Whether looking for a hobby, a new way to socialise, or even a possible career change, a dabble in the creative arts is sure to bring a new perspective to your life. Benn van der Westhuizen took a look at ways to unleash his inner creative at some of the best dedicated arts and craft studios around Cape Town and the Winelands.
CERAMIC PAINTING AT THE CLAY CAFE
The Clay Cafe is a family-run ceramic painting venue and restaurant, situated on a beautiful farm in the valley of Hout Bay. Despite being ravaged by a fire earlier this year which destroyed much of the property, The Clay Cafe’s main painting area, restaurant and playground were unaffected and, much to the delight of their many fans, are still able to operate as normal.
At The Clay Cafe, participants can choose from a vast array of ready made bisqueware to paint and decorate while enjoying something to eat and drink off the menu. All food is made from scratch every day, and often includes fresh produce from the kitchen garden. Once the artistic urge and the stomach are both satisfied, all items are left with the team at The Clay Cafe to be fired and glazed, a process that takes three weeks. When convenient, you can swing by to pick up your new set of cups and saucers, or your vase, or piggy bank, to take home or bestow as a very special handmade gift.
Upcoming events: The Clay Cafe hosts a painting evening once a month. The evening is open to adults of all creative skills, and is the perfect excuse to catch up with friends and enjoy a relaxing evening of painting, hearty ‘home cooked’ style dinner options and an array of boutique wines.
Location: Clay Cafe, 4080 Main Rd (opposite Bokkemanskloof Estate), Hout Bay
Times: Open 9am to 5pm daily (last booking for painting at 3pm) | Duration of each booking is 2.5 hours
Cost: R40 studio fee; bisqueware to paint R30 – R300
CERAMIC CLASSES AT THE CRAFTER’S CORNER
Cultural crafts such as ceramics, pottery, basketry and woodwork are a part of our diverse heritage in South Africa, and it is through such artistic crafts that The Crafter’s Corner at The Shed aims to bring meaning and value into people’s otherwise mundane or disadvantaged lives. Alongside its multi-faceted community work, the Crafter’s Corner aims to inject a little joy and fun into life with its ceramics classes every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. The venue is set in nature, which makes for relaxing classes in a safe and beautiful environment, where the croaking frogs and soothing music accompany the creativity atmosphere.
Classes are open to beginners as well as advanced students, and include all materials. Students are facilitated by Ian Pells, an award-winning ceramicist who has years of experience in teaching ceramics and design. So let your inner creative out for a bit and learn how to make pots, vases, candlestick holders, mugs, plates, bird feeders and more.
Location: The Shed, Santa Rd, Stellenbosch
Times: Tues, Wed & Thurs 4pm to 6pm & 6pm to 8pm
Cost: R250 / class or R1 600 for 8 sessions (incl. all basic materials and firing)
POTTERY CLASSES AT CK RAMICS
Whether you want simply decorate some pottery for fun, or delve deep into the intricacies of ceramic-making, CK Ramics has you covered. Since opening their first shop and pottery painting studio in 2017, CK Ramics offers walk-in pottery painting sessions as well as regular monthly pottery classes.
The Painting Studio and Shop offers a large variety of items to paint to suit all budgets. No experience is needed, and all ages are welcome. The process is as easy as walking into the store, choosing an item from the shelf, and painting it. Groups are strongly advised to book in advance.
For those more serious about improving their pottery skills, CK Ramics offer pottery classes for all experience levels, aged 18 and up. Classes are kept small to ensure individual attention, and students work at their own pace and are encouraged to explore their creativity and own designs. Start with a 1 to 3 month introductory course, which covers basic hand-building methods and decoration
Upcoming Events: CK Ramics hosts once-off pottery making workshops every other month. The next experience takes place on 25 August. Make sure to keep an eye out for future dates.
Location: 17 High St, Bella Rosa, Rosenpark, Bellville
Times: Pottery painting sessions – Mon-Fri 9.30am to 4.30pm; Sat 9am to 4.30pm | Weekday & Sat class schedule on enquiry
Cost: Weekday classes R600 / month | Saturday classes R640 / month | Pottery painting sessions between R25 and R450
JEWELLERY MAKING CLASSES AT FIREPETALS
Impress your family and friends by learning how to make your own jewellery at Firepetals, a Cape Town-based jewellery design studio that specialises in unique, contemporary and handmade jewellery.
Firepetals offers jewellery-making classes, ranging from beginners to advanced level, to students who want to explore their own creative ideas. Classes are small and hands-on, and once the basic jewellery-making techniques have been mastered, the Firepetals team guides students through the design and crafting of individual pieces.
Three evening and two morning classes are offered per week, with private classes available on request. Firepetals also hosts monthly Saturday workshops for beginners. Students arrive with no experience at all and go home with a sterling silver ring, or set of stack rings, that they have made themselves. Workshops are fast-paced and loads of fun. All materials, tools and refreshments are supplied – all you have to bring is yourself and your creativity.
Upcoming Events: Firepetals hosts its next ‘All in a Day’ monthly workshop on Saturday 18 August, in which participants create their own set of sterling silver stack rings in just one day. No experience is needed, and all materials are provided.
Location: 59 Roodebloem Rd, Woodstock
Times: Classes – Mon, Tue & Wed 6pm to 9pm; Tue & Wed 10am to 1pm | Workshops – One Saturday / month 10am to 3.30pm
Cost: All in a Day workshop R1 750 | Class fees R1 100 / month for 4/5 classes
LEARN TO PAINT AT LIFEART STUDIO
Many of us suppress a desire to express ourselves, citing a lack of time, knowhow or professional advice. LifeArt School exists to tackle just this problem.
Armed with a BA (FA Hons), a diploma in teaching and many years experience in teaching adults Leonie E. Brown has helped to develop various young artists into full-time selling artists since LifeArt’s inception back in 2004.
LifeArt School and studio is a wholly independent art school based in central Durbanville, offering a wide range of art courses to a very diverse group of participants. Alongside the longer courses (eg the one year Learn to Paint course) it offers life drawing and painting evening classes, weekend and two-day Art Workshops. The aim is for participants to immerse themselves in the process of painting and drawing to discover a personal interpretation of colour, application of marks, surface texture and balance. Prospective students can start at any time within the year, as each student gets treated and taught on an individual basis. Courses are suitable for beginners and experienced artists alike, and provide a fun, immersive social experience, with personal coaching and tuition from Brown – just bring an apron and a big smile.
Upcoming Events: LifeArt School hosts themed regular 2-day workshops, with the next one being ‘Contemporary Palette Knife Portrait Painting’ (31 Jul & 1 Aug), followed by ‘Paint like van Gogh’ (25 & 26 Sep). Keep an eye on the LifeArt website to find out about upcoming workshops.
Location: De Villiers Drive, Durbanville
Times: Mon class 6pm to 9pm | Fri class 9.30am to 12.30pm | Selected Sat art class 9.30am to 12.30pm
Cost: Mon & Fri classes R980 for 4 lessons (1 / week) | Selected Saturdays R490 for 2 lessons (2 / month)