Monday, October 17, 2011

After the Pit Firing

Yonit Blumenthal

                                             Denise Clur

Amalie von Maltitz
We had a very exciting weekend  doing magic with fire.  Our gods heard us and sent just the right amount of wind and no rain. The work looks stunning and I will be able to post some more photos soon..

Thursday, October 6, 2011



The aim of this short course is to investigate the tea bowl, it's origin, tradition and function.

Module One

the roots of the tea bowl are explored by first participating in a Japanese tea ceremony followed by making traditional tea bowls which will be fired in a Raku process.

  • October 12th - participation in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony performed at the Japanese School, 12-20 Caledon Road, Emmarentia. time 09.30 for 10.00 -12.00
  • October 18th - talk by Clarissa Hawthorn, former lecturer at University of Johannesburg on Ceramic History on the philosophy of wabi sabi - making of trad. tea bowls, using the wheel or pinching, then carving them the traditional way at the studio
  • October 26th/29th - Raku firing at the studio

    cost R 1000.- inclusive all materials and firings

Studio Elsbeth Burkhalter, 45 Kingfisher Drive, Fourways
contact tel +27 11 467 2624 mobile +27 82 3301066
e mail


Having attended module one is a prerequisite for booking module two.
The aim in this module is to design and make contemporary western tea bowls which bear some of the qualities inherent in the traditional Japanese ones.

Details and dates early in the new year will be available soon.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Spring Workshops

Its time to do a few firings before the summer rains. Pit firing is about getting in touch with earth and fire, using a firing method which dates back to the beginning of civilisation. Making pots together, preparing and packing of the pit and stoking the fire are all part of a great group experience.
I am running a pit firing short course at my studio starting Tuesday 20th September 2011 for three consequetive Tuesdays ending with the firing on the 15th of October.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jozi espresso cups

I am busy developing a new addition to my design range. These cups are made in porcelain with printed images depicting musicians,land marks and stamps from a bygone era to the present. They will soon be ready to be marketed.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

1001 bowls

There is an exciting exhibtion in Switzerland at the Musee Ariana, Geneva in Switzerland. Check out the link below

Saturday, April 9, 2011

smoke firing workshop

Some lovely pots materialized from both saggars and the barrel pit firing . And the enthusiasm of Henriette and Nicola was much appreciated.

smoke firing workshop

We had some great result from the saggars and created a good barrel pit firing.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Raku Workshop

Oops there was a mistake with the date of the Raku workshop. I will hold it only beg March and have changed the date in the previous post. There was clearly not enough time for pots to be made and ready for the February date.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Journey

What do you know. they have finally put my sculpture up again in Switzerland. It is out of storage and mounted on a traffic circle in Biel, Switzerland, alas minus a nose at the moment. I am debating whether to let the local art school fix it up (with my instructions) or go there myself,. Definitely not right now, one could do nothing in this severe cold weather and freeze.

Workshops on low fire reduction

Reduction Firings have always been my passion and the main reason why I make things in clay. As a mad pyromaniac I am offering two participating workshops in March and April 2011. I have limited participation for both workshops to 10 people to be able to give everyone my full attention and guidance.

There will be a 20% price price reduction if both workshops are booked at the same time.

This workshop is intended for people who want to experience a Raku firing, learn how to make up simple glazes, build a simple Raku kiln and get familiar with various post firing methods. We will work with traditional lustre Raku glazes as well as the "Naked Raku" technique.
Participants will bring 4 bisque pots made according to specifications that I will mail to people who have booked. I will also provide slips and terra sigillata if wanted. Notes with glaze recipes and firing techniques are available on completion of the workshop.

The workshop will be held on Saturday, 5th March 2011 at my studio from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m
Bring lunch to share, Tea and coffee will be provided
Cost 1000 inclusive


In this workshop you will explore various ways of saggar firing (black ware and multi colour effects) and simulate a pit firing in a barrel.
Participants may fire up to 8 pieces made according to specifications which I will mail to people who have booked. Terra sigillata and slips will be provided at the same time.

The workshop will be held over a weekend. For out of town participants accomodation for 2-3 people is available at the house as I also run a bed & breakfast business under the name of Kingfisher Lodge (see my page on facebook) reduced rates will apply

  • Introduction with Power Point presentation
  • packing various type of saggars
  • fire saggars in electric and Raku kiln
  • packing and lighting of the barrel kiln


  • more saggar firing in Raku kiln
  • open fired saggars and barrel kiln
  • Evaluation and discussion

The workshop will be held at my studio Saturday 2nd April 9 a.m. - 4 pm Sunday 3rd April9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Bring lunch to share, tea and coffee provided
Cost 1200 inclusive

For more information and booking contact me at (011) 467 2624 cell 082 3301066 email tenmoku@ or