POTTING ON LIKOMA ISLAND
Ulisa Bay Pottery is the 6th pottery that Chris Stevens has started – and he plans it will be the last. Chris arrived in Ulisa Village in 2011 and spent 5 years building Ulisa Bay Lodge. 2 years ago, he handed over the responsibility for Dedza Pottery to his family and leased out Nkhotakota Pottery.
At Ulisa Bay Pottery Chris is making his own pots again and working with one of the very few traditional potters on Likoma. There is space in the workshop for another potter, so guests can come and “do pottery” in the workshop for a week, a month or longer. The workshop has an assistant who can help with wedging clay, cleaning up etc. There is no timetable, so guests are free to work the hours they wish and take time off for as long as they like to explore this wonderful island.
Pottery Notes from Chris
We have a 75 litre top-loading kiln with a kiln controller for accurate firings. To keep firing times within the limits of the Likoma electricity supply we use an earthenware clay body which is a mixture of Dedza and Likoma clay and this produces a superb throwing clay. We biscuit fire to 890°C and glaze fire to 1090 °C. We have a standard clear and opaque white glaze (NO LEAD!) and a full range of colours for decorating. We also have a wide range of ceramic ingredients for experimenting with different clay bodies and glazes.
Ulisa Bay Pottery is the place to practice your throwing, (we have 2 electric and one kick wheel), try out some new decorations or do some glaze tests. We have clay bodies for hand building and modelling. My office is open plan with the pottery and I am usually around and its always great to discuss pottery. Technical “teaching” will be more likely over a glass of wine at the lodge rather than a formal session with a whiteboard.
There is the exciting opportunity to learn how to make traditional African pots from Maria, a great grandmother several times over from Likoma who still enjoys making her simple but stunningly beautiful pots. Sitting under the large Mango tree by the beach being taught how to make her pots is a humbling experience. As is the firing process where within 45 minutes of lighting the “bonfire” the pots are fired and ready for use.
For Potters who stay for 10 days or more we have a 2 roomed fully furnished chalet with its own ensuite bathroom with a hot shower and a kitchenette with small fridge, electric kettle, an electric hotplate and kitchen utensils. Treated safe drinking water on tap. Like all the lodge chalets it has a veranda with stunning views over the lake. This chalet is available for rent by potters as shown below:-
FAIRLY PRICED RATES in US$ for one guest in the chalet. (Minimum Booking is 10 days)
10 – 15 days $30 per day. Day 16 – Day 30 days $25 per day. All days over 30 days just $20 per day.
Additional guest in chalet is an extra $5 per day, or $10 per day if the additional guest will also take part in making pottery.
Included in the price - all bed linen and towels, full cleaning and laundry service, including personal clothes, water and electricity. As much time as you like in the pottery workshop. Making and firing 3 traditional pots with Maria in the first 10 days.
To be paid extra - Food and Drink but a wide variety are available at the lodge, with many meals from $2 - $5, or guests can prepare some food with the simple facilities in the Chalet. All pots that are fired, glazed or decorated are charged at $6 per kg to cover the cost of the raw materials and firing costs. A medium sized mug is about ¼ kg, so the cost would be $1.50.
ALL-INCLUSIVE RATES in US$. (Minimum Booking is 7 days)
One guest in the chalet
7 – 15 days $57 per day. Day 16 – Day 30 days $51 per day. All days over 30 days just $45 per day.
Two guests in the chalet (additional guest NOT taking part in pottery)
7 – 15 days $84 per day. Day 16 – Day 30 days $77 per day. All days over 30 days just $70 per day.
Two guests in the chalet (additional guest also taking part in pottery)
7 – 15 days $89 per day. Day 16 – Day 30 days $82 per day. All days over 30 days just $75 per day.
All-Inclusive is everything as in the Fairly Priced rates plus all meals provided. Wake up with coffee/tea/juice at the chalet in the morning, breakfast anytime you prefer. A single course midday meal or a packed lunch and a 3 Course Dinner in the evening. Guests on All-Inclusive rates would be accommodated in a Superior or Deluxe-Eco Chalet.