Astrid Dahl

Astrid lives on a smallholding in Nottingham Road, KwaZulu Natal with her husband, her children, several dogs and cats, chickens, pigeons and fish. Her appreciation of her natural environment- rolling green hills, big blue skies, gorgeous sunrises and all that comes with country life, reveals itself in the beautiful forms she creates. 

Astrid’s love of working with clay and creating forms began at the Technikon Natal when she met her ceramics lecturer, Hendrik Stroebel in 1995. Astrid recalls, ‘Hennie has always been a great inspiration to his students. His love of form and design continues to inspire me to this day. He encouraged us to explore and create, using clay as a visual language. I recall one particular occasion when a group of Zulu women came in to teach us the traditional method of coiling clay — that was when I truly found my vocabulary.”

She graduated in 1999 with a degree in Fine Art. Together with two friends, she moved to Nottingham Road, in the Midlands of KwaZulu Natal, to take up work in a bronze casting foundry. There she crossed paths with the well-respected designer Neville Trickett, who introduced her to the botanical photography of Karl Blossfeldt (1865-1932). This was a pivotal encounter which sparked an evolution in her journey with clay. Taking her cue from Blossfeldt’s monochromatic prints, she decided to work with white and black clay, as she saw it as creating a pure canvas for light and dark to “shape” the piece.

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