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?
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,
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.
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Barry Slabbert, aka James Barry