Franschhoek understands the value of regular events, and the power they have in attracting visitors to the village.  During October it is hosting its first ‘Franschhoek Art in Clay’ ceramics exhibition, Ceramics Fair, a pop-up ceramics shop, and setting up ‘pop-up’ restaurants in some of the participating galleries too.  In addition, the summer season of Cook Franschhoek takes place, and a Classical Music Festival will end off the month on a high note.

The driving force behind the ‘Art in Clay’ event is David Walters, who is one of South Africa’s leading potters and has been working in Franschhoek for a number of years now.   The participating galleries, and the ceramicists exhibiting their work, are the following:

Ceramics Gallery: Potter David Walters has been working in ceramics for 35 years, and now specialises in porcelain.  He has started specialising in creating dinnerware for some of the top restaurants in our country, including Reuben’s. He founded the Midlands Meander.  Exhibition of work by him, his daughter Sarah Walters, and by Jonathan Keep, Christo Giles, John Wilhelm, and Lindsay Scott.  Reuben Riffel will prepare a lunch on 23 October (sold out already). High Tea will be served, using David Walters’ hand-made tea sets, including Wedgewood nougat and Angel biscuits, on weekends, at R50.   24 Dirkie Uys Street.  Monday – Sunday 10h00 – 18h00. Tel (021) 876-4304.

Artefact: Tiny gallery with ceramics work by Vuyisa Potina, Andrea Desmond Smith, Kobus Stander, David Walters, and Sarah Walters.  Daniel Hugo Street.  Tel (021) 876-4304.

Ebony: Ceramics work by Clementina van der Walt, Hennie Meyer, Katherine Glenday, Lisa Ringwood, Mick and Sally Haigh, and Michael Chandler. Opening cocktail party for invited guests only, with food served by Neil Jewell on ceramicware made by the exhibitors. Franschhoek Square, Huguenot Street.  Tel 082 558 2221

Gallery at Grande Provence: Ceramics works by Imiso Ceramics, Zizamele Ceramics, Michael Haig, Louise Gelderblom, and Rae Goosen.  Lunches available daily next door in the Restaurant at Grande Provence. Main Road.  Tel (021) 876-8600.

IS Art: Ceramics work by Hylton Nel, Ralph Johnson, Helen Vaughan, Lisa Firer, Ann Marais, Wilma Cruise, Dale Lambert, Wendy McLachlin, Sue van Rensburg, Chris Smart, Caroline Heydenrecht, Hannes van Zyl, John Wilhelm, and Rebecca Tetley.   Lunch for 12 served in the gallery on 23 October by Margot Janse.  Huguenot Str.  Tel (021) 876-8443.

La Motte Museum: The theme if the exhibition is “Potters who are no longer with us”, paying tribute to deceassed and emigrated potters, in exhibiting the Ceramics SA exhibition at the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, and from the Social History Collection of Iziko Museums of Cape Town.  Artists’ work exhibited includes that of Barbara Jackson, Bonnie Ntshalinsthali, Hyne Rabinowitz, Esias Bosch, Tim Morris, Sonja Gerlings, and Marietjie van der Merwe.  Lunches are available at Pierneef à La Motte.   Tel (021) 876-8850. Tuesday – Sunday 9h00 – 17h00.

The ‘Pop-Up’ Ceramics shop will be located in The Yard (where Isabellina was, at 38 Huguenot Road, home of the Salmon Bar and Pam Golding Properties) for the month of October,  including ceramics work by Heath Nash, Zizamele, Imiso Ceramics, Andy de Klerk of Cabinetworks, Urban Africa, Soulchild, and Chimpel. Under the trees outside the Dutch Reformed Church hall members of the Cape Craft & Design Institute and of Ceramics SA will display and sell their pottery on Saturday 29 October.

In honour of Franschhoek’s Gourmet status, and many potters’ crafting dinnerware for the local restaurants, the Summer season of ‘Cook Franschhoek’ takes place next weekend, from 7 – 9 October, and allows food lovers to rub shoulders with the local chefs and winemakers.  On Friday Chef Chris Smit of Café BonBon will prepare beetroot risotto, beetroot chutney, and beetroot flatbread, paired with Haut Espoir wine; Chef Adrian Buchanan of Freedom Hill will demonstrate preparing grilled scallops with prawns, chorizo and pea shoot salad; Salmon Bar’s Chef Judy Sendzul will do a salmon and trout tasting, paired with Boekenhoutskloof wines; Chef Paula Johnson of Le Verger at Le Franschhoek Hotel will prepare chocolate hazelnut dacquoise, paired with La Bri wines; Chef Ryan Smith of Ryan’s Kitchen will do an ice cream, and sorbet demo, pairing with Antonij Rupert Wines; Chef Chris Erasmus of Pierneef à La Motte will demonstrate cooking meat with shiraz, chocolate spice and berries, using La Motte wines.  On Saturday the Franschhoek Food Emporium’s Chef Robert Rittel will do a talk on the art of patés and terrines, pairing with Lynx Wines; Chef Shaun Schoeman of Fyndraai Restaurant will talk about veldfood flavours, pairing with Solms-Delta Winery; Chef Chris Smit of Café BonBon does a pork belly demo, pairing with Haut Espoir; Chef Ryan Smith repeats the ice cream and sorbet demo, paired with Antonij Rupert Wines; Chef Margot Janse prepares beetroot sponge, spinach and onion puree, buttermilk labne, dill and cucumber granita, paired with Haut Espoir wines; Chef Paula Johnson of Le Verger repeats her chocolate hazelnut dacqouise, paired with La Bri wines; and Chef Chris Erasmus of Pierneef à La Motte repeats his course on cooking meat with Shiraz;  Chef Adrian Buchanan repeats the scallop, prawn, chorizo and pea shoot salad demo, paired with their Freedom Hill wines; and the Salmon Bat trout and salmon tasting , paired with Boekenhoutskloof wines, is repeated.  On Sunday Chef Reuben Riffel will cook miso glazed Franschhoek salmon trout, paired with Boekenhoutskloof; Chef Chris Smit of Café BonBon demonstrates the making of a Christmas apple and cranberry cake, and a spice-infused milk tart, paired with Haut Espoir; and the art of patés and terrines by Chef Robert Rittel of Franschhoek Food Emporium, with wines by Lynx, is repeated.

To add a crescendo to the month-long ceramics exhibition, talented Steinway pianist Christopher Duigan has organised the 8th Classic Music Festival for the last weekend of October.  The programme kicks off with a tribute to ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, with Zorada Temmingh performing in the Dutch Reformed Church, utilising a restored 1925 silent movie version of the film, with organ improvisation, on Friday 28 October. On the programme for 29 October are Claude Bolling’s suites for flute and jazz piano in the Dutch Reformed Church; a Food, Wine and Music tasting takes place in the courtyard in The Yard, outside the Salmon Bar and Taste South Africa, with cheese, charcuterie, and trout boards, a wine tasting, and music by accordionist Stanislav Angelov; and ‘Music of the Night’ with Louise Howlett and Albert Combrink at Café Bon Bon, with dinner.   On Sunday Christopher Duigan will perform ‘Liszt vs Liszt’ at the Dutch Reformed Church; classical guitarist James Grace performs at Bread & Wine over lunch; and a ‘Festival Finale’ will be held at Café Bon Bon.

Franschhoek Art in Clay, Franschhoek.  1 – 30 October.  Contact David Walters for more information: Tel (021) 876- 4304.   For details of the Classic Music Festival: www.musicrevival.co.za For tickets for Cook Franschhoek: www.webtickets.co.za

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage