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Vuyisa Potina’s ceramics find international success with CCDI support

01 June 2017   (0 Comments)
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Vuyiswa's ceramic pots on display at the South African Lifestyle Hub in Atlanta

 

Ceramic artist Vuyisa Potina is the owner and manager of Potina Ceramics which is based in Franschhoek, Western Cape. Working with ceramics is his true calling, and over the years he has developed his own unique style. He gets much inspiration from a natural palette of bone and wood. His generous round pots are a fusion of the traditional smoke-firing techniques and shapes of his African roots with contemporary influences.

He has found success through platforms such as the SARCDA exhibition in Gauteng, and his ceramics are among several unique products by local designers that were selected by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) to be showcased in South Africa’s Lifestyle Hub, a showroom of handcrafted furniture, home, décor and giftware products located in Atlanta, USA. The CCDI assisted the dti in identifying export-ready producers for the Lifestyle Hub.

We caught up with Vuyiswa to find out more about his business and success.

What inspires you when you create your ceramics?

 

I get inspired by nature and I love ethnic colour. My products are influenced by my Xhosa background.

 

What was your experience exhibiting at SARCDA in March this year?

 

SARCDA was successful for me. I received orders worth about R65 000 at the stand. By the time I returned to my studio I realised just how important it is to exchange business cards because the figure has now gone up to almost a quarter of a million Rands, and the orders are still coming in.

 

Tell us more about the success of your products at the SA Lifestyle Hub in Atlanta.

 

The Lifestyle Hub has really been very successful for my business. Since we started displaying our products in that hub I’ve never had to complain in terms of receiving orders. My products are in demand in the USA. Although we do have ups and downs in terms of late payments, we are generally very successful.

 

Are there any other CCDI services that you have used to support and grow your business?

When you talk about the Cape Craft and Design Institute, you talk about the organisation that has moulded my business and my future. I was very young in my 20s when I joined them. I would say that many of the successful artists of the Western Cape have been supported by the CCDI. But to answer your question, I can’t single out one service because all of them have been influential in my business.

Do you have any words of inspiration for other creative entrepreneurs?

Oh yes I have a few words for other creative entrepreneurs. This road is steep and when you find yourself walking on the slope, balance your feet, stay focused, work hard, be willing to learn and don't worry about your previous situation. Focus on your current circumstances.


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