I’m excited to introduce a new series called Visits to the blog, a collaboration between myself and furniture creator extraordinaire Monya Eastman of Stokperd. you’ll remember Monya from all the fabulous things she has made me since we met a few years ago – including Peggy, Megan (yes, they are named after Mad Men characters) and my rad office desk.
Monya has a great eye for beautiful things, and while she’s running around Cape Town attending to her furniture business – and sourcing things for her new home – she comes across many talented people, spaces and stories. so we’ve decided to combine our resources to bring you these stories, and give you an insight into the great people of our city.
Our first Visit is with Clementina van der Walt, a renowned South African potter who has been creating ceramics for 3 decades. Her work is in several South African national collections, and has been featured in many international ceramic art shows. my personal favourite pieces are from the beautiful Wabi Sabi range – inspired by Japan, with an African interpretation.
Words: Monya Eastman
Stepping inside Clementina van der Walt’s ceramic studio is like walking into my own living dream: a massive 5th floor workspace in Woodstock, flanked by a row of floor to ceiling windows with columns of light streaming in; and a view of Cape Town all the way to the harbour, with the mountain peeking out just around the corner.
The studio feels like a living being, made up of the most primal elements, earth, fire, clay, and a kiln steadily baking away at the hand sculpted pieces that Clementina creates. And there is more life in every corner, the sunny window ledge is home to a collection of vetplantjies, many which started out as cuttings from her house in Calitzdorp. Sigh.
Although her ceramics are being sold in big retailers like the Conran Shop in London, Clementina still makes everything herself and no two hand crafted items are ever the same. As a maker; she feels a revolt against mass produced “soul-less” things and therefore has a hand in every item that leaves the studio. Chatting with her and partner Albie over a cup of coffee, we talk about small towns, the making process and life in general, and I can see that this space is a reflection of its unique & generous owners.
Clementina works from her studio in Woodstock along with her assistants Muriel, Adonis and Sandile. To view her work in person you can visit Kim Sacks in JHB, her shop at the Biscuit Mill in Cape Town or book a visit to the studio, a truly magical place. You can also buy her ceramics at her online shop.