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Jenny Chadwick Biography 2024.

I was born in Nairobi, Kenya, in Feb 1973. My family moved to South Africa in 1975 returning to Kenya in 1978.

In 1983 there was another move to Jersey, Channel Islands. I completed A’levels in Art and Design, (which included ceramics and batik) and Graphical Communications. I completed Craft and Design,metalwork and woodwork, as an extra GCSE. Once I’d finished school, in 1991, I left Jersey and arrived in Johannesburg,

South Africa.

In Johannesburg I joined the LGBTQIA activist group GLOW, worked in bars and restaurants and played my original music and covers in a band at various venues and festivals. Later on I worked in Blue Moon  corporate communications as a directors assistant and in the print department. When I moved to Cape Town in 2006,after a stint at the Cape Farmhouse restaurant in Redhill, I found my feet teaching beginners at a pottery studio in Noordhoek with ceramist Lorette Espi. I spent a year in Holland in 2008 and joined a pottery studio in Amsterdam.

I participated in various ceramic workshops in Holland. On my return I set up my teaching Studio, Kommetjie Ceramics.My studio is a place where I work and play. I create pit fired polished vessels, functional ware, sculptures and other ceramic pieces, both fun and serious, for Galleries and the Ceramics SA Western Cape region Potters Markets. I run 3 pottery classes a week. I enjoy teaching as much as I like to maintain the studio and share the space. Mostly I enjoy being part of a creative pottery group.

(Side note: I have a few students that come to me for guitar lessons!)

Regarding the pit fire pieces:
I have been making ceramic pieces using the pit firing process for many years. It’s physical work with a
satisfying outcome, mostly! The size and shape of my pit-fired pots varies but all are coiled, burnished and
bisque fired to Cone 05. In the surface decoration process, I aim to discover and test new organic ingredients all the time from seaweed, to feathers, coffee grinds, sugar, flour, banana skins, sawdust, aloe leaves and much more. I prefer to use organic materials and 98% of my pit firings are however copper carbonate is the one chemical in the mix. The pit firing process, from the making to completion of the piece, to the digging of the pit, prepping the piece, the fire, the transformation of the burnished surface with the impressions of the combustibles used in the fire is awesome. Like the pot, I too feel transformed after every pit fire event.

Extra information:

I participated in the Open Studios Kommetjie event for that happens annually in the first week of December. My other ceramic involvement is with the Western Cape region of Ceramics Southern Africa, which has been supportive and inspiring for me. I initiated and implemented the social media platforms for CSA_WC region in 2014 and have been running it ever since however, it is through my students, the Potters’ Markets, the Regional/National exhibitions and the ceramic artist collective that I have developed my craft and gained experience. Aside from running the social media platforms my involvement has been amplified as I was voted as co-chair at the CSA_WC AGM in Feb 2022 and chair in Feb 2023. The next CSA_WC AGM is in Feb 2024. I will stand again as chair however I have given a years notice.

Pit fire vessel pic 2.jpg
Pit fire vessel pic 1.jpg

Jenny Chadwick. Pitfired Pot II  30 x 26 cm. R11 150


Jenny Chadwick. Pitfired Pot. 36 x 31cm. R11 150


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