Pottery with Mandy
  • East London, South Africa
  • 12 hours over 3 days

Pottery with Mandy

Discover the less explored Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape, African penguins and the big five at local game reserves while learning various pottery techniques from master potter Mandy.
  • Snacks, Coffee, & Tea
  • Accommodation


One Guest
USD $1205
Additional guest(s) (max 4)
USD $450


One Guest
Additional guest(s)

Meet the Artist

Mandy is a potter who specializes in throwing but also uses coiling and other handbuilding techniques. Her earliest influence came from growing up in a house full of ceramics by Michael Cardew and Shoji Hameda as well as antique Japanese ceramics and French country ware collected by her artist grandfather.

At Goldsmith’s College in London, she was privileged to learn from master potters including Magdalene Odundo, Takeshi Yasuda and Lisa Hammond. Ray Silverman, a pupil of Lucie Rie, taught glaze making. During an internship with Alan Caiger-Smith she learnt production throwing producing majolica ware and lusterware and assisting with wood firings.

She moved to South Africa in 1995 and has been lecturing in ceramics for the last five years. Her teaching methods developed while lecturing include throwing techniques which avoid the risk of repetitive strain injury, coiling methods suitable for beginners and advanced students, and open ended teaching to encourage creativity.

She is inspired by her environment, especially the seashore, rocks, sand, shells and driftwood. Locally sourced materials – black ilmenite sand from the beach, acacia thorn-wood ash and additions of the coarse local clay make her work unique.

Mandy is looking forward to introducing visitors to the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape, less explored by overseas tourists but with its own unique history and culture, varied landscape and shoreline.

"It is a lovely coast all along from East London, with its red sandhills and wide sweeps of vivid green, dotted here and there with Xhosa kraals, and bordered by a ribbon of white surf, which spouts up in pillars of foam where it hits the rocks." King Solomon’s Mines. Rider Haggard

VAWAA Includes:

  • Finding your unique voice by exploring your sources of inspiration.
  • Discover the therapeutic value of working with clay.
  • A drawing session in the forest or explore the beach to find inspiration in sea worn shells, and ready-made driftwood sculptures.
  • Handbuilding to form candleholders, textured slab dishes, coil an African beer pot, or small sculptures for beginners.
  • Advanced techniques of coiling, clay sculpture or throwing larger pots for those with experience.
  • Your own ceramic pottery pieces.
  • A raku firing on the last day if you want a finished piece to take home with you.

Stay at Mandy's

You'll be staying on the studio property, in one of two fully equipped, self-catering cottages. There is a one-bedroom thatched treehouse (accessible by stairs), which also has a spacious family room that can serve as an extra bedroom, as well as a two-bedroom family cottage. Each bedroom is en-suite, can sleep up to 3 guests with double doors to the garden and patio, and is adjacent to the Kwelera Coastal Nature Reserve — with abundant bird and animal life, including inquisitive monkeys. Includes WiFi. Recycling and water saving are encouraged.

You will also be around a friendly cat, dog, and free-ranging hens.

Explore East London

East London boasts pristine beaches along the coast to explore, swim, surf, fish. Gonubie beach has a blue flag status. The East London aquarium has beautifully lit tanks displaying the fish of the Indian Ocean. There is also a whale viewing platform and you can meet the African Jackass penguins. Yes! African Penguins!

The East London Museum is home to the Coelocanth, the prehistoric fish which was thought to be extinct. You can see the fossilized footprints of a 124,000 year old child found in the Nahoon Point Nature Reserve. Or, head to Inkwenkwezi Game Reserve at Cintsa to see the big five – lion, buffalo, leopard, rhino and elephant as well as giraffe, zebra and ostrich, or to see rock art at a secret location.

Enjoy cooking outdoors and watching shooting stars and the Milky Way! The Eastern Cape also includes the unspoilt Transkei where you can visit Coffee Bay or Bulungula, the Hogsback Mountain resort, the Addo Elephant Park, and surfers’ destination Jeffreys Bay.

Additional Details

East London is great to visit year-round. Winter, from May to August, is especially nice when weather is dry with warm, sunny days. The National Arts Festival takes place every year in Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) for 11 days, from late June to early July. Best to avoid early December to mid-January as there is a good chance of rain, and the town is busy between peak season and the school summer holiday.

This VAWAA is available for a longer duration, up to 10 days. Please ask when you send your booking request.

Can be adapted for kids, elders, and people with special needs.

You will also be around a friendly cat, dog, and free-ranging hens.
Mandy's Availability 3 days

Guest Reviews

  • Elizabeth B., United States

    What an incredible experience! Mandy is incredibly talented and knowledgeable. I learned so much about the creative process, craft, and about other artists and styles. I came with no experience and left with a course’s worth of know-how. Outside of studio time, the area is beautiful, centering and inspiring. I can’t wait to come back.