Menck was born in Durban. She obtained a BA (Fine Arts) (cum laude) from the University of Stellenbosch in 1990; an Advanced Diploma in Fine Art (painting) from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, at the University of Cape Town in 1991; an MA (Fine Arts) (painting) from the University of Stellenbosch and Post-graduate studies in 1998 from the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Dresden, Germany. She now lives and works in and between Piketberg and Moorreesburg in the Cape Province.
Pot and blue enamel bath was painted in Dresden, where Clare sourced these objects with difficulty in an East German city, already almost flawlessly ‘tidied up’ after the fall of the wall. She explains that her homesickness made her find and handpick these found objects to paint during her postgraduate studies abroad. Both are examples of domestic ware that were commonly in use in Germany as well as in South Africa in the past and have long since become redundant and discarded (even in the poorest of households) as fashions and lifestyles changed.