Tag Archives: Open Day

Potter’s Lunch & Spring Open Studio 2020

Bukkenburg Pottery Studio, Gallery & Guest Cottage, Swellendam

Sunset at Bukkenburg in early spring.

Welcome to Bukkenburg Pottery Studio, Swellendam.

In truly strange times – a year like no other ..!

Along with everyone else on the planet, we are slowly and very cautiously beginning to emerge into a different kind of world after more than five months living under various levels of government enforced Covid-19 ‘Lockdown’

We have been deeply affected by the extent of suffering and destruction that this ‘Global Pandemic’ has brought to the world in which we all live, and we are grateful to have made it through the winter, and relieved to see and feel signs of spring with its new growth.

Our sincere thanks and appreciation to all who have in one or other way supported our efforts over the pasts few months.
Your support for our work has helped us to sustain ourselves during the months when the studio had to be closed.

There are those who bought pots from us online, others whose ordered and commissioned work, both large and small, has provided great encouragement and hope for the immediate post ‘lockdown’ period.

The ordered work is in process of glazing and decorating in preparation for several glaze firings.

Felicity at the entrance to the studio with a group of big wheel-thrown stoneware Amphorae made for De Trafford Wines in Stellenbosch.


And, as if the Coronavirus Pandemic and government enforced lockdown is not enough, once again the country is in the grip of ongoing nation-wide electricity power cuts.
Recently we’ve been experiencing up to three cuts a day, with each lasting up to 2 ½ hours.
We don’t know how long it will go on like this, and trying to dodge these bouts of what’s called ‘loadshedding’ really plays havoc with any ideas that we may have of getting any consistent work done at the moment.


It is heartening to feel the beginnings of the return of visitors to the town, we’ve had some encouraging early spring bookings in the cottage, and we’re experiencing a slow but steady stream of visitors to the gallery and studio.

It will no doubt be a long time before foreign visitors begin returning to this part of the world.

With the recent relaxing of lockdown restrictions to Level 2 in the country, we are looking forward to the tourism, hospitality and restaurant industries getting going again in our region and further afield.

So much momentum has been lost over these past months with businesses closing and so many people losing their jobs and livelihoods.

We’re hopeful that new and innovative networks will emerge soon to stimulate some creative energy, direction and growth.


We have found the available digital communications and media reassuring during the lock-down period, and like so many, we have been able to stay in touch with family, friends and customers around the country and the world.

Our social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram have become essential tools in our working and social lives.

Please visit and ‘like’ our Social Media links:

Facebook Studio Page
Facebook – Bukkenburg Pottery
Facebook Accommodation Page
Facebook – David

As a result of all of this and as an added possible way forward, we are thinking about offering online tutoring and/or workshops online in the near future.
Please let us know if this is something that would interest you.

‘Potter’s Lunch and Spring Open Studio’ – a warm invitation.

It gives us pleasure and some added purpose at this time to let you all know that we are planning to host our annual ‘Potter’s Lunch and Spring Open Studio’ again, beginning over the Heritage Day Long Weekend from 24 to 27 September and ongoing into the spring and summer.

Our well-known and usually well-supported buffet ‘Potter’s Lunch‘ will be on Sunday 27th September with the necessary ‘Covid-19’ measures in place.
Lunch bookings are essential – (numbers will be limited)
Tel: 082 342 5453
The menu and cost will be available soon.

1st October marks 24 years since we moved to Swellendam.

A welcome spring visitor in the garden …


and in the studio …


We live in a most beautiful part of the country and are fortunate to be able to look on as the changing seasons impact on the diverse and extensive local agricultural industry.

From what we have seen on our outrides into the district, and what we hear, the harvest this year is looking particularly good, which is likely to have a beneficial impact on the town’s economy.

They will begin harvesting the early crops within the next month or so, and the harvest season goes on well into November and sometimes even later.

The farmers in our area concentrate largely on Canola (rapeseed), various grains such as wheat, oats and barley; also sheep and dairy, among others.

Their contribution to the country’s food supply is significant.

Canola and wheat fields beneath the Langeberg Mountains near Swellendam.
Blue crane – low flying in the Overberg near Swellendam.
Late afternoon and the gravel road home …


Accommodation at the Studio

At the beginning of ‘lockdown’ in March, all accommodation facilities had to close unless one had a permit to accommodate ‘essential workers’.
All travel came to a stop as did all local and international tourism.
We had bookings for accommodation in our guest cottage for many months ahead, and suddenly they were all cancelled.

We are glad to say that the cottage is once again available for an overnight stay or longer.

For further information please have a look at our accommodation page where there are pictures and a full description of what is available.
Please click HERE

The Covid-19 accommodation measures are being observed.

Swellendam Winter School

Also planned for spring are our Clay Explorations Pottery Courses as part of the Swellendam Winter School.
After the most enjoyable courses on last year’s program, we were looking forward to the Winter School running again this year.
Covid-19 put a hold on all of that, and now it is being revived for the spring.

A wide range of courses are on offer this spring, and for all info and bookings, please visit Swellendam Winter School.

A few pictures from last year’s Clay Explorations courses on the Swellendam Winter School:

Cape white-eye on half an orange outside the studio.


As the winter and severe lockdown recede, and the weather begins to warm up, here’s hoping to seeing some of you out this way during the coming spring and summer.

The countryside in the Overberg region of the Western Cape is looking exceptional right now, accommodation is abundant in Swellendam, and the restaurants are operating.

It’s just the best time to take to the road and travel the countryside – for all sorts of reasons ..!

The studio, gallery and garden are open and working daily, and visitors are welcome.
Please call ahead if travelling from afar, just to be sure that we’re here and available on the day.

Wishing you all the best in good health and safety as we learn to navigate what has become known as the ‘new normal’ in this post ‘lockdown’ environment of the Covid conscious world.

Please take care of yourselves and each other ..!

David and Felicity
Spring – 2020

Bukkenburg Pottery Studio, Gallery & Guest Cottage
8 Hermanus Steyn Street – Swellendam
Tel: 082 342 5453

“In such ugly times, the only true protest is beauty”

Phil Ochs (American singer-songwriter: 1940-1976)

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.