”sootcookie ceramics,” derives its name from the Afrikaans word meaning “sweet biscuit.” The name reflects that this quirky range is “baked” in a kiln and draws inspiration from South Africa’s diverse visual landscape. Based at the Old Biscuit Mill in Cape Town, sootcookie was started in 2009 by Tanya Laing. A Michaelis School of Fine Art graduate, Laing specialised in sculpture.
Sootcookie ceramics offers a sculptural range which includes individual hand finished pieces, as well as a functional range linked by common themes and imagery.
On the sculptural side, sootcookie ceramics has created a quirky range of characters called the “sootcookie animals” including the bears, rabbits, buck and owls. Each formed and decorated to create individual personalities and narratives, their disarming nature giving way to subtle themes. In this range are “boxing gloves”,” high top sneakers”,” paper jets” and “horney hearts” which play with and contrast the materiality and function of these objects, with the addition of traditional elements such as gold lustre and graphic transfers, re - contextualising them to create something fragile and precious.
The functional ware includes various ranges of “picnic” or “braai” ware which includes slip cast “paper plates” “polystyrene cups”, “take- away boxes” and “tinfoil trays.” These throw-away objects usually mass produced are made precious and re-useable. Themes such as floral delft prints found in elegant traditional ceramics are transferred onto these commonplace objects. A playful option to this is “the vintage beach range”.
The “Magies vol oogies toe” or “Owl” range is a play on the “coat of arms” traditionally displayed on ceramic plates in homes or badges on the chest, reflecting identity and idealistic allegiance. The “magies vol oogies toe” coat of arms is derivative of the Afrikaans idiom meaning once your tummy is full your eyes will close.