If you ever wondered what the big deal with clay ceramics is, watch the movie Ghost (1990). Trust us. But failing that, throw yourself (plus a group of friends) at an experience at any of the country’s many Clay Cafés, and you’ll see just how much fun it is to spend an afternoon or evening painting pottery, accompanied by delicious wine, food, and music. Even better, you’ll emerge from the experience with a keepsake you can use!
At Clay Café – Hout Bay & Bree Street, Cape Town | The Red Barn, Olifantsfontein | Lone Hill & Hyde Park, Johannesburg | and more—the mission is to teach adults and kids to express their creativity and learn a new skill. You begin by choosing from a vast range of unfired bisque pieces, from mugs, plates, and serving bowls to espresso cups, pots and more. Then, under the watchful eye and guidance of an experienced craftsperson, you’ll paint that piece (or pieces) to be uniquely yours. Once you’re satisfied, you’ll leave your creation behind to be fired and glazed, to be collected at a later time.
The studio fee (usually about R40 pp) covers the cost of the paints, tools, firing, and glazing process, with an additional amount of R55 to R380 depending on the size and shape of the item you intend to paint. Each café has a slightly different offering; for example, Clay Café in Bree Street, Cape Town, leans more towards adults, particularly in the evenings, while Hout Bay is more family and kid-centric with its impressive playground. For all establishments, bookings are advised.