Tag Archives: Spring in Swellendam

Spring 2022 at Bukkenburg

Hello and sunny spring greetings from us at Bukkenburg in Swellendam

How wonderful to feel the warmer weather now and enjoy longer days with the arrival of spring in the southern hemisphere.

We’re marking two notable milestones in October

And one upcoming event

We have been together for 50 years!

Our meandering journey / adventure / odyssey into clay and the art and craft of high fired studio pottery began within a few months of our getting together in October 1972.


We’re also marking 26 years in Swellendam.
We moved into the heritage house Bukkenburg on 1 October 1996, after many years in our home and studio in Johannesburg.

Bukkenburg

Winter into spring

It’s been a different and an interesting journey this past winter.

Felicity broke the fibula in her right leg in July about a week after we posted our last newsletter, and that had a profound impact on the rhythm of life and work.

We are so grateful for supportive friends and neighbours who helped us through this time.

We ran several short workshops in the studio during the winter while Felicity was ‘out of action’, and managed to cater a marvellous dinner for the Swellendam Music Society and their visiting artists with help of Carolyn from next door, Sue and Felicity’s son Andrew who was here for the weekend.

Occupancy in the cottage has been modest and steady.

Felicity’s recovery is reassuring and work in the studio is regaining some momentum – the rhythm of life and work slowly returns.

We have the house and some light studio equipment connected to a backup electricity supply and so now we are able to remain productive.

The studio and covered outside drying area are filling up with unfired pots, many orders and stock for our gallery for the summer.
We’re looking forward to getting busy with our spring firings as soon as possible.

As with so many all over the country, the ongoing nationwide power cuts have impacted our work in the studio.
In order to fire either of our two big oil fired kilns we need at least 14 hours of uninterrupted electricity.

We’re hopeful for a more steady supply of electricity soon, and if not, we we’ll have to consider an alternative solution, perhaps a generator to run the big three-phase fan that atomises the fuel as it enters the kiln.

Swellendam Garden Expo & Open Gardens
4 to 6 November

We have also been very busy preparing the garden for the Swellendam Open Gardens weekend in November.

Ours will be one of 18 gardens in and around Swellendam that will be open to visitors from 4 to 6 November.

In addition there will be a Gardener’s Market and a range of events.

For further information and bookings please visit the Swellendam Garden Expo.
Website: CLICK HERE
Also on Facebook; CLICK HERE

A few spring garden pictures

‘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.

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

Overberg farmlands outside Swellendam in late September

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Wishing you all the best

David and Felicity
Bukkenburg – October 2022

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

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


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.

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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.

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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.

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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
Instagram

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.
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‘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 …

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and in the studio …

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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.
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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 …

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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.
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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.

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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
Swellendam


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)

Potter’s Lunch and Spring Open Studio – 28 September

Garden view at Bukkenburg in spring, looking north towards the Langeberg Mountains.

A warm invitation to our coming Potter’s Lunch and Spring Open Studio in Swellendam

Wheel thrown stoneware vase – 31 cm tall

Our spring open studio begins as usual with a buffet ‘Potter’s Lunch’.
This year it’s on 28th September, just a week after the spring equinox.

Lunch will be served on the veranda and will include fresh local meats and fish from the braai, and a variety of vegetarian dishes including salads and vegetables from the garden.
This will be followed by a selection of delicious desserts -served on our own porcelain and stoneware tableware.

Lunch bookings for the 28th are essential
Please call: 082 342 5453 or e-mail: bukkenburg@sdm.dorea.co.za

Menu and cost will be available soon.
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The gallery has been tidied up and dusted after the extreme winds recently, and is now looking good for the coming spring and summer season with a selection of recently fired work on show and for sale.

The gallery at Bukkenburg
Stoneware lidded casserole

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Accommodation at the studio

Our recently renovated and refurbished guest cottage is available on a self-catering basis for those wanting to stay over in Swellendam on their travels.

The cottage offers luxury accommodation comprising two en-suite, air-conditioned bedrooms, kitchen, lounge with wood burning fire, full DSTV package and outdoor veranda.

Please contact us for further details, availability and rates.
For pictures of the cottage please click HERE
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Brown hooded Kingfisher – eating his own lunch in the garden

We hope that some of you will be able to visit the studio and we look forward to welcoming you here.
The studio and gallery are open and working daily and visitors are welcome to browse and enjoy our environment.
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With our best wishes
David and Felicity
Spring – 2019

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

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