The Maker Movement and a revived interest in artisan has been the perfect setting for Ceramic Factory – a brand specialising in quirky ceramic products that trigger nostalgia and fun – to make it’s success in SA over the last few years.
“Initially Ceramic Factory was established to develop ranges for other ceramic designers,” explains CEO Daniel Swanepoel. However when their first range of samples by their in-house sculptor attracted overwhelming interest, they knew they were onto something big.
“A collection we took to a local Johannesburg market sold out in under 5 hours!”
Now with a strong presence across SA along with some international gigs too, Ceramic Factory has since relocated their factory from Johannesburg to the Robertson Valley, inland of the Mother City, and just recently opened doors on Cape Town’s Long Street.
One only has to look at their current geometric offering and selection of ombré pieces to know that Ceramic Factory is tapped into the design world and what consumers are looking for, so it’s no surprise their work can be found at established local chains such as @home and Woolworths.
With the demand to constantly develop new ranges for the local and overseas market, Founder and Creative Director Rial Visagie likes to turn to his “inner child” for inspiration for the playful designs.
“It’s important that our designs are fun, conjure up a sense of nostalgia and are current in their style,” says CEO Daniel Swanepoel. “We launch new product ranges at least twice a year and like to combine global trends with a local flavour.”
When it comes to different tastes, Swanepoel explains that Joburgers prefer larger and more forward-thinking designs as well as their Bailey dog collection, while the Dinosaur range has proved popular amongst Capetonians.
“We find that people are beginning to frown on mass production and prefer to engage with items that have a story to tell and embrace a human touch,” says Swanepoel.
Their factory in Robertson works with and supports the local community – with more than half the employees being from the town and various materials and services are sourced locally too.
“We are strong advocates of supporting local as much as we possibly can and are massively invested in employing and training further Robertson locals as our business grows.”
Ceramic Factory will soon be opening a store at the their factory on Clairvaux Estate, Robertson, where visitors can see the process for themselves and witness the crafters at work. They are also planning a sculpture garden on the farm in partnership with fine art gallery Lizamore & Associates.
Where you can find Ceramic Factory products:
Ceramic Factory stores
– 59, 4th Ave Linden in Johannesburg
– Opening soon: Factory outlet in Robertson (watch this space)
– MADE in SA stores across the country
– A selection of @home stores and @home online
– Woodenways stores
– The Light Shed near Hyde Park
Visit the Ceramic Factory website: www.ceramicfactory.co.za