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CALDER AT FESTIVAL (article first published : 2001-06-5)

Special courses are offered during the Feats of Clay Craftart programme at the 2001 Standard Bank National Arts Festival.

Ian Calder of Pietermaritzburg will offer three ceramic colour-making workshops (June 29, and July 1 and 3) during which each participant will paint a small maiolica tile using Calder's specially-formulated studio pigments. Calder teaches at the University of Natal's Centre for Visual Art.

Specialist repair and restoration of archaeological pieces and contemporary ceramics will also be introduced. At no extra charge, each participant will receive a set of notes and a high quality imported restoration kit, which includes museum-quality tools, adhesives, fillers and colours.

The course extends over two afternoons and is organised by the South African Academy of Ceramics Conservation. It will be offered three times, starting on the afternoons of June 29, July 1 and July 3.

"Knowing how it's done enriches the appreciation for a craft and could start you off on a new life path: this is what the hands-on Craftart programme at the Standard Bank National Arts Festival is all about," said festival-director Lynette Marais.

Members of Cape Town's Potter's Shop and of Meshak Masuku's Red Earth Clay Project will give demonstrations every morning. Masuku teaches at the Department of Ceramic Design at Port Elizabeth Technikon. At Masuku's workshops, participants will be able to assemble tea pots (July 2), throw large objects (July 4) and carve large forms (July 6). The teapots and carved forms can be taken home afterwards.

Visitors can watch Kalk Bay potter Ian Garrett's pit-firing demonstration on July 5. It's a dramatic process that lasts all day so visitors can pop in at no charge en route to another show.

Craftart's experiences are reinforced by two exhibitions: one is a retrospective of Hylton Nel's colourful and unconventional work and the other is a sampling of the collection at Port Elizabeth's King George VI Gallery. The selection aims to illustrate the development of a ceramic tradition in South Africa.

The 2001 Standard Bank National Arts Festival runs from 28 June to 7 July. A comprehensive free Booking Kit is available from select branches of the Standard Bank (for information, ring the Festival hotline 0861 20 2000). Book by post (details in the Booking Kit), through Computicket, Teletix or the internet (http://www.sbfest.co.za).




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