Meet Christopher: Local Cacti & Succulents Enthusiast Making Pots Inspired by Maltese Art

Terracotta pot

Inspired by Maltese baroque art, Christopher is complementing his collection of plants by creating stunning, intricate handmade pots.

And they’re a big hit.

Plants and pots never really went out of fashion, but they’re certainly coming back with vigour in interior design: Both older Maltese homeowners and millennials new to the housing market are turning to growing indoor plants to breathe life into their living space, add colour, and turn their house into a home.

And thanks to this, pots are turning into an opportunity for the homeowner to create something quirky, personal, or unique in their home. This usually involves repainting pots bought at garden centres, repurposing items you wouldn’t expect into pots, and in the case of Christopher Azzopardi, handcrafting the pots yourself to create captivating, intricate pieces.

Intrigued by the designs of the pots and the massive amount of reactions they got amongst friends and group members, we decided to ask Christopher some questions.

H: First things first: How long have you been making pots, and why?

Actually, I’ve started doing my own pots just recently. I could not find any on the market with the shapes and sizes that I wanted, and a great majority of pots I did find were quite plain. I am very inspired by Maltese baroque art and traditional architecture in Malta, so I wanted to have something that carries this into my home. I am a painter, sculptor and I used to be a carpenter, so I love to create artistic objects.

H: Have you exhibited your pots anywhere?

I got to exhibit some of them at the Cactus and Succulents annual show, held in the last weekend of October.

Christopher Azzopardi

H: Are you interested in making pots available to people who would want to commission one from you?

There were several people who have asked me to do pots for them, but I still got to do more to complete my own collection. Once that’s done, maybe in the near future I will accept commissions.

H: What tools do you use to make the pots?

I don’t use pottery wheel or moulds. I build everything from scratch using just my hands and cut out a template, which I design myself to help me in shaping the pot.

H: On average, how long does it take you?

Depends on the type. For this one, it took me over a week. Every detail has to be built by hand so that is why it takes so long to be finished.

H: How do you achieve the finish?

To create texture and get different looks, I use ceramic glazes or acrylic paints.

H: You’ve also constructed stands. Particularly this multi-tiered beauty, what’s its story?

Yes. That one took me a lot of time. I started it 6 months ago First I designed it on a piece of paper and then I drew in Autocad to see exactly how much material I need to build them. It cost me quite a lot of money and energy but I am very happy with the end result.

H: May I ask, how much did that cost to make when it comes to the material?

Around 500 euro

H: Considering the result, and what people would usually pay for it, I’d say you got yourself a real bargain.

Yes, in fact, this is my 4th stand. This summer I built a fish pond, which I fitted under the stairs leading to our garage. The space underneath the stairs was never used, so really gave it purpose. I love to build my own things to decorate my own house.

H: You’re pretty active on green patches, do you consider yourself a plant/gardening enthusiast?

I am addicted to collecting cacti and succulents. In whatever I do, I love to specialise. I’ve been collecting and growing cacti for 25 years, each year I add more to my collection. This year, I started to build stands for my collections. I like to think good presentation can go a long way.

H: Do you have any friends who share your passion for cacti and succulents?

Yes, in Malta you will find lots of cacti and succulents specialists. I consider myself a novice in front of them. In fact, I am a member of a cacti and succulents club. We meet every first Sunday of the month. For anyone interested in learning more about the club, joining, or requesting information, this is their page: Cactus & Succulents Society of Malta.

H: Anyone in particular you feel deserves a mention : )?

Mario Azzopardi, the club’s president and Rene’ Zahra the club’s secretary. They are incredibly dedicated to the collection and proliferation of succulents and cacti in Malta, and always ready to help anyone – be they amateurs or botanists themselves – who wants advice on how to care and grow plants.

Follow Christopher’s page to stay updated on his latest creations, and when the time comes, commission your own piece! Find his Facebook Page here: Pots, Cacti, & Succulents.

Christopher Azzopardi is a local cacti and succulents aficionado who frequently posts on Green Patches, the go-to-page for Maltese homeowners interested in gardening. You’ll find him giving advice to help other members, making available his own finds, and sharing what he’s working on, be it stands he constructed for plants or pots he’s made.