Louise and Jan Van Niekerk moved from the Free State to the sleepy peaceful village of Nottingham Road many years ago before it became a fashionable hub of tourism.
The talented pair of artists fell in love with the beauty of the lush green Midlands and felt the little hamlet would have good tourism potential … and they were right and their shop Aladdins de Light has become a favourite stop for visitors to Nottingham Road who are looking for arts and beautiful objects.
Louise is a talented potter and she and her husband Jan are well known for their stained glass creations that are seen in many of the Midlands venues decorating wedding chapels and adding decorative touches here and there.
She has been doing pottery for more than 30 years in both stoneware and earthenware, and especially loves producing Raku and smoke-fired vessels.
Aladdin’s-de-Light in Nottingham Road is the place to go for all things creative. Their range of stained glass lamps and window panels are inspiring, and they offer lots of pottery items – some functional and others decorative.
Candles, mosaics pieces, wind chimes and sun catchers are amongst the range of affordable gifts from their large selection of handmade-with-love items.
Louise’s creativity knows no bounds and since they bought the property it has expanded from one small shop into a large shop, studio, bed and breakfast accommodation and at one stage they had a 80 seater restaurant.
Although the Aladdin’s restaurant does not exist anymore – because there are not enough hours in the day for the artists to do everything – Louise still sells her delicious Lulu’s pies.
Louise says: “We are very privileged to live here, no more rush hour traffic, big city crime, but instead fresh air and living a creative life!
“We started doing Stained Glass in the eighties. Back then there were very few of us, classes were very hard to find, and our specialized supplies were, as today, few and far away. We have people coming from as far as Johannesburg to commission us, and we urge them to send us pictures of the room and the garden and pictures of images they like so we can get a feel for them and their home before we begin a stained glass window.”
They also produce a wide range of exquisite Tiffany lamps, from small, medium and large standing lamps, and hanging lamps.
One of the most enjoyable things that they offer at Aladdin’s is a pottery workshop for a group of friends or for a group of work colleagues.
Louise said: “The pottery workshop is such fun and a real bonding experience as people get to “play” they let their boundaries down and start to think with the right hand side of their brain. It is a wonderful experience and can be done as a hen’s party or a team build or just for fun for a group of friends.
To find out more about Aladdins go to www.aladdins.co.za or contact them at 033 firstname.lastname@example.org.