I was born in East London in 1956, and moved to Johannesburg in 1965. I studied Ballet from the age of 4 and danced professionally with PACT Ballet and CAPAB Ballet for seven years. It was in Cape Town that I met and married my husband of 43 years, Paul Slabolepszy. We have three grown-up children. In 1999, I embarked on a Fine Art Degree as a mature student and, in 2002, obtained my B.Tech Fine Art from Wits Technikon, majoring in painting, specifically oils. At the end of my 3rd year I received recognition as Most Outstanding Student.
Art is part of my life in many ways – I am a qualified Art teacher, often taking groups of students away for Artists Retreats. I love sewing and quilting and creating original mosaics. In 2004 I had the privilege of working with Carol Hofmeyr in Hamburg in the Eastern Cape, sewing and facilitating the first of six 20 metre long sections of the Keiskamma Tapestry. This magnificent tapestry is embroidered by women from the community of Hamburg and portrays highlights in the history of the Xhosa people in the Eastern Cape.
I have always had a special love for clay and sculpting and, towards the end of 2011, began making life-size hares out of clay. So began My Hares and Graces, a project that has grown into a life-changing enterprise. The animals are ‘pieces of me’ and are making themselves at home in South Africa and the rest of the world.
The concept of 'Each One Employ One' has always resonated with me - the idea that if everyone who could possibly manage it, employed one other person then we would all be a whole lot better off. This is more important now, than ever before. When I first started My Hares and Graces I worked alone in my studio, but as the business grew I knew I needed a second pair of hands, and I was very lucky to meet Petrus Daluka.
Petrus is an incredible man. Helpful, reliable, utterly dependable, and hugely talented.
When I met him he was already an expert mould maker - it was Petrus (many years ago) who made the mould and casts of the Mrs Ples skull which now sit in museums all around the world. Once I've created a new animal in clay, Petrus takes over and produces the moulds that will create each individual animal that we send out into the world. His amazing help and experience and our excellent working relationship enables me to spend more time creating new designs and keep my loyal customers happy.
Get It - August 2018
Get It - June 2017
Fairlady - August 2014
SA Homeowners - August 2013
Home Magazine - August 2013
Women and Home Magazine
David Batzofin's blog article
Home Magazine - February 2013
CondeNast - June 2013
Cambalele on Top Billing SABC 3 - 15 Jan 2013
Lééf Magazine - Spring 2020