Ceramics Southern Africa turns 40

For four decades, Ceramics Southern Africa (CSA) has been a guardian of the art of ceramics in Southern Africa, striving to ensure that ceramics produced in the country are of high quality, and to encourage public interest in the art.

Throwing on the potter's wheel at The Pottery Studio

One of the ways CSA does so is by offering workshops from time to time to which non-members are invited. Coming up is a full-day Alternate Firing workshop at Tshwane South College, Centurion in July. The cost to non-CSA members is R400 and booking is essential through the CSA office (call +27 (0)11 791 5153).

As well as these workshops, many ceramists who are members of CSA offer lessons and workshops at their studios, or hold open studios so the public can see what the art involves.

Sharon Mitrie, whose studio is at the Garden Route Nursery in Equestria, Pretoria, offers various workshops for those interested in pottery. Sharon makes objects d’art that participants can paint and take home the same day, or a functional object can be painted that has to be fired and collected in three days.

For a more in-depth experience, Sharon offers classes where students can make their own coil pot or make a pot on the potter’s wheel, paint it, and collect it in two weeks. Sharon also has her own creations on display in the studio available for purchase. Her studio is adjacent to a sculpture garden populated by Chris Coetzee’s stone and granite sculptures, and a nursery where one can enjoy indigenous plants while children play on the jungle gym. For more information contact Sharon on +27 (0)73 365 5155.

Tagines created by Anne Rimbault

The Kim Sacks Gallery is a Gauteng attraction well worth seeing. Kim is passionate about the “craft of clay”, as she calls it, and offers a variety of creative workshops and classes at her studio in Bellevue East, Johannesburg. These include regular classes and occasional weekend workshops where she guides students in exploring the many aspects of working with clay. Contact Kim on +27 (0)83 377 7499 for more information.

Once a month, Anne Rimbault holds fun and relaxing Saturday Workshops. During these workshops the participant paints a ready-made piece of bisc-ware, and spends some time on the potter’s wheel. Anne’s studio is well known for its unique tagines, which are sold on arrangement, and Anne’s rhino-inspired pottery. 50% of the proceeds from each rhino-inspired piece are donated to rhino protection. You can contact Anne on +27 (0)11 886 2976.

The CSA chairwoman, Colleen Lehmkuhl, also offers lessons and workshops at her studio in Bryanston. Colleen offers the opportunity to create bowls using the potter’s wheel and teaches participants various handwork techniques. For more information, phone Colleen on +27 (0)73 481 0889.

The 2012 Corobrik National Ceramics Exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum in Arcadia from 7 to 21 October will be celebrating the association’s 40th anniversary this year. 

Next year in March, CSA will be holding the Clay Festival at the Berario Recreation Centre near Cresta Shopping Centre, where there will be loads of workshops, a trade hall and a restaurant. Colleen describes this as “great fun and the highlight of our calendar every second year.”

Rhino pot created by Anne Rimbault
The working space at Sharon Mitrie's studio

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