Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair Presents The 2017 Well Made In Africa Exhibitors

Tongoro Made In Africa - Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair

 

Earlier this year, I was honoured to have been appointed the guest curator for the prestigious Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair’s Well Made in Africa showcase. 2017 introduces a new, exquisite selection of Well Made in Africa exhibitors from the continent under the curatorship of Tapiwa Matsinde, author of Contemporary Design Africa. Tapiwa presents a selection that is anchored in heritage & modernity. This year Sanlam HmC will host the work of a dynamic group of designers who have been chosen for their innovative use of Africa’s diverse craft heritages to create modern sophisticated products for contemporary living. And with the October opening fast approaching I am delighted to share with you the details and introduce the amazing designers and artisanal talent I selected, as follows

 

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Modern African Design Doreen Mashika Capsule Collection for eBay Germany

Some weeks back I did a feature on Kenyan jewellery designer, Gladys Macharia’s collaboration with Urbanara, as one of three winners of the Kenya-based ‘African Designers for Tomorrow‘ award. Another winner of competition was Doreen Mashika, who today as part of the award sees the launch of her covetable modern African design in the form of a jewellery and accessories capsule collection, Doreen Mashika for eBay, Germany, which was produced in collaboration with the online platform.
[Main image credit: Beaded Bracelet – Doreen Mashika for eBay Germany]
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Uru Diamonds Ethical East African Jewellery And Fashion Accessories

It is no secret the African Continent is blessed with diamonds that are coveted the world over, and harnessing this mineral wealth should come with social responsibilities. However, as we all know this is not always the case, especially when it comes to conflict free diamonds. East African jewellery company, Uru Diamonds based in Tanzanian is a company that works with conflict free diamonds and precious stones, to produce contemporary jewellery collections. The company name ‘Uru’ comes from a very old Swahili term describing a powerful essence; used here to invoke the days of ancient African Kings and Queens where diamonds were cherished.  
[Image credit: Uru Diamonds]

LA DiOSA Luxury Statement Jewellery for Modern Goddesses

LA DiOSA is a London-based luxury statement jewellery design company that seeks to empower women, by designing signature statement jewellery, featuring colourful chunky gemstones in celebration of modern Goddesses everywhere. LA DiOSA was founded in 2007 by Ugandan-born Natasha Faith, and Semhal Zemikael born to Ethiopian/Eritrean parents; friends who first met whilst studying Philosophy, and now create their gorgeous designs from a showroom in Hatton Garden, London’s famed jewellery quarter. A combined interest in fashion, led the duo to exploring the idea of creating and selling their own jewellery. The name’ La Diosa’, means ‘Goddess’ in Spanish and as the name of their company pays homage to the influences and place where it all began; Mexico.
[Image credit: Kezen Necklace – LA DiOSA]
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African Design Roots in Shimmering Sculptural Jewellery

Fluid, sculptural pieces formed out of shimmering gold and silver metals combined with African design are defining characteristics of Algerian designer, Taher Chemirik’s striking jewellery pieces, which include bold, oversized cuffs and giant links that form statement chokers. Hailing from a family of designers, Taher describes his upbringing as ‘unconventional’, and cites his sources of inspiration as being his African roots, Oriental sophistication, modern art, and the antiques he collects in Paris’ famed flea markets; the city he now calls home.
[Image credit: Choker – Taher Chemirik/Artsy]
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Azza Fahmy Egyptian Jewellery Brand Inspired By Culture And Tradition

7000 years of Egyptian culture and tradition embodies the luxury jewellery collections of Egyptian jewellery brand, Azza Fahmy, whose elegant, statement designs you cannot help but visualise adorning the necks and wrists of Cleopatra and Nefertiti, Egypt’s legendary queens. Like the ancient culture that influences it the Azza Fahmy jewellery brand is elegant and regal, featuring handcrafted intricate detailing in gold and silver precious metals, and vibrant, shimmering gemstones, that help lend a contemporary edge.
[Image credit: Six Strand Floral and Fruits Collection – Azza Fahmy]
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Thuthuka Modern South African Jewellery Development Programme

In September I visited International Jewellery London to see what was happening in the world of jewellery. It was dazzling to say the least with a range of businesses from precious gem dealers to independent emerging designers. Several countries had trade exhibition stands showcasing the designs and opportunities with their various sectors, and stopping by the South African pavilion, I got chatting with several of the individual designers and business representatives. Amongst them was Thuthuka, a South African jewellery development programme that was founded in 2009, and is an initiative of South African based organisation Jewellery Africa.

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Maya Antoun Traditional African jewellery Making Techniques

Fluid, sculptural forms interlaced with segments of fine filigree work defines the stunning jewellery creations by Sudanese designer Maya Antoun. Based in the UK, Maya seeks to combine traditional African jewellery making techniques with contemporary ones to create a new vision for African jewellery, and indeed the wider context of her work, which is influenced by the diversity of cultures, reflected in her own culturally diverse upbringing and exploring the ways in which individuals from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds might interpret their traditional jewellery, and in the process creating something new, fresh and exciting.

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