Design Centre Stories

Rejoice in Nature

Get lost in a world of fantasy and nature with Jabula, a collaboration between Cole & Son and South Africa’s Ardmore, which makes ceramics and decorating products inspired by native flora and fauna.

The colour, detail and sheer joy of Ardmore’s cult ceramics – ‘jabula’ is aptly the Zulu word for ‘rejoice’ – have been translated into 11 wallcoverings drawn by the Cole & Son studio, and full of intriguing creatures and lush botanical motifs.

“We’re so proud that Cole & Son has recognised our beautiful artistry, inspired by the muse of nature,” said Ardmore’s founder Fée Halsted, talking to Cole & Son’s managing director Marie Karlsson as part of Focus/21’s online programme. “We have so much beautiful flora and fauna here, we celebrate not just the Big Five” – referring to the larger game animals that most tourists want to see on safari – “but the small creatures, too: the little praying mantis that symbolises meditation, or the dung beetle symbolising the cycle of life.” ‘Hoopoe Leaves’ (above left) is based on a large ceramic piece, with these smaller creatures bustling through foliage and hoopoe feathers.

Many of the designs reflect Halsted’s own experience of wildlife-spotting in the Kruger national park, from the mother-and-cub leopards she spied in a tree that became ‘Satara’ (above centre), or the natural hierarchy of animals that come and go in obedient order at the Letaba oasis, which inspired ‘Letaba March’ (above right).

Watch the talk here

Cole & Son, Ground Floor, Centre Dome