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Decorative Pottery by Martin Mayongo


22 December 2007

At Martin's demonstration on 22 December, he showed a number of the finishing techniques he uses on his quality pottery ware. Care and craftmanship are his best tool and this was obvious to all who watched him at work.

Martin at work




The man at work














Always with busy hands






Adding finishing touches

fine details


close up of work




Getting the patina

just right






serious work







A study in concentration









Martin's contribution to the housing shortage

for field mice


colourful pot











Beautiful and traditional




elegant plate


Martin's Story




The essence of the Potter's craft, lies in taking the most basic of materials from the Earth, clay, and through direct manipulation in the truest sense - by hand, persuading it to become an item of beauty and often, also utility.


Martin Mayongo is a potter in this true sense and produces pieces in a clean, earthy style that fully reflect their Earth origins. At the Country Craft Market on 22 December, he demonstrated one of the more recent decorating processes that he has adopted, to add that extra touch to his elegant yet traditional work.


Martin is know at the Country Market for his large vases, plates and other utility pieces. He makes much skilful use of sawdust firing, producing pots with smoky brown colours that seem to be his signature.


His skill is obvious, reflected in the high standard of his work. While giving a rustic feel, these pieces are finished to perfection and are a remarkable blend of tradition and refinement. Above all, their ethnic and sometime stylised forms and designs capture the essence of Africa while still blending well into any décor style.


beaded plate


Martin is a cheerful person whose ready smile welcomes every visitor to his stall. He began his business, Yongo's Pottery in 1997, after working for other potters for 14 years Since that venture into independence, he has developed his own, unmistakable style.


His sawdust fired pots vary from small to very big, and are indeed his speciality. Apart from their obvious uses as vases and plant pots, the decorative versions are quite simply objet d'art for the mantelpiece or coffee table. These include a variety of large plates and platters. The decoration of his pottery includes the use of beads that add both colour and tradition. He integrates these two crafts, pottery and beadwork, with a subtle touch. The result is simple beauty, with no flamboyance.



Martin invited all visitors to the Country Craft Market on 22 December, to visit his stall and see him at work on decorating his pots. And many also measured up one of his pots for thier Christmas stockings, to put a real taste of Africa into Christmas.




Last Updated 01 November 2017 16:11