We’re all staying home a lot more these days, with a focus on hosting friends and family in more intimate settings. And, what better way to impress your guests than with locally-made, one-of-a-kind ceramic pieces and handmade dinnerware? In an exciting move, internationally renowned Mervyn Gers Ceramics is teaming up with another South African giant in the art world, Cape Town-based artist Richard Scott, for a unique collaboration.
Says Mervyn Gers, founder and director: “We’re thrilled to be working with Richard Scott in creating a bespoke range. He has established himself both locally and internationally as an artist where ‘Naive meets Pop’. His art translates beautifully into ceramics, especially with the distinctive black lines in all his work. His subject matter includes the female figure, cats, cars, lighthouses, and planes, all done with an appealing simplicity.”
Gers continues that he has given Scott full access to their studio to get a feel for the medium and get his creative juices flowing. “We’re thrilled to collaborate with him and look forward to working on an extensive product line for years to come,” he adds.
According to Scott, it is a great honour to work with Mervyn and his team. “Collaborations are key to success. He’s a smart guy and shares his knowledge freely. That’s one of the lessons in life that elevates you. Shape, colour, texture, feel, and design are all things that come naturally to Mervyn. Leveraging each other’s brands and networks allow us to expand with one brand endorsing the other. It offers an easy access point into each other’s worlds.”
Gers continues that Scott’s initial range will consist of a set of four cappuccino cups, which can also be used for coffee or tea, with saucers. These will be followed shortly by a set of four espresso cups and saucers, a milk jug and sugar bowl. “Both the cappuccino and espresso cups will be limited edition, which will add to its exclusivity. The designs are fabulous, fun and quirky, and we hope the market will respond positively,” Gers explains.
Scott immediately fell in love with the shape and style of Mervyn’s cappuccino and espresso cups. “Of course I’m also an ardent coffee drinker, so the dots were joined. The rest was easy. Just make it look Richard Scotty, right? We decided on the colours and designs over a six-month period. At times it was spontaneous and at other, we deliberated for weeks on end. It was awesome to connect with Mervyn and let go,” says Scott.
An added bonus is that these products will be packed in hand-painted boxes, which are artworks on their own. Scott clarifies that it all started back in 2011 when he sent a client a painting in New York. “He called and said it was more expensive to dispose of the crate in his city than to ship it. So from that day onward, I paint on all my crates and packaging, thus killing three birds with one stone. The client doesn’t need the expense of disposing of the packaging, gets to own another piece of my art and I get more exposure as the client becomes a disciple and spreads the story. He also doesn’t pay import duty for the extra art! Call that the fourth stone,” he adds with a smile.
Both Gers and Scott agree that if you want to make it out there, you have to be authentic and create your own identity. “Don’t be afraid of partnering with galleries and brands, do a course in business management and learn to say no,” adds Scott.
The range will be expanded to include small and large dinner plates, fruit platters and some bespoke hand-painted items. “I’m opening up a TEST-STUDIO at the Woodstock Brewery and the products will be sold there. It’s all very exciting,” says Scott.
If you’re a fan of Gers and Scott, add to your ceramic collection with this exciting new range. “It’ll definitely spark some lively conversations at the dinner table. We look forward to a long and successful partnership with Richard,” Gers concludes.
Internationally renowned for their one-of-a-kind ceramic pieces and handmade dinnerware, Mervyn Gers Ceramics pieces have found their way into South Africa’s top restaurants, game lodges, hotels as well as leading local and international retail outlets. Housed in a three-storey studio in Paarden Island, boasting 13 kilns and employing over 40 staff, Mervyn Gers Ceramics is a sustainable job creation success story. They create distinct products to complement décor and enhance brands.
The Mervyn Gers Ceramics glazes are inspired by the varied Southern Africa landscapes and include Bakoven, Blouberg, Blue Onyx, Churchhaven, Fern, Fynbos, Green Onyx, Harbour, Langebaan, Madumbe, Monkey Apple, Moss, Ostrich Egg, Paternoster, Pond, Rock Pool and Veld.
Mervyn Gers Ceramics most recent release product innovations include a new range of elegant candle holders. “We’re always looking at ways in which we can expand our offering and found there was a need for candle holders, both in the industry as well as private homes, explains Gers. “In South Africa, we continuously need to cope with load shedding. At least one can make it a bit more romantic at candlelight,” he adds with a smile. “Our range comes in various sizes and colours, and some can also be used as flower vases by default.” Candle holders are available from Mervyn Gers Ceramics and Yuppie Chef. Prices start at R132.
For more information, visit the Mervyn Gers Ceramics website here, or pop into the studio at 4A Dorsetshire Street, Paarden Eiland. Richard Scott can be found at – The Artist, TEST-STUDIO, Woodstock Brewery, 252 Albert Road, Woodstock. Follow Mervyn Gers Ceramics on Facebook here and Instagram here. Follow Richard Scott on Facebook here. and Instagram here.