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IIn the heart of Groot Marico lies an unassuming glass studio where a few well-spent hours will equip you with a lifelong skill and a wonderfully creative outlet. Learn how to make creative glass items, get to grips with mosaic work or tackle stained-glass projects – the choice is yours.
Inspired by the rich cultural heritage of the area, Ed la Rose decided to open a studio that would inspire artists to choose glass as a working medium.
It takes only about 3 hours of creative indulgence to learn how to prepare your glass item (think jewellery, lamps and plates) for firing in the kiln. Firing takes 12 hours, so your completed creation will be ready for collection the next morning.
Following a creative glass workshop at the Café Verre Glass Studio you’ll know what ‘fusing’ and ‘slumping’ are and will have acquired a skill that not many people have.
You could also opt for a mosaic workshop and put your own stamp of originality on a glass mirror or window panel. Or take the easy route and buy something ready-made. The mosaic course takes a whole day.
Learning the art of stained glass is a more time-consuming exercise since it’s labour intensive and depends on the size and intricacy of the object under construction.
Expect to pay up to R400 per person for the creative glass workshop and up to R300 per person for the mosaic workshop. The price includes all your materials, good coffee and, for day projects where a group is involved, additional refreshments may be provided.
Café Verre Glass Studio creates a range of original glass items, from stained-glass panels to mosaics, lamps and lunch plates. A kaleidoscope of glassware is on display for travellers looking for something special.
Spend time in the showroom choosing a memento or find a piece of locally designed boekenhout and railway-sleeper furniture for your home.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Café Verre Glass Studio
Phone: +27 (0)76 420 1523
How to get here
Café Verre is situated in the picturesque village of Groot Marico, 500m from the N4, in the heart of the North West province. You’ll find it at 3 Paul Kruger Street.
Groot Marico is about 200 kilometres or 2 hours' drive from either Pretoria or Johannesburg.
Best time to visit
Tuesday to Sunday or by special appointment on public holidays. Note that glass and mosaic workshops cannot be held simultaneously as there is only one instructor.
Things to do
See the town’s archaic manual telephone exchange; visit a variety of local craft outlets scattered around town; and learn about South Africa's famous author, Herman Charles Bosman, who based many of his characters on those from Groot Marico.
Tours to do
Take a tour to the Madikwe Game Reserve to see the Big 5 and endangered wild dogs or spend a day discovering the Eye of Marico, a natural upwelling in the Groot Marico River. Then, of course, there’s always a mampoer tour, during which you'll get to sample potent locally produced peach brandy.
Self-drive is the best option as it gives you the flexibility to travel to nearby tourist destinations and to stay overnight in order to collect your glass creation in the morning.
What will it cost?
Creative glass workshops cost around R350 per person, inclusive of materials. Classes will be held for 1 person and up to a maximum of 6. Children are welcome, but those under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Sessions are generally 2 to 3 hours’ long. Group sessions of up to 15 people can be arranged, but prior booking is essential.
Mosaic workshops cost around R250, inclusive of materials. Maximum of 9 people per session, children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
Length of stay
If you're creating an item that requires firing, spend a night in Groot Marico and sample South African country hospitality.
Where to stay
There are a number of accommodation options in and around the town. See the listed site for details.
Lamps, ashtrays, plates, mirrors, jewellery and wooden furniture, such as railway-sleeper headboards, coffee tables and couches. And add a bottle of mampoer to your shopping basket before leaving town...