Design Indaba Emerging Creative: Duma Mtimkulu

WORDS Lindi Brownell Meiring IMAGES courtesy of Duma Mtimkulu

We spotted the work of local contemporary ceramicist and self-described Earth Bender, Duma Mtimkulu, at this year’s Design Indaba, where he featured as one of 40 talented Emerging Creatives.

Duma first began drawing and realising his passion for art and design in primary school before discovering ceramics later in life while studying Fine Art at Tshwane University of Technology. That is when I knew that I wanted to become a ceramic artist and designer,” says Duma.

Depending on the design, Duma works predominantly in different types of clay. “Clay is a very challenging medium to work with,” he says. “I love and enjoy the long process it takes to produce every single piece. This teaches me new things and how to overcome difficulties, which is when I develop and come up with new techniques.”

His collection of earthy pots and vases are inspired by simple forms and shapes, with an emphasis on the surface, whether it resembles elements of nature, landscapes or clothing.

Duma’s range also includes a series of colourful plates featuring hand-painted artworks. “My art is inspired by social issues and everything happening around me,” says Duma. “It is a way of addressing my thoughts, which includes acknowledging the pivotal roles women play in our societies.”

To view more of Duma’s work, follow him on Instagram. For orders and questions, email Duma at