In his studio in Franschhoek, Dave produces wheel-thrown porcelain, specialising in smoke-fired ceramics and fine dinnerware.
In recent years, he's become all the rage among local restaurateurs who've commissioned him to make bespoke pieces - designed in consultation with the chefs - to showcase the fine cuisine for which Franschhoek has become so famous. Among the award-winning restaurants David's designed dinnerware for are Reuben's, Rust en Vrede and Le Quartier Français.
I've watched him do this dozens of times over the years, but once again was entranced watching a lump of characterless porcelain clay beneath the hands of a master craftsman: rippling and swelling like a living substance and then transmuting, in a matter of minutes, into a practical, long-lasting work of art.
Here's a video I took of Dave throwing a beautiful salad bowl > http://youtu.be/3s-7KRgpYVo
As David pointed out in his speech, the act of making a clay vessel is one of the oldest human technologies, and I was fascinated to think that his extraordinary skills were built upon techniques stretching back in an unbroken line through the millennia.
On the same day, David presented me with the salad platter I commissioned last year (see below). Isn't it beautiful? I had asked him to put the words 'Eat up your greens' on the perimeter of the platter, but he went further and added this delicate leaf detailing, which is achieved by painting on the surface of the clay with wax, and then, when the wax has dried, rubbing away at the unmasked areas.
At the same time, I raided his shelves and borrowed a pile of plates and bowls which I'll be using in the future for the photographs on this blog.
|This beautiful salad platter by David Walters. The salad consists of sliced roasted fillet,|
boiled baby potatoes, lettuce and feta, with a light lemon-garlic vinaigrette.