/ˌtɛrəˈkɒtə/ - earthenware

Material Journey: Clay - Germiston, Johannesburg - Processed and manufactured [-100km] - local

Representational of soil, clay, ceramic, traditional, global and hyperlocal, Reconsidered, Remember.

The terracotta quality of the Lydenburg Heads, made in 500 AD, reminds us of the life this material has had in South Africa. A material still interacted with on a daily basis from pots to bricks. Terracotta’s history is interesting because of its’ strong relevance and longevity in our nations context. South Africans have been working with terracotta for thousands of years. What interests me about terracotta is what its potential future looks like. From terracotta waste to producing with digital disruption, how can we relook at terracotta in a contemporary South African way. 

Slip casting the terracotta in a CNC’d mould I am able to question the materials versatility, leaning into its heat resistant properties to create a pendant light. Regenerating terracotta as a contemporary material is significant in my practice. The faceted form reflects the shards of broken terracotta tiles.
Terracotta preparation process.


Matthew Binary Edwards.

Founder and Designer of matte.

Johannesburg, South Africa.

matte is an experimental design studio from Johannesburg, focussed on designing with materials and processes in the South African context. Our approach to design is based on the concept of REIY (Recycle/redesign/reduce It Yourself) and MAKE DO, ways of working that push a variation of sustainable design in South Africa.

#nativematerial #design #lighting #restoration