a two-day workshop with Antoinette Badenhorst Oct. 4-5 on NE Campus. Seventy-five people attended.
Photos courtesy Ralph Tobin

An artistic journey from her native South Africa by way of Mississippi and Chicago brought an internationally known ceramicist to NE Campus Oct. 4-5 to share her experience and expertise.

Antoinette Badenhorst, whose works have been exhibited worldwide and are included in the private collections of George and Laura Bush and folk singer Joan Baez, conducted student workshops both days.

She was also the guest of honor at a reception Oct. 5 in the NE J. Ardis Bell Library.

Some of her works were on display, and half of them were later purchased at the reception.

Art associate professor Karmien Bowman said she was happy that 75 people participated in the workshops, including one who had flown in from Florida.

Student Callie Davis enjoyed her session.

“I think it was the best workshop we’ve had,” Davis said. “Not only did I learn different techniques, but I also learned to think differently.”

Another student, Ralph Tobin, said, “I could see where she was going, [and I was able to] take what she was giving us and take it further.”

Badenhorst offered advice to developing artists.

“Don’t consider yourself an artist before you know the medium … repetition, repetition, explore by repetition,” she said.

Internationally known ceramic artist Antoinette Badenhorst illustrates her techniques for NE Campus students.

Badenhorst didn’t start out wanting to be an artist, but rather a potter.

“And from that perspective, I became an artist,” she said. “You learn the craft and the science of the art first, then you start interpreting that, and when what you’re doing affects other people, you’re an artist.”

Badenhorst was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and raised in Namibia. Her 30-year journey started with a basic pottery class in Potchefstroom, South Africa, where she also met her husband and started their family.

Her career eventually took her to northeast Mississippi, where her work and reputation earned her and her family residency status from the U.S. government.

Badenhorst’s mother was an artist, which she said was a subconscious influence. It wasn’t until one day when walking with her husband past a gallery window filled with pottery that she told her husband, “I want to do that.”

Movement, she said, is what defines her as an artist.

“Movement in a sense that what comes around goes around,” she said. “What comes in one direction goes into another. There’s movement in everyone’s country — life to death, birth to aging. We don’t always realize that, and it fascinates me.”

And it is movement, Badenhorst said, that is her own personal motivation.

“My passion for clay, to communicate through my work, to keep me busy, let my energy flow through me into something else,” she said. “That’s what keeps me motivated.”

Badenhorst, who now lives in Chicago with her family, said she isn’t moving toward anything new.

“I’m stabilizing,” she said. “I’m building awareness for porcelain. I do a lot of art and write about it as well.”

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