Manufacturer Wonki Ware, George, South Africa

About Wonki Ware

I live in South Africa in a small town along the Garden Route called George. I started my small studio in the town centre in 1999, in order to keep myself occupied while my children were at school. We lived on a farm at the time and had to travel into town everyday. I believed it would be good idea to work in my pottery studio in town in the morning, then collect my children and go back to the farm in the afternoon. I started working and slowly attracted the attention of the local community.

Before long my little studio became a meeting place for other potters and people that enjoyed being creative. At around the same time, a young Xhosa man named Artwell started arriving every morning looking for work. I was not generating much income at that stage to be able to pay him, but he was willing to do anything. I started teaching him about clay. To my delight, he started producing very sensitively worked platters and bowls. I began developing patterns that were relatively easy and simple to reproduce.

Another person that became invaluable to our team walked into the studio one day and painted a plate. Les, Artwell and I became a formidable pottery team. Our energy and enthusiasm had people from all over the country showing up to buy our pottery. The word had spread from Cape Town to Johannesburg and before long we had orders that were keeping us very busy! Then Janice joined our team and became our first agent and representative, and before long we had our pottery showcased in some on the most prestigious stores in South Africa.

We have are presently employing around 80 people from disadvantaged backgrounds. They are now all skilled employees in their trade thereby contributing members in their communities. Our skilled potters are now training new-comers in the art of making Wonki Ware. It is with great pleasure and pride that I feel I can hand over this side of the business to my employees. Wonki Ware is a product that was developed purely by chance. It was borne from a collective energy of 3 people whose excitement and enthusiasm were endless. It still amazes me today what we unintentionally created. The vibrant, warm spirit of Africa is clearly visible in our pottery and I thank our potters and South Africans for their enthusiasm and love for what we do.
Wonki Ware

South Africa
Manufacturer Wonki Ware, South Africa
Wonki Ware, George
About Wonki Ware, South Africa