In 1987 Nico’s passion for pottery started with an apprenticeship with master potter Brian Haden. He continued his career at Canosa pottery in Paarl and went on to establish Nico Liebenberg Pottery in 1990.
Known as a prolific potter, Nico produces an extensive range of decorative and functional ceramics – porcelain and stoneware, as well as Raku pieces.
These range from tea bowls, sushi plates oven dishes and bowls to large vessels, like chimney pots and 200 litre sized wine jars.
Each uniquely hand-crafted piece carries the potter’s distinct and renowned style and signature. Nico uses fuel firing kilns and sources most of the raw materials locally. The high temperature glazes are mostly traditional Oriental glazes. A variety of glazes – from the cool green tones of the Celadons, to fiery warm Copper Reds, to brownish black Temmokus, smoky blue Chuns and olive shades of vine ash. Firings are done under a reduction atmosphere. He uses LP Gas for porcelain and Paraffin for the stoneware.
Nico’s work can be viewed at several exhibitions, galleries and retail outlets around South Africa and internationally.
An introduction to Raku
In the wide spectrum of ceramics, the Raku, occupies a smaller but spectacular place. Raku, which has its origins in ancient Japan, means joyfulness.
Raku pottery is created with a specific ceramic firing process that uses both fire and smoke to create unique patterns and designs. With Raku pottery, the piece is first bisque fired. Then, it is glazed and undergoes a Raku firing process.The Raku firing process requires a special Raku kiln that is fueled by LP Gas and reaches temperatures of up to 1020°C.