Toni Burton, whose background is in Higher Education, started Zizamele Ceramics in 2008.
After studying Fine Art (with Ceramics as a major) at Michaelis School of Fine Art at UCT, she taught high school art and ran a home teaching studio for children and adults for many years. During this time she raised her 3 daughters.
She then became a Ceramics lecturer at College of Cape Town and progressed to False Bay College where she ran learnerships in Craft Production. The final cohort of students were granted an extra 6 months Learn & Earn opportunity and together some of the students and her started Zizamele Ceramics.
Toni’s family were all entrepreneurs who owned their own businesses, so she had an instinctive understanding of how to guide the business to success. Numerous awards along the way have made the signature range of Ubuntu Bowls and related products firm favourites at home and abroad.
While Product Development is her first love, she declares herself an educator at heart and is thrilled to be teaching ceramics again from the Zizamele studio!
Zizamele Ceramics’ first export order was in 2008 for 1500 items ordered by Anthropologie in USA. The same year we were named a Craft Icon by the local Craft&Design Institute. Sisanda Mbana received an award at the National Ceramics exhibition and Toni travelled with the products to market them in Korea and India at trade fairs.
Fast forward to 2020 and with ceramic skills that have blossomed, we have a large product line and a retail outlet at the V&A Waterfront – Africa’s biggest tourist destination. Find us at The Watershed, a space dedicated to the handmade, the artisanal and the gorgeous!
If you can’t visit us, you can view and order our products on our online shop where you will often find discounts and specials. You can book to attend a Ceramics Workshop, where you can join our ceramic superstars who will help you make your own fabulous ceramic creations.
Zizamele creates highly sought after and collectable ceramic pieces that can be found all around the world as they are increasingly exporting to various countries. Product development and training is ongoing and each artist is encouraged to develop their own speciality.