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Ceramics in the Cape ~ Tour: Itinerary
NOTE: A repeat of this tour can be arranged.
To get an idea of scope and details, look over this 2014 tour
TUE NOV 11 / DAY 1 – CAPE TOWN
On arriving in Cape Town you’ll be met the airport and transferred to Winchester Mansions hotel to relax and unwind. In the late afternoon get together for an icebreaker with tour co-ordinators Terrice Bassler and Marion Ellis, before heading to the Rust-en-Vrede Clay Museum, an arts & culture centre in Durbanville.
Meet Ceramics Southern Africa’s guest and international ceramics icon Magdalene Odundo OBE at a seminal celebration of ceramics comprising the opening of an Anglo-Oriental exhibition Connecting Past To Present – a show of ‘master’ potters from across South Africa working in this tradition, as well as four retrospective exhibitions by Hyme Rabinowitz, Tim Morris, Esias Bosch and Bryan Haden, entitled National Treasures. Dinner is a celebratory get together with members of CSA, the official representative body of potters founded in 1972, whose members range from leading professionals to hobbyists.
WED NOV 12 / DAY 2 – CAPE TOWN
Full day exploring the striking natural beauty of the Cape Peninsula. Summit Table Mountain by cable car for a bird’s eye view of the city and Waterfront.
Travel along the spectacular Chapman’s Peak drive to Cape Point, one of the most dramatic view points anywhere on earth that overlooks the legendary meeting place of two oceans at the tip of Africa.
On the way there, interact with an initiative which up-skills previously unemployed to make sought-after ceramics. On the way back, stop off at a vibrant gallery in the picturesque seaside village of Kalk Bay, artfully assembled by a legendary craft maven. The evening is at your leisure.
THU NOV 13 / DAY 3 – CAPE TOWN
Visit The Castle of Good Hope, the country’s oldest building, to see the exhibition Fired that celebrates clay artistry from the archaeological past to the present, assembled by Iziko Museums of South Africa Special Collections curator, Esther Esmyol. Follow with a private tour of priceless porcelain on display at the Koopman’s de Wet museum, also in the Iziko stable.
Meet the owner of a sophisticated art & craft gallery that stocks quintessential African products over an informal lunch within the fashionable Cape Quarter. The remainder of the day is open for independent exploration in the heart of the city.
Suggestions are Greenmarket Square, Church Street, ‘the ‘Museum Mile’ a tree-lined boulevard that runs the length of The Company’s Garden, past the Houses of Parliament, SA Museum, SA National Gallery & SA Jewish Museum.
In the evening, join guest speaker Magdalene Odundo for the opening of Iziko Museums’ exhibit From African Earth at The Slave Lodge as part of festivities timed to coincide with the 2014 World Design Capital celebrations during Cape Town’s Ceramics Month.
FRI NOV 14 / DAY 4 – CAPE TOWN
Have a leisurely look around Woodstock, a fast-gentrifying neighbourhood where a medley of talented people showcase their wares in between cutting edge galleries and design studios. Interact with celebrated ceramicist Andile Dyalvane during a studio visit to his Imiso Ceramics♦.
♦Alternative parallel options: Remain within The Old Biscuit Mill complex or be dropped off in the Waterfront for an independent afternoon visit to Robben Island, a tangible reminder of the past and pivotal symbol of triumph of the human spirit.
In the early evening, you are invited to a private viewing of Sunday’s National Ceramics Exhibition by CSA, along with Magdalene Odundo, the award judges and select guests, followed by an informal supper together.
SAT NOV 15 / DAY 5 – CAPE TOWN
Take part in a workshop♦ given by Magdalene Odundo in collaboration with Ceramics SA (Western Cape) whose purpose is to foster the art and craft of ceramics in fields that add value to clay. Scheduled from 9.30 – 3.30 this will be followed by a light lunch with fellow participants.
♦Alternative parallel option is an excursion to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens.
In the evening enjoy a ”Taste safari – from Cape Town to Timbuktu” and live entertainment that celebrates the energy of Pan Africa with hand crafted puppets from Mali and Xhosa and Congolese dancers and singers.
SUN NOV 16 / DAY 6 – CAPE TOWN
Taking place in The Great Cellar, Alphen Estate, Constantia and opening at 11.00, The National Ceramics Exhibition is a bi-annual event that showcases the best work of CSA members, where Magdalene Odundo will present the prestigious Corobrik awards.
Also on show is The Legacy Exhibition that pays tribute to the work of the late Juliet Armstrong and the Ceramics Studios of University of KwaZulu Natal where she was professor – assembled by David Walters, with contributions by a number of graduates under Armstrong’s stewardship.
Mingle with ceramophiles, curators, collectors, and the curious, enjoying the conviviality, connections over a light lunch on the estate. The evening is at your leisure.
MON NOV 17 / DAY 7 – CAPE TOWN
First stroll around a rustic design centre that showcases a variety of leading craftspeople within working studios.
Then head for the hills, where you’ll lunch in a sylvan setting at Art in the Forest, a non profit studio that funds Light from Africa, an initiative which uplifts vulnerable children. The location is breathtaking, the building Bauhaus, the studio lofty, the participation stimulating.
In the afternoon, be bowled over at a workshop♦ alongside resident specialist Anthony Shapiro who’ll demonstrate big coil handwork. ♦Alternative excursion to the Constantia Valley vineyards, visiting some of the country’s oldest wine estates. Your last night in Cape Town is open.
TUES NOV 18 / DAY 8 –THE WINELANDS
Leave Cape Town, for a full day in the heart of the Winelands exploring classical and contemporary wineries and the historic town of Stellenbosch where you’ll glimpse some architectural gems among oak-lined streets.
Lunch among sculpture-filled gardens, before arriving in the picturesque town of Franschhoek. This name means ‘’French corner’’ because Huguenots fleeing from religious persecution settled here in 1688, bringing their customs and wine making expertise with them.
After settling in to a centrally located hotel, venture forth to immerse yourself in Franschhoek’s Art in Clay Festival. Link up with the locals – David Walters and family invite you to Roubaix House, their home / studio / gallery for an informal supper.
WED NOV 19 / DAY 09 – THE WINELANDS
After a leisurely start, assemble mid morning at Roubaix House for a hands-on day♦ where you’ll get fired for a ”fun, interactive and challenging day where you will get delightfully dirty”.
Masterminded by David Walters and Ian Garrett you’ll explore 2,000 years of South African cultural heritage via the traditional Zulu clay beer pot – the Ukhamba and make sense of its social significance.
They’ll bring together low technology and ceramic traditions that interconnect three continents, such as the Middle Eastern method of selective smoke firing and the Oriental Raku glaze (African pots are randomly pit fired without the use of decorative ‘resist’).
Participants will each work with the clay ‘resist’, decorating and smoke firing a small, thrown Ukhamba pot which has been Raku glazed, in a workshop that ponders the globalisation of ceramics. Once fired and cleaned up, your Ukhamba will be used in a ‘tea ceremony’, which could extend later to local wines!
♦Alternative parallel option is a tour of the valley and vineyards on a hop-on, hop-off Wine Tram. Dinner is open, with a choice of award-winning restaurants within easy access.
THU NOV 20 / DAY 10 – THE WINELANDS
Get a sense of gracious wine estates and unique Cape Dutch architecture that are scattered around the Winelands.
First up, wander over beguiling gardens based on the Dutch East India Company’s original layout that replenished passing ships with fresh food. At another, track stories that chronicle 8,000 years of people living in the valley, through colonialism, slavery and apartheid to the dawn of democracy.
Over lunch sample some indigenous specialities paired with local wines. Then, look around more traditional farm layouts, eclectic galleries and a dedicated collection of an iconic South African painter.
End the day with a farewell dinner in the heart of the village celebrating Art in Clay connections and newly-found friends.
FRI NOV 21 / DAY 11 – HOMEWARD JOURNEY/ ONWARD SAFARI OR EXTENSION
Depending on your schedule, you’ll be transferred to Cape Town airport for your home bound journey or onward connections.
Or you could stay on independently for the CSA Potters Market on Sat 22 November in Cape Town!
PS. See Rates & Dates for these two exciting options for ”locals”
The 7-day trip Cape Town based trip (days 1-7) precedes a 4-day Winelands based learning journey option (days 8-11).
You can sign up for a one day master class in Franschhoek with David Walters & Ian Garrett.