No training, just talent: How a self-taught potter created a mould for success

No training, just talent: How a self-taught potter created a mould for success

Watch how this self-taught potter carved his path of independence.

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Supplied, Beautiful News

Lookout Sibanda is a man of few words. Instead, he prefers to craft his expression through art. Sibanda’s creative flair sparked in high school when his friends taught him to paint. So when he couldn’t afford to study after matric, he chose to pursue his passion by decorating ceramics with brushes of colour. But adding the final touches wasn’t enough. Sibanda felt compelled to learn pottery from inception. 

Working for established ceramists Elza van Dijk and Nicole Kingston exposed Sibanda to their techniques. Even without formal classes, he learnt to produce pots, bowls, and plates. Soon, Sibanda started promoting his wares at markets and exhibitions in Port Elizabeth, building a reputation under the name Lookout Ceramics. “It took me hard work and dedication,” he says. Today, Sibanda holds success in the palm of his hand. His signature work features abstract and geometric patterns, with vivid colours inspired by the blankets his grandmother used to make.

In 2018, knitwear designer Laduma Ngxokolo chose to mentor Sibanda as a result of his talent. Despite his accomplishments, Sibanda is conscious of the challenging course it’s taken for him to get here. That’s why he hopes to share his skills by tutoring potential students. “Art has been a way for me to open doors,” Sibanda says. For this potter, passion is the tool to triumph. 

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