Digby Hoets Pottery

Digby's studio and home are located on a five-acre property in Carlswald
at the head of a quiet valley between Johannesburg and Pretoria in South Africa.
Both the house and the studio are thatched and enjoy a tranquil view
of the well-treed valley and Johannesburg in the distance.

View videos of Digby working:

Digby throwing the rim on one of his large pots ~ Digby applying and combing through the slip

Digby makes his pots in three to four week cycles: two to three weeks making the pots and the final week
glazing and firing. He starts by throwing the base sections of all the pots he plans to make that week - usually
between 4 and 6 pots. If he is making a very large pot he will make only one pot that week so that he doesn't
need to take it off his wheel.

When the pots are leather hard
(usually the following day),
he adds a fat coil to the pot
and throws this section.

Handles and surface and rim textures
are applied once the pot is complete.
Textures are achieved through
rouletting, roping, combing, ribbing or
slip trailing. When slips are applied
they are poured onto a rotating,
leather-hard pot and then combed through.

Digby packs the kiln with the assistance of Watson Nyambeni who has worked with him for the last 30 years. Very large pots are hoisted onto the kiln using a pulley and gantry system.

Digby uses very basic, traditional glazes with a high clay content, (tenmoku) and other saturated iron glazes, celadons, wood-ash and shino glazes) which are suited to reduction firing.

The 120 cubic foot trolley kiln is fired using a specially developed burner fuel. It takes about eighteen hours to fire to cone 13 (approximately 1380 deg Centigrade) and three full days to cool down sufficiently to be opened.

Approximately 12 pots are fired at a time - pots shrink by about 20% from when they are thrown until they are fired.

Pots blend into the African veld at Digby's studio and below: views of pots in front of his studio


View from Digby's studio: dam and Johannesburg to the south in the distance.