I enjoy making groups of large pots whose purpose is to enhance, enrich, vitalise and add character to gardens, homes and architectural spaces.
I like to see the location, determine whether the pots are to be planted and then make pots to suit the space and to integrate the architecture with the interior or landscape design.
Most of my glazes are based on simple materials and I particularly like glazes based on wood ash, which result in warm, natural colours. My pots are reduction fired to 1380 degrees centigrade as the combination of high temperature, the reduction atmosphere and the wood ash glazes cause a reaction between clay and glaze which gives me the rich glaze qualities and effects that I like.
As a seventh generation South African with a deep affinity for Africa and African objects, I like to believe that my own pots reflect my personal experiences and my love of large pots - modern and ancient, European, African or Oriental.
Digby has an 120 cu foot oil-fired trolley kiln in which he fires (on average) 12 of his pots per month.
Reduced stoneware 1380 deg C (Cone 13) using mainly 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.
All pots are raw-glazed.
For more information on his making, glazing and firing pots, please visit the website.
Digby specialises in large pots (high-fired reduced stoneware) used as containers for (mainly) indoor plants but also for water plants. He makes groups of related pots, frequently for commissions.
He also runs a teaching studio with 75 students.
His work is available from his studio (see above contact details) and from Ceramics Southern Africa's and Craft South Africa's exhibitions.
Digby Hoets has worked as a potter and run a pottery school from home since 1973.
He was born in Johannesburg in 1949. He matriculated from King Edward Seventh school in 1967 and after a year in the Navy he registered for a B.Sc. at Natal University (PMB).
He has received no formal training in ceramics. Since 1995 Digby has worked and run his pottery school from the thatched studio, which he built at his home in the Carlswald valley, in Midrand.
Digby is recognised as one of South Africa's foremost potters with an unrivalled position when it comes to his large ceramic works. His work is in collections throughout the world.
Examples of his work may be seen in the following museums and public collections:
Johannesburg Art Gallery
Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg
The Pietersburg Art Museum
The Sasol Art Museum in Stellenbosch
Highgrove House in Gloucestershire (home of Prince Charles)
Private and corporate collectors include:
The Development Bank
The Forum (Gensec) in Sandton
Pretoria Portland Cement
South African Breweries
PSG in Johannesburg and Cape Town
SAPPI's head office in Johannesburg.
Recent commissions include private homes and hotels in New York, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro and Geneva for Peter Marino & Associates a leading firm of New York-based architects.
His work is regularly included in auctions of South African and African art by Stephan Welz Sotheby's in Johannesburg
He has taken part in exhibitions of the work of leading South African potters which toured Germany in 1978 and 1979.
He has held solo shows at:
Ann Zinn Gallery, Cape Town, 1977
Beuster Skolimowski Gallery, Pretoria, ‘78, ‘79, '82
Helen de Leeuw Johannesburg 1978
Goodman Gallery Johannesburg, 1980, 1982
Since then he has taken part in numerous group shows and the annual ceramics exhibitions organised by the Association of Potters of South Africa and the Craft Council of South Africa as well as an exhibition of the work of South African artists at South Africa House in London.
Major articles include:
"Five Potters" by Dina Katz, Lantern, December 1974
"Digby Hoets, Potter" by Dr Gregory Kerr, Lantern, April 1985
"Digby Hoets Larger than Life" by Gail de Klerk, National Ceramics, Number 58, Summer 2001
"On a Grand Scale" by Wilma Cruise, Ceramic Review (United Kingdom), Issue Number 194, March/April 2002.
Digby is one of the potters included in "Contemporary Ceramics in South Africa" by Wilma Cruise and Doreen Hemp (Struik Winchester 1991).
He has been the overall award winner at APSA's National Ceramic Exhibition on four occasions - 1972, 1978, 1987, and 2001.
In 2002 he won a Gold Medal at FNB's Vita Craft Exhibition.