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September 27, 2011 Clementina

The month of October sees a wonderful Art in Clay Festival in Franschhoek with 6 galleries showing ceramics,as well as a pop-up shop, a ceramic craft market and a number of restaurants collaborating with the galleries serving food on wonderful ceramics. I am showing work at Ebony together with many other ceramic artists. This promises to be a very delightful festival!

Seventy-seven thousand years ago on a cold, wet and windy Western Cape winter’s day, a local potter was sheltering in her cave at Blombos on the south coast near Klein Kliphuis. She picked up a piece of clay-like ochre, and scratched on the surface an abstract rendering of the rain slashing down outside. This object survived and is the oldest known art work in the world!

Skilled potters are still creating objects out of clay, and this year there is to be a Ceramics Festival in Franschhoek: Art in Clay. From 1 to 30 October, local galleries will feature ceramics made by the cream of South African ceramic artists.

Special features include a Pottery Fair in the grounds of the beautiful Dutch Reformed Church on Saturday 29th October, and ‘pop-up’ Sunday lunches cooked by well-known Franschhoek chefs in the art galleries. These distinctive meals in inspiring surroundings are designed to showcase and promote the use of ceramic dinnerware made by Western Cape potters.

Throughout the month, the Cape Craft & Design Institute will show their Handmade Collection in the Gallery at Grande Provence, while the new Pierneef Art Gallery at La Motte wine estate will display an exhibition of historically significant pottery from the Rust-en-Vrede collection of CeramicsSA.

Other art galleries taking part are Artefact in Daniel Hugo Street, the Ceramics Gallery at 24 Dirkie Uys Street, Ebony in Huguenot Square, Grande Provence Art Gallery on Grande Provence estate, IS Art at Le Quartier Francais, and the La Motte Museum at La Motte wine estate.

Each gallery will show their own selection of ceramic artists, presenting different aspects of the art at each venue. This is a unique opportunity to appreciate South African ceramics – the affordable art works for lifelong, hands-on enjoyment.

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