Born in Soweto, Clive Sithole is an urban ceramist who bases much of his work on traditional Zulu pottery forms. For example, he calls this vessel Uphiso, the Zulu name for a pot with a neck that is used for transporting and storing liquids. Sithole’s uphiso, however, has a taller and more curved neck than a traditional uphiso. The vessel’s decoration, three cattle, recalls an important aspect of traditional Zulu culture, though such imagery is not a customary part of Zulu pottery. The mottled black and orange surface is a result of a reduction firing, in which lack of oxygen causes molecular changes in some of the clay, producing the darkened areas.
South African, b. 1971
H. 18 in. (45.7 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Museum purchase with funds from the Class of 1949 Endowed Curatorship for the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, 2007.15