AAKS x UNHCR Weaving For Change

Luxury artisanal accessory brand AAKS has launched a stunning home decor collection inspired by the theme Weaving for Change. The collection comprises five distinctive handcrafted lamps and light pendants, each created in partnership with women artisans from the Tuareg community in Northern Mali who are living as refugees in Burkina Faso. In working with this Tuareg community AAKS are helping to celebrate and preserve the community’s cultural identity and their time-honoured basket weaving traditions, a philosophy that has defined AAKS’s work with local communities in Ghana.

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SafariFusion Modern African Interior Decor Accessories

Loving Safari Fusion’s beautifully styled 2015-16 Lookbook of modern African interior decor accessories and African baskets collection entitled, Woven & Stitched. The colourful, unique and functional collection presents the best in contemporary basketry made in Africa. Woven & Stitched is inspired by African basket weavers, and has brought together a range of grass and fibre baskets that showcase the way classical techniques and ancient traditions have been rejuvenated through the use of modern colour palettes and forms.
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Gone Rural Hand Painted African Baskets At Maud Interiors

Gone Rural Handpainted Baskets - Maud Interiors

Just spotted on Maud Interiors, via Pinterest these one-of-a-kind handwoven African baskets from Gone Rural sporting colourful hand painted splashes of paint in a stylistic nod to abstract expressionism. I have previously featured the work of Swazi-based social enterprise, Gone Rural on the site, and the organisation continues to shake up the industry with their innovative approach to contemporary African basketry.
[Main image credit: Gone Rural Hand Painted Baskets – Maud Interiors]
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Basket Case II Showcasing Contemporary Zimbabwe Baskets

The New Basket Workshop - Bowls by Sebastian Herkner and Binga Craft Centre

In 2010 I featured Basket Case, a pioneering exhibition of contemporary Zimbabwe baskets from some of the southern African country’s leading basket-weaving organisations. The exhibition was the initiative of The New Basket Workshop, a South African based organisation that works with rural basketry groups in a number of African countries including Zimbabwe, Ghana, Ethiopia and South Africa to assist with areas such as product development and accessing international markets. Building on Basket Case, 2014 saw the presentation of Basket Case II, a showcase of cutting-edge basketry produced by a select group of local and international artists and designers commissioned to work in collaboration with five weaving communities; the Binga Craft Centre, Bulawayo Home Industries, Lupane Women’s Centre, Zenzele Foundation and STEP Trust in the Honde Valley.
[Main image credit: Basket Case II Exhibition, 
Bowls by Sebastian Herkner and Binga Craft Centre – Eric Gauss/Eye on Art]
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SCP Blocks and Peaks Basket Collection Made In Africa

These gorgeously colourful and practical basket made in Africa are the result of a cross-cultural collaboration between the Malawian-based creative social enterprise, People of the Sun and British designer Donna Wilson. The collection entitled ‘Blocks and Peaks’ was created exclusively for SCP, a leading UK manufacturer and retailer of modern innovate furniture.
[Main image credit:Blocks and Peaks Basket Collection –
Donna Wilson and People of the Sun for SCP]
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Lupane Women’s Centre Zimbabwe Modern African Baskets

Looking like they have been swirled with delicate watercolours, this gorgeous range of traditionally handcrafted modern African baskets is the result of a partnership between the Lupane Women’s Centre in Zimbabwe and the Kingston University Design School in the UK, bringing a contemporary edge to traditional African design. The initiative entitled, Kingston Project Africa was created to facilitate the exchange and support of knowledge between both regions, and led by Professor Catherine McDermott utilises the expertise of academics, industry practitioners and curators across various projects and collaborations.
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Mbare Points Du Jour African Basket Reader Offer

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A few months ago I featured a beautifully woven palm dish handcrafted by the Tavie Co-operative in Niger, click here to read. Currently retailing on Mbare, the full African basket dish range incorporates unique details such as silver Touareg discs placed in the centre; as seen in the Coucher De Soleil and Rayon De Soleil styles; whilst other designs feature indigo thread in intense hues, creating a striking contrast against the natural colour of the leaves. One of the dishes that incorporates the indigo thread is the stylish Points Du Jour, whose design sees the thread scattered around at seemingly random points. The placement of the thread however, serves to reveal how long the artist took to complete the dish, as at the end of each weaving day the artist would weave a bit of thread as a marker indicating where they left off. The dish is finished of with the insertion of the Tavie Co-operative’s signature silver metal tube of authentication.
[Image credits: Tavie Co-operative, Points Du Jour Basket – Mbare]
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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.
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Contemporary African Design Tavie Co-operative Tuareg Baskets

The beauty of this woven dish radiates from its core, which features a beautifully engraved silver disc at the centre, which is said to symbolise the sun and is characteristic of Tuareg pattens. Framed with an indigo halo, the addition of the disc adds a contemporary African design edge, elevating the humble woven basket to a stunning decorative object, that would work well hung on the wall or placed on a plate stand.
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African Baskets Woven Bolgatanga Baskets From Ghana

Last week the EU announced the potential banning of plastic bags as it outlined proposals to reduce the number of plastic bags used in Europe each year, after a public consultation revealed that more than four billion were thrown away each year. After massive campaign a few years ago lately I have noticed fewer people using the jute and other alternative shopping bags whilst doing their shopping, myself included and so was not surprised to find out that after four years of decline the use of carrier bags in the UK actually rose by 5% in 2010.