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Superb, innovative design at CCDI’s 2011 Handmade Collection, Design Indaba

What do finely crocheted thread earrings, a protea constructed from the pages of a magazine, and a mosaic inspired by a sangoma all have in common?

These are some of the 47 objects that make up the Cape Craft & Design Institute’s annual Handmade Exhibition Collection. The Collection, selected from 215 entries, was unveiled to the public at the Design Indaba Expo, which ran from 25 to 27 February at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

The Handmade Collection, now in its third year, is the premier showcase of the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI), which is a Section 21 company set up ten years ago by the Province and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology to promote and grow the craft and design sector.

The selection panel was made up of individuals from various arts, culture and media institutions, who looked for superb design, excellent craftsmanship and a high degree of innovation,  said the CCDI’s Communications manager Marjorie Naidoo.

“The focus is on only the very best handmade objects and we are confident that this outstanding collection will prove the relevance, creativity and collectability of handmade products. As this exhibition encourages producers and designer makers to push their creative boundaries, new marketable products often flow from this event.”

This year’s collection includes works by many established craft producers and designer makers  such as ceramicist Hennie Meyer and fabric designer Jane Solomon, who submitted a seat upholstered in a new fabric inspired by indigenous birds.

Jane Solomon: Indigenous birds upholstered seat. Image by Eric Miller

There were also newcomers such as City Varsity student Amy Rusch who made a crown of wire, cotton thread and recycled magazine paper – “a playful object made for the fun of stitching.”

Amy Rusch: wire, cotton thread and recycled magazine paper crown. Image by Eric Miller

‘Up-cycling’ and ‘repurposing’ is  a common theme,  with winning entries including  a large bottle cap and wire basket by Phanny Mangwiro,  and a cupboard made from antique wooden printers’ trays by Kate Thompson of Recreate.

Recreate: cupboard made from antique wooden printers’ trays. Image by Eric Miller

There is even an evening suit embroidered in African designs and decorated with appliquéd images, recycled buttons and plastic. The suit was inspired by traditional Cockney pearly kings and queens, whose clothes are decorated with thousands of pearl buttons.  This was designed by Monique Fagan, produced by Lizzie Ngwenya of the Leechar Homes craft collective in Heideveld, with skills training funded by the Kommetjie Environmental Awareness Group (KEAG).

Some of the more unusual items include a mechanical head made from stoneware clay “showing the cogs expressing the inner workings of the mind”, according to its creator Alessandro Pappada, and colourful skulls embroidered on felt by Nicola de Jager of Calavera.

Lifestyle and homeware items include finely wrought jewellery, lighting, a merino wool and mohair handbag (Bridget Henderson of cowgirlblues), ceramics, exquisite hand-blown vases (Elizabeth Lacey of Red Hot Glass), a large wirework chair by Willard Musarurwa and maple and rosewood candlesticks by Bert Parker.

Red Hot Glass: hand-blown vases. Image by Eric Miller

Orders can be placed with the craft producers directly, or through the CCDI.

The Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI)
75 Harrington Street, East City, Cape Town

Phone: +27 21 461 1488 – Fax: +27 21 461 1228 www.capecraftanddesign.org.za

Monkeybiz exhibition at the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden, The Netherlands

The curators of the National Museum of Ethnology in The Netherlands attended Design Indaba in 2008 and saw Monkeybiz’s work on display there. They contacted Monkeybiz in 2009, returned to Cape Town at the end of last year and purchased all the artworks for the exhibition. The exhibition runs in Leidon from May 27th until 22nd August 2010.

Exciting news from Woo-men Plush Toys

Few people can resist the gorgeous, character-filled plush toys from Woo-men. The business, headed by Elaine and Pete Woodbridge, is on the move! Read more about their exciting new developments below:

Our toys have been tested for  safety at SABS and found to be compliant with European Norm EN71 and universal standard ISO8124. They are non toxic and suitable for all ages. This is fantastic for export to Europe as we can now use the CE mark. It really sets us apart in the craft sector.

We have been at Design Indaba and SARCDA International shows this year and are off to the Grahamstown Festival in June. We will be part of the Fringe Exhibition with an exhibit entitled Free Range Friends. Woo-men is teaming up with Pete Woodbridge Illustration for this event. There will be toys for sale, as well as prints and canvasses by Pete.

We have also been selected to be part of the FIFA World Cup Craft Village on the Grand Parade and will be selling our sporty Soccer Ted toys there during June and July. We also hope our Woo Mama characters will be popular with all the visitors to South Africa.

One of our most popular characters with locals is Bed Head and we recently made the first large ones. These cuddlesome beauties retail for R375 and R450 directly from us or at Baraka in the Cape Quarter.

We recently made improvements to our Mr. Tiny stress ball character which is now selling well at Heartworks in the Gardens Centre.

We started a blog earlier this year in February and are enjoying using it to bring news and pictures to our readers.  www.woomen.wordpress.com

To view Woo-men’s complete portfolio on Cape Town Creatives, click here.

New shop for Monkeybiz

Monkeybiz have recently revamped their retail outlet in Bo-Kaap. With rich textures and colours, the name of the game, this new shop is sure to be a visual feast. Visit Monkeybiz’s shop at 43 Rose Street, Bo-Kaap, Cape Town. For more information and opening times contact +27 21 426 0636.

Monkeybiz South Africa, is a nonprofit income-generating bead project started in January 2000.
Through creating sustainable employment, Monkeybiz focuses on women’s economic empowerment and health development in the most economically under-resourced areas of South Africa.

The project, which has established a vibrant community of more than 450 bead artists, many of whom are the sole breadwinners within their households, has transformed the beaded arts market in South Africa. Departing from the culture of mass-produced curio craft, each Monkeybiz artwork is unique and is signed by the artist, ensuring that individual artists receive recognition for their work.

To view Monkeybiz’s complete portfolio on Cape Town Creatives, click here.

Zuko Soccer Dolls

Zuko dolls have produced a new range of soccer inspired creations just in time for the World Cup. The floppy, brown rag dolls are dressed in characteristic soccer gear.  Please contact Estelle at zukodolls@mweb.co.za i f you would like to place an order or find out where the dolls are available for sale.

Zuko soccer world cup 2010 dolls2

To view Zuko Dolls’ complete portfolio on Cape Town Creatives click here

Experience Design Indaba 2010

We asked a few designers/creative companies to comment on their experience at Design Indaba Expo 2010. Read what they had to say below:

Streetwires at Design Indaba Expo 2010

We had a very successful Design Indaba, as our new products were well-received by our regular customers, and we had some interest from new prospects too.

Our ideas / inspiration was to move away from the obvious soccer themes that are now on every conceivable product and rather provide something that tourists would like, and locals would relate to. Beaded animals and the big 5 are almost as prolific as soccer balls, so we decoded to go for a Township theme, but with a ‘feel-good’ vibe – something to make people smile. It seems we were spot-on!

Streetwires stand at Design Indaba

Urbanative Jewellery at Design Indaba Expo 2010

Urbanative jewellery had a wonderful expo 2010! We met lots of like minded creatives and look forward to next years expo to keep the momentum going.

Urbanative at Design Indaba

Monkeybiz at Design Indaba Expo 2010

This year’s Design Indaba held great significance for the Monkeybiz team, as it sought to honour it’s co-founder, Barbara Jackson.  As always it was inspirational.

Monekybiz at Design Indaba

Fundi Light and Living at Design Indaba Expo 2010

We had a wonderful response to our products and new fabric collections from the media, trade and public (and the mass of students…). The Design Indaba is a wonderful platform to showcase new products into the market, but we definitely saw less trade and much less international buyer presence at the show this year. One can see that all the ‘big names’ have either dropped out or have really reduced the size of their stands, and the overall feel of the show has become more craft orientated. We hope 2011 will bring back the design edge that the show was so synonymous for.

Design Indaba 2010 - fundi stand

Cape Town Crafters

Cape Town is one of South Africa’s most important creative hubs. Cape Town Creatives was started with the vision to centralise information relating to the creative industry in Cape Town. Here is a list of excellent crafters/craft companies based in Cape Town. Click on the names below to view the full portfolio on the Cape Town Creatives website.

  1. Monkeybiz
  2. Streetwires
  3. Zuko Dolls
  4. Wola Nani
  5. Tin City

Nursery rhyme hooks by Tin City

Tin City Rhyme 1

120cm long and 15cm tall

Tin City Rhyme 2

101cm long and 17cm

Each design has integrated hooks for hanging clothes and will brighten up any child’s room!

Blog posted by Tin City

New designs from Tin City


Tractor Magnet: 9,5 x 8cm
This is the first installment of the farmyard theme, with more designs to follow in the next couple of weeks.

African Soccer

African Soccer Magnet: 7 x 6,5cm
The reasons for creating this magnet are obvious, but we hope the design will remain popular after the event.

Blog posted by Tin City

‘Fun’-tional Art

Some fundis say ‘form follows function’ but we reckon ‘fun overrules function’! Those expensive killer-heels that every gal dreams of (those ones that kill the wallet & the Achilles…!) were our inspiration.

Why have a beautiful pair of heels at the bottom of your cupboard when they are too painful to wear anyway, when you can rather have a pair on display to admire. Either way, fashion-shoes are too uncomfortable and purely decorative – merely ‘fun-tional’ so we think ours rock for their entertainment value!


Blog posted by Streetwires