News and di­ary Plant pots made from tyres, plus cour­ses to sign up for

We love Van der Vloed & Skaamhaai’s col­lec­tion of hand­made plant pots – who’d have thought the in­ner tubes of tyres could look this good?

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When Plat­te­land vis­ited Nieu-Bethesda in the East­ern Cape (page 18), we bumped into Gaut­eng land­scape artist Barry Slab­bert out­side Die Waen­huis, where he was plant­ing a va­ri­ety of drought-re­sis­tant plants in black rub­ber pots.

This col­lec­tion of pots, sold un­der the name Van der Vloed & Skaamhaai, is the re­sult of a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Barry, Cul­li­nan artist and prod­uct de­vel­oper Magda van der Vloed, and her hus­band, Ru­fus. Barry, known in his pro­fes­sional ca­pac­ity and among his friends as James Barry, de­signed the var­i­ous shapes, and Magda and Ru­fus han­dle the stitch­ing and fin­ish­ing touches.

“I wanted to do some­thing with re­cy­clable goods that get thrown away, like the in­ner tubes of tyres… that thing you call mak­ing love out of noth­ing at all!” says Barry. “And we wanted to have fun with the process, es­pe­cially with the de­scrip­tive names we came up with for the dif­fer­ent shapes: from­melore,

koek­b­likke, tok­tokkies,

vlot­terkleppe (Afrikaans for “float valves”), son­visse…

“I like the feel of the col­lec­tion: on the one hand it’s home-made, on the other hand it’s con­tem­po­rary: part farm, part S&M, part tongue in cheek. And I also like the way the pots get a lovely patina over time.”

Barry and Magda want to work with more artists to ex­pand the range.

He is par­tic­u­lar about the plants fea­tured in the pots. “For the pots shown here at Die Waen­huis, I used only plants that oc­cur here in na­ture or that would flour­ish here. In Jo­han­nes­burg, I once made some pots for fash­ion de­signer Mar­i­anne Fassler and she de­cided to plant veg­eta­bles in them.”

• Barry and his col­lab­o­ra­tors will be launch­ing a spe­cial Facebook and Instagram ac­count for the col­lec­tion of pots, but look at Instagram un­der “#SkaamHaai” to see more ex­am­ples of their work.

Con­tact echev­e­ria ob­ses­sion@gmail.com

071 304 1159

Barry Slab­bert, aka James Barry

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