David Walters, one of South Africa’s most distinguished potters, has been potting for 40 years, moving from regulation stoneware in the 1970s to a 30 year love affair with white, hard, lustrous porcelain. Some of his hand-thrown porcelain is also smoke-fired.
After graduating with a BA Fine Arts from the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg, he and his wife Michelle established the Nkwaleni Pottery in Hilton before moving on to Caversham Mill at Lidgetton. Tragically, the old mill was washed away in the 1987 floods and they decided to move to England, “to experience the challenge of working in a rigorous environment that has the best potters in the world.”
At Kenninghall in Norfolk, they established The Particular Pottery in an old Baptist Chapel and David became Vice Chairman of the Suffolk Craft Society, acknowledged to be the most successful in Britain. After a decade, the call of Africa become too strong to resist and they came home to face a new challenge, renovating the derelict Victorian mansion that once belonged to the first teacher in the village of Franschhoek in the Cape. The building was restored to its former glory, incorporating a series of galleries, an extensive pottery which David shared with his daughter Sarah, and his home. However, David has now sold the gallery and is semi-retiring; throwing the pottery he wishes and selling through his daughter’s new space in Newlands.