Why did The Homestead choose Vorster & Braye to make the custom designed tableware for our restaurant, as well as additional pieces for the interior? It is not just because of the beautifully restrained, classic elegance of their designs, it is also because, like us, they believe in meaningful design.
The exterior design of The Homestead is designed to blend seamlessly and sustainably into its environment. The aesthetic of the interior design reflects our core values of peace, love and understanding in such a way that the whole interior of The Homestead is a work of art. That is part of what makes us stand above other top luxury safari lodges in South Africa.
The handmade ceramic pieces created by Vorster and Braye stand out in the ceramic art industry of South Africa. “Our designs are understated, and everything is made by hand,” said Colin Braye. “We aim to keep our designs fresh by offering custom clay and glaze colour options for our clients and partners.”
Colin Braye and Martin Vorster met socially. He was an electro-mechanical engineer and Martin was a Chartered Accountant. They both had artistic sides, and they both, at that time, wanted beautifully designed planters, which they could not find anywhere on the market. So, they decided to take pottery classes, and create them. A couple of years later, Vorster & Braye was born. They went onto create a whole range of gorgeous ceramic art products from light-shades to tables to storage containers to penguin jugs, as well as other tableware and, of course, planters! The exposed portion of their terracotta dinnerware is sealed and dishwasher safe — which is something that customers like to know!
So, how do they start to create their products which are pure South African ceramic art? Talking about the creative process, Colin said “I like drawing designs by hand. I like playing with clay and getting my hands dirty. Martin loves design and photography, and he creates designs using 3D computer software.”
Each and every piece is crafted through a wide range of techniques, including hand-throwing, slip-casting and jiggering. Their products are created using a variety of local clays and glazes.
Vorster & Braye are based in Cape Town. Colin said “We started about nine years ago in these premises. It was a former nightclub, on a road which is a popular tourist destination. We have 5 employees now, not including us. People who enter this building are surprised to see us here! We supply to Mauritius and America but mostly to clients in South Africa.”
Some of their products, such as their exquisite Roots vases, are sculptural ceramic art, and the openings at the top are based on an outline of the shape of Africa. It is this kind of subtlety that captivated The Homestead team. “We wanted to do something for the tourist market which was a little piece of Africa - beautifully designed, sculptural yet functional,” Colin explained. “Our clay is sourced locally by suppliers in Cape Town. The clay the Roots Vases are made of is clay mixed with manganese, to get the rich black colour.
For The Homestead we are making custom items in ochre, plum, and olive colours, which work very well with terracotta. We are making tableware for the restaurant, as well as coffee mugs and other products. We are well on the way with the order.”
We cannot wait to see the finished products and cannot wait to offer our guests at The Homestead the ultimate dining experience — eating haute cuisine from exquisite pieces of South African ceramic art.
These are the touches that are guaranteed to make The Homestead the best luxury safari lodge in South Africa. Keep an eye on our social media channels for updates on the process and beautiful artworks from Vorster & Braye.