Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Scandi Style in Africa

In keeping with this week's heritage theme, here are some SA boys celebrating their Scandinavian heritage in the African context surrounding them. And, of course, the combo is pretty cool.

Pedersen + Lennard
(I'm not sure what their first names are... hmmm...) create everything from lamps to seating from things found lying around (chicly photographed alongside South Africa's ever-present but fashion's very current, velskoene).

How about a light created with buckets...

Or seating made from buckets?

Here's a great way to turn heritage on its head! Putting a lovely cushy pillow on what many of us have placed our behinds on at some point, the good old crate.

I also love the grid table and the Mugabe lamp (I'd like to hear the story behind that name)....

And the last thing I am going to show you is how beautiful a simple thing like a towel peg can be. *Sigh*. I love it when design does good.

You can read more, and see more of their lovely wares on their website.

Monday, September 27, 2010


In honour of the wonderful Heritage Day that South Africans are so lucky to celebrate (and we all say... YUM!) this week I'll have some posts based on heritage. I seem to be a bit late with my celebrations because the actual holiday was last Friday, and we only had our little lekker* braai yesterday, it is always better late than never.

First off I'd like to introduce you to (if you are not already acquainted) to James B Hannah.

James wields his welding tools to create some pretty impressive steel sculptures (I love the red girl and could definitely see her gracing one of the walls of my home).

Besides the beauty of the sculptures, James also creates some practical furniture.

My favourites are his braai chairs and tables. I think its only fitting that this set goes with this post, not only because its about heritage day but because I grew up with the original braai chair and table this draws inspiration from (as did many South Africans). I love how he's reinvented them on modern lines.

If you'd liked to see more, you can visit James' website, JHB Design.

*SA slang for delicious, good, cool, etc.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Take A Breather

Ah, the last days of summer. I spent the weekend on Nantucket and while we were there, we hit the beach.

Monday, September 20, 2010


What to do when you have a spare 5 minutes, beautiful morning light and some gorgeous flowers?

And remember this?

Which I wrote about, oh, ages ago? It was the harvest from my little lavender bush. I didn't know what to do with it. Well, when my Mom was here we did a little home ec project and now I have these. They slip over the hook of a hanger, to keep your clothes smelling good! And they're gorgeous too!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ah, Weddings

Who doesn't love a great wedding? Or appreciate it when well documented by good photography? Loving these wedding pics, of Ross and Skye's wedding in Inchanga (in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa). Pics by Tink Photography.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

As originally spotted on Freshly Found.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Vote for South of the Sahara

Wow. That last post on Pieter Hugo caused quite a ruckus! Got comments on facebook, email and even in the kitchen at work! Hmm. Perhaps we'll see more art in the future.

Moving on, today is the last day you can vote for my little blog to win in the Best Design Blog section of the SA Blog Award. It crept up on me fast! If you'd like, just click on the button to your right, and follow the instructions. I thank you in advance. And, in general, thank you for visiting my blog... it really is just a passion and a pleasure for me to blog about South African art, design, crafts, etc, so it thrills me that I actually have a readership, and that I ended up getting nominated. Really chuffed*. Thanks :)

(Image, from Cape Town Fashion Week, as found on Kim Gray's lovely blog, which is also up for an award (good luck Kim!). More on the SA Fashion Weeks next week.)

*SA slang for "pleased".

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pieter Hugo

So, as a graphic designer, I find myself over at ffffound pretty much every day. That's where I first spotted these images.

I found them hard to look at. As an animal lover. As an African. I knew, especially being the writer of this blog, I should look into it. But it was too hard. I have issues about animals being stuck in situations they can do nothing about. I pretended it wasn't there.

Then a friend sent me this link, with these images.

These intrigued me so I looked them up. Turns out they are photographs taken by the same man. Pieter Hugo. I find his work fascinating, he seems to seek out strangeness, and then documents it. His website will tell you lot about his images, the stories behind them and his motives. There is a lot.

For instance, the hyena men (the series is called "The Hyena and Other Men") are a group of men in Nigeria, who are performers. Hugo is fascinated by the juxtaposition of the urbanity of the environment in which these men live and the wildness of the animals with whom they perform. The second set of photographs ("Permanent Error") documents an area in Ghana, where obsolete technology is dumped.

Yes, this is where your old junk gets sent.

Hugo doesn't say all that much in his write-up about his motives but I think this one is pretty clear.

I know I don't post about art very often. I do like pretty pictures. But we can't look at pretty pictures all the time and these definitely called out to me. I think they were worth bringing to your attention. I hope you think so, too.

Monday, September 13, 2010

... and I've Added New Links

I just realized there are some websites I visit every day that I have not got in my blogroll. What a scandal. So I've updated them. Feel free to nosey around.

This image found via Miss Moss, who found it here.

Afrobot Returns!

As you well know, I am very fond of the quirky characters in Nicholas Hausers' Afrobot series of ceramics. So I was pleased as punch when he contacted me with pics from his 2010 set.

Here is a bit of what inspires Nick.

"I have always revered the great masks, totems and fetish sculptures of Africa. Their forms know no restrictions, nor limitations and they are innocent in the sense that they are made to actually do something for people. Art has lost that kind of innocence these days.

Whilst working in Uganda, I noticed that my fondness for old cartoon and tin robots from the 1950s and 1960s, connected to the genius of the anonymous sculptor / carvers of Central and East Africa. The designers of these mass-produced science fiction robots also went largely anonymous and uncredited.

I marvel that their products have gifted us with such integrity of form created for no tangible reward save perhaps the satisfaction of an image given life....

So as you read this, I hope that you'll all have a close look at some clay that is technically fairly naively handled, but with a lot of love and commitment to the pleasure, the adventure of playing and the mostly childlike results of a rusty imagination....

Weebale nyo.
(Thank you in Luganda)"

You can find his contact details on his website.
Oh, I hope I get one for Christmas!