ENTER A WORLD OF ENCHANTMENT BY EXPLORING THE QUIRKY, CERAMIC SCULPTURES RENDERED BY TANYA FROM SOOTCOOKIE, FOR WHICH THE ROAD TO INDEPENDENCE WAS A ROCKY, HARD AND RATHER FIERY ONE!
As the second of five girls, Tanya was born in Johannesburg in 1981. With her father being a musician, the family was constantly travelling. When she turned six her father reduced his workload, and even though they decided to stay in Johannesburg permanently, they still lived as nomads. By the end of Tanya’s school career she had attended the grand sum of eleven schools. The last was boarding at the National School of Arts.
Drawing, painting and working with a variety of materials had always captivated Tanya. On graduating from school in 1999, she moved to Cape Town to attend the Michaelis School of Fine Arts, where she majored in sculpture in her third year. Her strong interest in ceramics was born during the making of her honours exhibition in 2004, which included video art, and sculpture pieces in various mediums including ceramics. Tanya found a position as a studio and teacher assistant for a well know sculptor and had the opportunity to learn the infinite possibilities of processing this fascinating medium. It was at about this time when her success story really started. After 3 years of invaluable experience, it was time to take the plunge, invest in tools and equipment and start working on her own creations.
A STUDIO IN RUINS
The first collection was ready to be launched at the 2009 Design Indaba. Disastrously, a short circuit in the kiln prevented this from happening. The whole studio burnt down with the collection left in ashes. With the remains of a sooty mold and sufficient insurance, Tanya had to start from the very beginning and only landed up presenting her collection one year later. She was, however, also left with the perfect name for her company: Sootcookie Ceramics. Many expos and exhibitions and a lot of hard work later her products were introduced into the market. Slowly, but surely, local and international retailers started taking great interest in Tanya’s magical creatures. Nowadays, Sootcookie has regular features in design and interior magazines and is listed in all the right boutiques.
HAND PAINTED CREATIONS
Five years down the line and Sootcookie is all grown up, and creativity is running strong. Even though the brand has grown successfully and she has a well-located studio and gallery, it is very important for her to stay true to the explorative path she has made for herself, with the help of her team of four dedicated staff.