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What makes the pottery from South Africa so unique?

Julian Keysers popular ceramics series Funky AfricaJulian Keyser ceramics is known now far beyond the borders of South Africa and has found many connaisseurs also in Europe.

But what makes the pottery so unique?

Is it because the ceramics is

  • so colourful?
  • dishwasher safe?
  • microwave safe?

This may all be good reasons. But did you know, for example, that 12 people in South Africa have worked on the product you soon may hold in your hands - just to make you enjoy its beauty?

It is clearly the handiwork and the love for the product which makes coffee mugs by Julian Keyser so different from a ceramic mug from an assembly line in China.

We had the chance to take a look around in South Africa and would like to give you an overview of the ceramic production on this page.

Plates and bowls are made in formsCups are turned by hand

 

The manufacture by Julian Keyser in Bredasdorp uses only best clay from the Eastern Cape for their ceramics.

Enriched with water the mass is filled in forms for bowls or plates, coffee mugs are turned by hand.

 

Each handle is individually shaped and attached by handEach Cup is so unique

After the turning of the cups a handle is individually manufactured and attached by hand for each cup. So it can take quite a while until enough mugs have been made.

Gross errors are detected and eliminated in the quality controlEvery article is checked after the production during the quality control. Gross error or improper processings are detected and eliminated during this step.

Smaller bumps, however, are the unmistakable proof that these products are made in pure manual work.

Many hardworking artists decorate the pottery by hand

 

Sometimes even a porcupine quill is used for decoratingWhich customer may enjoy this cup in a few weeks?Many artists are awaiting the articles then, to decorate them with much creativity and love.

 

 

And because nature often enough is better than technology, it can even be a porcupine quill to draw fine lines and notches.

 

 

Much intuition is required for this activity.

The South Africans love to unleash their creativity.

The creativity of the locals in the decoration of the products is indescribable. As well as the dexterity. Because the products are all painted freehand.

The ceramic painting requires a steady hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the painting the pottery is put in the kilnAfter the painting and decorating of the ceramics, it is burned in one of the kilns. And again, this is very time consuming, because a ceramic mug, a plate or a bowl needs to remain in the kiln usually abount one week.

Up to one week the pottery must remain in the kilnBecause the kiln must be carefully brought on temperature - and also getting cooled down slowly, so that the glazes don´t crack.

 

Also this in South Africa often poses a challenge. Because the power supply is not always stable and often the power fails or is switched off. Therefore also the burning of ceramics is always quite time-consuming.

 

 

We are pleased we could learn on the spot, how much work and love has been put in the production of every single cup or dish. And we are pleased that we may again support a great manufactory and its employees in South Africa with the ceramic series Julian´s - now available at Africa-Shop24.com!

Look forward towards the wonderful Julian Keyser ceramics - manufactured for you by up to 12 South Africans!