Press Enter / Return to begin your search.

Modern Artisanal Honest Chocolate Made In South Africa

Experimentation using raw cacao to produce a healthy treat led to the creation of Honest Chocolate; a small artisanal chocolate company based in Cape Town, South Africa. The company’s founder, Anthony Gird began teaching himself the art of chocolate making and was soon joined by Michael de Klerk who had also been experimenting with raw chocolate whilst in London. Using ‘traditional, old school chocolate making methods’ small batches are handmade by a team of four that includes Anthony and Michael. The Honest Chocolate made in South Africa uses raw organic cacao hat comes from Ecuador. [Image credits: clockwise from top left, […]

Read More

Jewels Of The Kalahari Ostrich Eggshell Jewellery Made In Africa

Handmade by the San of the Kalahari, Jewels of the Kalahari is a collection of ostrich eggshell jewellery made using the delicate natural shards of the eggs, which are combined with other materials like recycled glass. Upholding craftsmanship and ancient skills, Jewels of the Kalahari was produced by One Fine Thread; a business that was founded by designer Anna Haber as a platform to highlight the rich culture and unique designs found in global arts and craft traditions. [Image credits: One Fine Thread, Jewels of the Kalahari Collection –  left, Boo George; right, L-Atitude]

Read More

Madwa Hand Woven Artisan African Home Decor Accessories

Inspired by craft and tradition, Madwa is an ethical craft project that works with small groups of master weavers in Madagascar and Swaziland to produce contemporary ranges of woven artisan African home decor accessories and textiles. Based in South Africa, Madwa harnesses the unique weaving skills of the different cultural groups and regions it works with, and is about the preservation of a unique craft heritage, assisting the weavers with product development and gaining access to international markets. [Image credits: Madwa]

Read More

Colonial House African Furniture Design Inspired By Traditional Sculpture

Colonial House Design is an interior and furniture design company based in Cape Town, South Africa; and reflecting on its name and location I was expecting a more traditional Cape Dutch inspired design aesthetic, but instead found contemporary African furniture design that draw on traditional African sculpture and the precision geometry of oriental forms. Colonial House Design was founded by Philip and Nicky Tyers; both of whom cite an eclectic range of design influences ranging from traditional African furniture design and  sculpture to those drawn from travels across Asia and South America. [Image credits: Boma Chair – Colonial House Design]

Read More

Buki Akib Darkroom Luxury West African Textiles Accessory Collection

Continuing to draw inspiration from Fela Kuti, Nigerian knitwear designer Buki Akib has launched a luxury West African textiles accessory collection of bags inspired by the legendary singer’s 27 wives. Exclusive to London store, Darkroom; Fela, The Wives is a follow up to Buki’s acclaimed menswear collection, previously featured on the site here. [Image credits: Buki Akib, Fela, The Wives Bag Collection – Darkroom]

Read More

Art In Action The Tentmakers of Cairo African Textile Art

Today sees the start of Art in Action a four-day annual celebration of art, artists and designers that has been running in the Oxfordshire countryside since 1977. Promoting diversity in creative disciplines, regions and cultures participation is by invite only and sees about 400 artists, designer makers, teachers, performers and musicians demonstrating and selling their creations to art lovers. Grouped into sections according to discipline. In the Commonwealth Art section Chapungu Sculpture Park is showcasing the work of, and presenting demonstrations from some of Zimbabwe’s master stone sculptors. Another section is the International Tent, which showcases artists drawn from across the globe and this […]

Read More

Loman Art Upcycled Creations Contemporary African Art

Creating poetry, songs and works of art, designer Loman Pawlitschek is the embodiment of the term ‘creative spirit’. Creating mobiles and other decorative art features like mirrors, Loman is committed to upcycling, taking unwanted and discarded scrap metals and materials, turning them into functional contemporary African art objects of value. Originally from Australia, Loman and her family moved to South Africa for a few years where she worked as an interior decorator, before moving to Dakar, Senegal where she has lived for four years; and where her business Loman Art is based. Dakar has been a source of inspiration for Loman who […]

Read More

Nyungwe Forest Lodge African Interior Design Inspiration

I have just finished reading a delightful and touching book called ‘Baking Cakes in Kigali‘ by Gaile Parkin and in it the main characters take a drive through the Nyungwe Forest, which they describe as being ‘beautiful’. When reading this part I kept visualising the chic Nyungwe Forest Lodge whose website I had come across a little while back. About four to five hours drive from Rwanda’s capital, Kigali; Nyungwe is a closed canopy rain forest. Designed to blend in with the surroundings the Nyungwe Forest Lodge is located on a tea plantation that sits on the edge of the Forest. In […]

Read More

Banke Kuku Award Winning African Inspired Textiles

Inspired by a fusion of African and western culture Banke Kuku, is a luxury African inspired textiles and interiors accessories brand that specialises in innovative printed and woven textiles. Nigerian born and London-based; creative director and founder Banke Kuku, draws on her culture and heritage to create bespoke patterns and textiles rich with colour and texture. Her textiles have been used in the collections of some of the world’s leading designers including Duro Olowu, Jasmine di Milo, Burberry; and more recently Jewel by Lisa Spring/Summer 2012, which I previously featured here. [Image credit: Victorian Chairs – Banke Kuku]

Read More

African Fashion Joel Janse van Vuuren Chaos By Design

Looking for a way to create garments that would be creative right from the beginning of the design process, South African fashion designer Joel Janse van Vuuren purposely chose to move away from the methods of his formal fashion design teachings, using instead the ‘chaos’ of randomly spilt paint on paper to influence his fashion designs, and then giving order and structure to the blots by creating fashion illustrations from the shapes revealed. This is a method he calls ‘Chaos by Design’. [Image credit: Joel Janse van Vuuren, Spring/Summer 2011 – SDR Photo]

Read More

Gayle Garner Roski Zulu Basket African Inspired Art Series

American artist Gayle Garner Roski creates vibrant watercolours based on subjects drawn from her many travels and surroundings. Injected with an inherent sense of realism Gayle’s work is incredibly life-like, capturing minute details in her often emotive work. In her Zulu Basket African inspired art series, Gayle captures the beauty and skill of basket weaving, and the intricate details of the weave and patterns. The vivid watercolours give the baskets a luminous quality. I keep imagining the paintings rendered in glass and set into a door, window or glass wall. Gayle shows her work at Tirage, a Fine Art Gallery in Pasadena, California.

Read More

Royal Design Studio Chic Moroccan Inspired Wall Stencils

Wallpaper is not really my thing; I tend to find it quite fussy and would rather have smooth walls in a favourite colour or given a natural treatment. Its just that I always feel that wallpaper can date a room quite quickly, for me wallpaper always seems to conjure up hideous 70’s style decorating disasters; also growing up in Zimbabwe wallpaper was never a big thing as it is here in the UK. Having said that modern interpretations have led to some beautiful designs that provide temptation were I to have the walls to decorate. If however you are seeking […]

Read More

African Interior Design Suno Kay Osterweis Idyllic Lamu Retreat

Whilst browsing the blog Afritecture I came across this stunning home located off the Kenyan coast, on the beautiful island of Lamu. The home of Suno Kay Osterweis and her son Max, the founder of SUNO NY, is the definition of an idyllic Islamic African interior design retreat; and is the place Suno goes to a few months out of the year for reading, healing and restoration, and connecting with nature. Suno first visited Lamu in 1996 and was instantly captivated by the Island’s laidback living, stylishness and diverse mix of people. Returning often, Suno soon met and became friends with Italian architectural […]

Read More

Raymond Masara Wire Work Contemporary African Furniture Design

Like a pieces of string squiggled across a page, innovative Zimbabwean furniture designer, Raymond Masara creates a colourful, range of stools, tables, lamps and lounge chairs from steel rod wirework techniques. Raymond’s colour choices are inspired by nature and the intriguing twisted shapes reflect and connect him to a childhood growing up in pain and poverty creating a dynamic form of contemporary African furniture design [Image credits: top left, Lighting – Raymond Masara;  clockwise from top right, Raymond Masara Table, Stool and Chair via dbriefed]

Read More

Made In Africa Accessories Sseko Swiss Miss Clutch Bag Reader Offer

In February of last year I did a feature on the made in Africa accessories brand, Sseko sandals and how the business is helping young women in Uganda go on to higher education. This month the business marks its third year in business, significant in that it means three classes of women have graduated from Sseko and are now in university. To celebrate this achievement Sseko has just released The Swiss Miss Clutch, a range of handcrafted clutch bags, that are perfect accessories for day and night; and have kindly offered African Daydreams readers 10% of the new Swiss Miss Clutch bags valid from now until Tuesday, […]

Read More

St George Gallery Contemporary African Furniture Products

A renovated a building in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, Virginia in the USA is home to the St George Gallery, a place which serves to bring the best in Ethiopian art; painting, craft, textiles, antiques, furniture, interior and personal accessories, to an American audience. St George Gallery USA is owned by Saba Alene, a renowned gallery owner in her home country Ethiopia; who opened Ethiopia’s first art gallery, St George Interior and Art Gallery in Addis Ababa in 1990.

Read More

Liam Mooney Classic Contemporary South African Furniture Products

Using the natural edges of timber to form the backrest serves to transform a simple wooden and steel framed chair into an object of style; and makes each chair produced completely unique. Available in bar, cafe and dining chair specifications, the Crag Chair as it is called, was design by South African industrial designer, Liam Mooney who established his eponymous furniture, lighting and accessories studio in 2006. Based in Cape Town, Liam’s contemporary South African furniture products feature minimal fuss, just clean simple lines in modern classic shapes that remind me of a Scandinavian design aesthetic. [Image credit: The Crag Chair – […]

Read More

Toni Okujeni Contemporary African Art Village des Artes Senegal

En route to Dakar’s airport is Village des Artes; a thriving contemporary African art community of artists, painters, sculptors based in former worker cottages that have been turned into art studio/workshops, with a central gallery holding exhibitions. The set up and atmosphere of the place took me back to my days at the art department at Harare Polytechnic; fresh out of high school and preparing to embark on a creative career but uncertain of what I wanted to be, and seizing the opportunities to dabble in printmaking, life drawing, painting, ceramics and more whilst surrounded by fellow creatives in the same […]

Read More
  • This popular Africanisim beautifully illustrates the pioneering spirit of togethernes. It highlights how working and collaborating with others can propel you to new heights. Building a business rarely happens in isolation. Atelier Fifty Five seeks to to shine the light on African brands, and this includes extending a hand by sharing our knowledge and expertise to help African brands become the best they can be. So let us go together. Sign up to the Atelier Fifty Five Academy mailing list and join a community of ambitious creative business owners dedicated to creating brands that make their audiences sit up and take notice.⁣
.⁣
.⁣
.⁣
.⁣
.⁣
.⁣
.  #quotes #inspirationalquotes #motivationalquotes #africanproverb #brandstrategy #creativeentrepreneur  #entrepreneur #mycreativebiz  #brandbuilding #africanstartup #africanbusiness #makeithappen
  • Preserving traditional skills the Kayla cushion by Frida 54 highlights the art of Tritik, a process of knotting and sewing that results in a variety of symmetric patterns. Handwoven with 100% cotton from the cotton mills of northern Cameroon the textiles are dyed with handmade dyes using ancestral techniques. [📷 credit: @frida_54 ]
  • Values . Respecting the design [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Infuse your interior style with the colourful elegance of African beaded necklaces courtesy of The African Woven Necklace light shade by @moderngesture. The design features graduating circular hoops each hand wrapped with colourful woven thread bands. Handcrafted in Cape Town, South Africa by designer Candice Lawrence, the lighting is available in the  Atelier Fifty Five shop. [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Eight years ago I started a blog as a place to document the interesting things I was discovering with regards to the design and creativity emerging from Africa. From the moment I created my first blog post little did I know where the journey would take me. Fast-forward to present day I have not only been privileged to witness the development of an industry, but to also have an active role in creating awareness about it.

On this journey, I have seen Africa’s design industry grow from a handful of names from a handful countries to a continent wide-reach. Some names that were just starting out have become internationally respected leaders in their field, whilst behind them, a new generation of names are coming up and claiming their place in the industry.

To say that it is an exciting time for African design and creativity would be a gross understatement! We are in a time of rapid advancement and unbridled creative expression, that is setting the foundations and standards for future generations to build on. And like many other emerging industries in Africa, creativity is opening up opportunities to those who are willing to seize them. And seizing them designers are!

And as Atelier Fifty Five begins a new chapter it is an opportunity for me to renew my commitment to supporting the development of the African design industry and helping those I work with and write about, and work with to fulfill their potential for creating world-class brands. 
I invite you to visit our website to discover more. [Link in bio]

Tapiwa, Founder Atelier Fifty Five
  • Instagram Image

Instagram @ atelierfiftyfive