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Lady Kwali was a pottery and ceramics artist with an international following. Lady Kwali was born in Kwali, Nigeria in the year 1925. Lady Kwali is perhaps the most famous potter that hails from Nigeria.

Lady Kwali started out producing functional jugs and water carriers using the traditional coil method. In her region of the country vessels were fired using whatever local vegetation you could find.

The artist’s work was seen in many of the high level government officials houses. As fate would have it Michael Cardew, the newly appointed charge of the government who started a pottery training school in Abuja, saw the work of Lady Kwali and offered her a position in his academy. (Cardew is the gentleman in the first picture with Lady Kwali.)

Kwali was the first female artist to attend this school. Here she learned traditional glazing techniques and how to fire objects at high temperatures for long periods of time using the kiln.

Below a great documentary featuring the story of Lady Kwali:

Price range information: Sorry none available.

The artist appears on the Nigerian 20 Bill.

Lady Kwali passed away in 1984.

Below we view an appraisal of a work that appeared on the Antiques Roadshow:


Lady Kwali was made an M.B.E. (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in 1962.

Her works are in many museums worldwide.

This artist was a wonderful combination of western and African art. Many works contained elements of both traditional kiln firing and using the local techniques and local vegetation. Her works were truly one of a kind!

I think more artists should appear on money rather than politicians!