Tag Archives: Ceramics

Summer 2022 at Bukkenburg

Season’s Greetings from Bukkenburg in Swellendam
Our Best wishes for 2023

Our interesting winter journey mentioned in the last newsletter has continued to provide ongoing interest and some drama into summer.

Malachite sunbird on a flowering Agapanthus.

The Swellendam Garden Expo and Open Gardens Weekend in early November was fantastic.

The organisation of the weekend was really superb and the event was so well supported by local residents and visitors to the town.  All gardens that were on the program and open reported a bigger than expected turnout.

Well done to all involved – organisers, those who presented workshops, The Gardener’s Market, and all the participating gardeners and their gardens.

We thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and we’re looking forward to all the preparations involved in getting our garden and studio ready for the open gardens next spring.

And also very importantly, as a fundraising effort, the weekend event raised a substantial sum for Swellendam SPCA.


The ongoing nation-wide power cuts have intensified recently and are causing such havoc throughout the country – affecting even us in our small home studio in rural Western Cape.

As mentioned in an earlier post, we need at least 14 hours of uninterrupted power to run the three phase fan on either of our oil kilns and the increased frequency of power cuts since the end of November means that it is just not possible.

We have an electrician working on a system right now to run the fan from our backup electricity supply and free ourselves from the ongoing power cuts on the national grid.

It’s taking longer than we hoped and is further complicated by the difficulties of getting things done in the service industry during the end of year pressures.


Here’s hoping that the kiln will be in operation again very soon.
We’ll begin with the restart of an interrupted firing from a few weeks ago when it had to be shut down due to a sudden increase in the frequency and duration of the power cuts.

The power situation in the country has become untenable and we’re having to resort to extreme and very expensive measures along with everyone else to try and remain afloat.

Streaky-headed seedeater (canary) enjoying new season sunflowers in the garden.


There have also been disruptions in our fuel supply recently and it’s now very difficult getting paraffin locally. We have been using paraffin to fire the kilns since moving here in 1996.

Thanks to a suggestion from a friend on Facebook, we have been able to buy Jet A1 at the local flying club as an alternative; it is essentially paraffin with some additives.

Filling our cans with Jet A1 fuel at the airfield with Michael. That is Jacob Streicher filling the cans.


Glazing and decorating continues in anticipation of the power supply to the kiln being sorted and several glaze firings to come.

As soon as things stabilise our outstanding commissions and orders will be fired and we will again have a refreshed display of new work in our gallery at the studio.

Thank you to all who are waiting for pots from us for your patience and understanding!


Our most recent adventure appeared on the morning of Saturday 17 December when we went into the studio and found that it had been flooded during the big rain that had fallen overnight.

On further inspection we found that the brick wall between us and our neighbour had come down during the heavy rain and the water that came in behind it had washed through the studio leaving a deposit of fine silt throughout.

Thankfully there is no further damage to work in progress or the building, just a mess to clear up, which is almost done now, and re-building the wall in the new year.

The collapsed wall at the back of the studio.


Swellendam – On The Way To Everywhere

For the past few years Swellendam has been without an organised, co-ordinated tourism plan or strategy, and we appreciate what is being done by several hard working individuals in their efforts to keep the profile of the town and region visible and prominent.

The Cottage

Our self-catering guest cottage, shown above, is available for an overnight stay or longer.
Details and pictures on the ‘Accommodation Page’ Click Here


The studio and gallery will be open and working throughout the holidays and beyond, and visitors are always welcome.
Please call ahead if travelling from afar, we’re hoping for an occasional outing to the beach if time and weather allow.

“May you be surrounded by friends and family, and if this is not your lot, may the blessings find you in your solitude.”
~ Leonard Cohen ~


With our very best wishes for the festive season and 2023

David and Felicity
Bukkenburg – December 2022

Mobile & WhatsApp: +27 (0) 82 342 5453
E-mail: david@pottery.co.za


Please visit and ‘like’ our various Social Media pages:
Facebook Studio Page
Facebook – Bukkenburg Pottery
Facebook Accommodation Page
Facebook – David

Strauss & Co Valuation Day in Swellendam

Strauss & Co Valuation Day in Swellendam – A wonderful opportunity for local residents and visitors.

The Strauss & Co Valuation Day in Swellendam will held at Bukkenburg Pottery  Friday 10 June 2016

strauss & co at bukkenburg

Strauss & Co, Valuation Day In Swellendam

June 2016

Strauss & Co Valuation Day in Swellendam

Specialists from Strauss & Co will be in Swellendam for obligation-free valuations for one day only – Friday 10 June.

Do you know what your art and antiques are worth ?

Specialists from Strauss & Co will be visiting East London, Grahamstown, Port Elizabeth, Knysna, Swellendam and Hermanus  in June to conduct obligation-free valuations of paintings, sculpture, silver, and Chinese porcelain.

Strauss & Co, South Africa’s premier auction house, is currently sourcing consignments of art and antiques ahead of their October auction in Cape Town.

Strauss & Co is the global market leader for South African art. They have sold nine of the ten most expensive paintings ever sold at auction in South Africa and hold records for numerous South African artists. Last year Strauss & Co set 21 new artist records and boasts a sell-through rate, by lot and value combined, of over 80% the highest in the market. Strauss & Co also holds records for Cape and English silver and Cape and Continental furniture.

Strauss & Co experts travel the country regularly sourcing top quality art and antiques for inclusion in their prestigious auctions held in Cape Town and Johannesburg. There is great excitement when they discover rare and interesting pieces destined to achieve unexpectedly high prices at auction.

Some fabulous finds by experts on the move include:

  • Vladimir Tretichoff’s Sunflowers found in Petermaritzburg in February of this year sold for R1 705 200 at the recent Strauss & Co Johannesburg Auction on 23 May 2016.

Vladimir Tretchikoff - 360 x 360. Strauss & Co Valuation Day in Swellendam

Vladimir Tretchikoff – 360 x 360. Strauss & Co Valuation Day in Swellendam

  • Penny SiopisCake Tapers was discovered in Natal and sold in June 2014 for R280 000.

Penny Siopis - Cake Tapers. Strauss & Co Valuation Day in Swellendam

Penny Siopis – Cake Tapers. Strauss & Co Valuation Day in Swellendam

  • Anton van Wouw’s Bad News sold in 2010 for R2.2 million, setting a world record for the artist which was only broken in 2015 by Strauss & Co when Miner With Hand Drill sold for R4.8 million.

Bad News - Anton van Wouw. Strauss & Co Valuation Day in Swellendam

Bad News – Anton van Wouw. Strauss & Co Valuation Day in Swellendam

Strauss & Co specialists are highly respected for their expertise, professionalism and in-depth knowledge of the market, which allows them to give accurate, market-related estimates. Senior Furniture and Decorative Arts Specialist, Vanessa Phillips, and Art Specialists, Kirsty Colledge and Alex Richards, will be providing valuations of paintings, sculpture, silver, and Chinese porcelain.

The cost is R20 per item, limited to a maximum of 5 items per person.

The proceeds raised during the valuation day in Swellendam will be donated to Swellendam SPCA.


Vanessa Phillips is the joint Managing Director of Strauss & Co specialising in decorative arts, furniture, silver and porcelain. She has worked in this field for three decades alongside her former colleague and friend the late Stephan Welz.

Kirsty Colledge is a specialist in South African paintings, watercolours, drawings, prints and sculpture. Her academic background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts, majoring in painting, from Michaelis School of Fine Arts and a Postgraduate Diploma in Enterprise Management from the University of Cape Town in 2009. She has worked in the Paintings Department at Strauss & Co, Cape Town, since 2011.

Alexander Richards is also a specialist in South African paintings, watercolours, drawings, prints and sculpture. He completed his Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts degree at Wits University and was the winner of the prestigious Martienssen Prize for artistic excellence, as well as the Anya Millman scholarship for overseas travel.  He joined Strauss & Co in 2014 and has readily embraced the auction world.

Take advantage of Strauss & Co‘s experts being in town, you never know what surprises may be in store.  And at R20 per item, this is a wonderful opportunity to have some of your precious possessions appraised by recognised experts.  Proceeds of the day will be going to Swellendam SPCA.  Tea and coffee will be available.

Bina Genovese
083 680 9944



Date and Time Place Contact for appointment Beneficiary

6 June 2016




East London


Ann Bryant Art Gallery


9 St Mark Rd, East London

Leon du Preez


043 722 4044


Friends of the Ann Bryant Art Gallery

7 June 2016







The Observatory Museum


Bathurst Street, Grahamstown


Amy van Wezel


046 622 2312



Friends of the Albany Museum

8 June 2016




Port Elizabeth


Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum


1 Park Dr, Port Elizabeth

Roxanne Bowers


041 506 2000



Friends of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum



9 June 2016






The Knysna Library


Main Street, Memorial Square, Knysna

Strauss & Co


021 683 6560



Friends of the Knysna Library



10 June 2016






Bukkenburg Pottery


8 Hermanus Steyn Street , Swellendam


Strauss & Co


021 683 6560



Swellendam SPCA

14 June 2016


10am – 4pm




The Marine Hotel


Marine Drive, Hermanus

Michelle van Zyl


082 5653 627


Camphill School Hermanus


About Strauss & Co:

Strauss & Co is South Africa’s leading auction house by value. It was founded in 2009 by a consortium of business leaders and industry experts, including Stephan Welz, Elisabeth Bradley, Conrad Strauss, Vanessa Phillips, Ann Palmer and Bina Genovese.

The company has the highest market share amongst the three leading auction houses specialising in South African art globally. In 2015 the company’s turnover surpassed R200 million – a sum unrivaled by any auction house dealing in South African art in a single year.