Yogi de Beer was born in Pretoria, South Africa in May 1965. He started making pots as a hobby while studying to be a quantity surveyor but after working for a few years as a QS, he decided to switch to potting full-time.
He was exposed early on to reduction fired stoneware and was captivated by the deep richness of tenmoku, kaki, celadon, ash and shino glazes so he started making a variety of tableware using these glazes. Yogi is one of the South African Anglo-Oriental trained potters, who follow in the footsteps of Leach and Cardew. In fact two of his pots are on show at the Leach Pottery in St Ives, Cornwall.
Over the years the pots steadily grew in size and now large glazed planters and jars are the main focus of the work with a limited amount of smaller ware still being made. The pots are twice-fired up to 1300C in a large gas and paraffin kiln; reportedly the largest in South Africa. This process makes them totally frost resistant.
Yogi is currently living in Longkloof, Hout Bay, Cape Town; an historic property which has a long history of growing olives and vegetables for the shipping lines which stopped at the Cape. He is currently working on large amphora-like pots for the top vineyards in the Cape for storing their wines, as the Georgians and Persians did 8000 years ago.