Artfully plated

The work of Walter Battiss, South Africa’s foremost abstract painter, has found a new expression on ceramics by Mervyn Gers who tells us about the project.
Posted 19 Dec 13 By Design Indaba Craft Creative Work / Design News Comments

How did the Battiss project come about?

The Walter Battiss Company saw my work at the 2013 Design Indaba Expo and they asked if I would be interested in getting involved in the project.

How were the images to be transferred to your ceramics selected?

The Walter Battiss Company selected the images and we went through them to see which ones would work best on the two objects, a platter and a bowl, chosen for the series.

What was the creative process of reinterpreting it for ceramic?

We had to do to a lot of experimentation to get the colours as close as possible to the original ones Battiss used. It was also a process to get the transfers to fit on the large round platter (470mm in diameter) and the large bowl (400mm in diameter).

What was it like working with Battiss' iconic work?

I have always loved Battiss’ work and am still very excited about the project as I think the images work very well on ceramics. They are really beautiful and it is a privilege to have the opportunity to get them to realise them on the objects.

Do you have a personal favourite?

No I don’t have a personal one but there are about six of the seventeen we’ve made so far, I absolutely love.

When will the range be officially launched?

There will be a big launch of 23 different designs at Design Indaba Expo 2014. The designs are limited to 200 of each on a platter and a plate. The range is also available at the Dorpstraat Gallery in Stellenbosch, my shop on the corner of Church and Loop Street, Cape Town or online at