Reviving lost art of pottery on Seychelles

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Cape Town - Artists can use just about anything to create something that is beautiful.

Some make paintings from sand. Others build towers with paper scrap. Waste materials can be turned into the most imaginative and beautiful masterpieces ever produced. 

For Zara Albert, a Seychellois artist, it is not so much about coming up with something new and ground breaking, but more of tapping into a fading art that as recently as a couple of decades ago was still highly treasured across Africa.

Albert wants to revive pottery and ceramics.

The potter is making a name for herself with her brand of “Seyramics”, or more simply, ceramics from the Indian Ocean island of the Seychelles.

Her pieces are inspired by the flora and fauna of her paradisiac homeland as she tries to capture the beauty of small SADC nation.

Albert lovingly crafts similitudes of the best of nature, producing delicate ceramics that are beautifying many a home.

She recently told Seychelles News Agency that, “I work a lot on recreating pieces such as shells which we should not collect on the beach and pieces inspired by local leaves and flowers. I have the 'Coco Fes' fruit bowl, 'Delicious Monster' fruit bowl and 'Octopus' vase, just to name a few."

Albert went on: "Pottery has many steps but the most important is the first step which is making sure there are no bubbles in the clay before starting on a piece. If there are, your piece might explode or break at a later time.

She started pottery as a therapeutic exercise while living overseas, and then started giving her pieces to friends and colleagues as gifts. But people took notice and she now runs a studio on the archipelago’s main island of Mahe.

Albert’s works are available for purchase online.

According to Seychelles News Agency, pottery and ceramics were thriving enterprises on the archipelago’s 115 islands late into the 1990s when the Seychelles Potters Co-operative (Seypot) still thrived and ran a factory.

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