South Africa By Way of LA: Handmade Ceramics for the Dinner Table from Wonki Ware

Spotted via LA shop Lost & Found: Wonki Ware, no-two-pieces-are-the-same dinnerware handmade in South Africa.

The story, in a nutshell, founder Di Marshall writes on Wonki Ware‘s site: “I live in a small town called George, which is situated along the Garden Route in South Africa. I started a small studio in the town centre about 20 years ago, purely to keep myself occupied while my children were at school.” Fast forward, and “before long,” Marshall writes, “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 Lulamile Mthonjeni started arriving every morning looking for work…I started teaching him about clay. I devised a method of making pottery that Artwell could replicate from the shapes that I had originally created. To our delight, he started producing very sensitively worked platters and bowls.”

Twenty years since Marshall’s first studio, Wonki Ware “presently employs around 80 people from disadvantaged backgrounds. They are now all skilled employees in their trade, and are valuable, contributing members in their communities.” And they continue to create sensitive ceramics that are perfectly imperfect.

Have a look.

glazed plates are $18 each for the side plate size and $35 each for the dinn 9
Above: Glazed Plates are $18 each for the side plate size and $35 each for the dinner plate size from Lost & Found. Ceramic dinnerware—and more—is also available directly from Wonki Ware.
spaghetti bowls start at $35 for the small size. 10
Above: Spaghetti Bowls start at $35 for the small size.
pudding bowls are $25 each. 11
Above: Pudding Bowls are $25 each.

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