As we pulled into Clairvaux farm – the home of Rialheim ceramic studio in Robertson in the Western Cape – a few months ago, I could immediately sense the magic. It wasn’t a long visit, but the inspiration that I got still lingers.
Rialheim (previously known as Ceramic Factory) has been around for more than four years already. The creations are all about telling stories. It is about creating masterpieces by simply combining water, fire & earth, says Rial Visagie, the creative director.
On arrival, you are greeted by a sculpture garden that overlooks the beautiful surrounds, as well as the converted barn which is now the studio. The sculpture garden is a creation of Lizamore & Associates & features some of the best of South African sculptors.
After our Rialheim visit I felt like I was floating. The beauty, passion & magic was just so inspirational.
When you visit: request a walk around the actual studio/factory which is adjacent to the store. It is worth it.
I also happened to meet Rial himself as I was about to leave. What a delightful human being with deep rooted passion & sense of responsibility about what Rialheim does. He apologised for being full of clay dust & then proceeded to tell me about the huge responsibility that they have to create joyous & magical pieces for people’s homes. These snippets from one of his blog posts describe it best (read more here):
…your earthly belongings speak volumes about you & your journey. Some of the pieces in our home were left to us by our grandparents. They hold their own magical memories, but we’ve also added some playful pieces that we’ve picked up along the way.
Funny thing is, I can tell you the story of every single thing. The feeling each piece evokes means we are reminded where we bought it, the impulses, the tantrums & the falling-in-love particulars of each item…
I often witness conversations people have when they’re buying a Rialheim piece. As they hold onto the package & leave the store, I wonder about their story. I realise, with a little smile on my face, we haven’t just sold something, but a story & a lasting experience…
We at Rialheim can only hope that the pieces you buy from us find a special place in your life’s journey. For all of us here we know it was made with passion but more importantly, for me personally, I feel privileged to be part of your story.”
Hope you enjoyed a peek into the Rialheim world. If you are ever in the vicinity of their Jozi (Linden) store, Cape Town store or Robertson, treat yourself & pop in. Rialheim creations are also available in @Home stores & are exported to Europe.
Thank you, Rialheim, for sharing your magic with us.