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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Abury Ethical Luxury Where Old World Traditions Meet Cutting Edge Design

Abury is an ethical luxury fashion accessories brand whose ethos is one of combining old world traditions with cutting edge design to create a new style, one of timeless and authentic luxury. Abury is a response to mass production, inviting people to appreciate the beauty that is around them, to form emotional connections to the products they buy and to take the time to recognise the meaning of of true luxury that comes with tradition, time and care in production. Heritage, knowledge and wisdom are turned into timeless high quality products, that include bags, personal accessories and footwear for people to treasure.
[Image credit: Berber Collection, Blue and Pink Berber Clutch – Abury]
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Myriam Mourabit Contemporary Moroccan Ceramics

Award-winning ceramicist Myriam Mourabit creates exquisite Moroccan ceramics inspired by her country’s rich ceramic heritage. The designer who is based in Rabat, Morocco trained in Paris at the Duperré School of Applied Arts and the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs. She founded her company in 1998 and from her studio skillfully produces Moroccan ceramics collections that include: bowls, vases, tableware, furniture and interior fittings.
[Image credit: Tagine Ceramics – Myriam Mourabit]
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Traditional Moroccan Artisanal Skills Meet French Style

The beauty of traditional Moroccan artisanal skills is combined with French style to create a range of contemporary North African inspired home decor including linens, soft furnishings, and interior accessories, under the brand Scènes de lin. Based in Marrakech, Scènes de lin was created by designer, and textile industry veteran Anne-Marie Chaoui, who in 2000 opened the doors to a beautifully appointed showroom in the district of Gueliz. Anne-Marie had relocated to Marrakech, inspired by the city and artisanal crafts of the city, and set up a local workshop working with highly skilled Moroccan artisans and craftsmen, in addition to employing the talents and traditional skills of home-based weavers and embroiderers, all working together to produce the Brand’s signature style of linens and interior products. Using high-quality materials, including linen, satin, flax and taffeta, Scènes de lin’s product ranges feature exquisitely embroidered linens in beautiful colours that not only go into creating sophisticated soft furnishings, but are also used to upholster furniture pieces giving them a new lease of life.

 

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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 greater freedom and personal expression when decorating your walls then an alternative to wallpaper is stencilling which can create some dramatic and interesting effects; not only to walls but to ceilings, furniture fabrics and floors, such the Moroccan inspired wall stencils from Royal Design Studio.
[Image credits: clockwise from top left, African Flower; Raphia Graphic
Tribal Triangles; and Endless Moroccan Circles Stencils – Royal Design Studio]
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Made.com Morocco Table Designer African Inspired Furniture

I couldn’t help but be transported to alfresco dining on a sun-drenched patio when I saw some simple yet striking coffee tables on Made.com a UK-based furniture and interiors e-tailer that works with select designers to create original furniture designs that are sold directly to customers at affordable prices by cutting out the middle man. Amongst the products the Morocco Coffee Table, an African inspired furniture design sporting a bold diamond cut-out pattern that runs a ring close to the table edge. The Morocco Coffee Table sits on hexagonal legs and was inspired by traditional Moroccan tray tables.
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Moroccan Interior Design Peacock Pavilions On Elle Decor

Maryam Montague is probably best known as My Marrakech, the inspirational blog she established documenting her life in Marrakech, Morocco running the boutique hotel Peacock Pavilions that is also her home; and which she designed, built and decorated from scratch with her architect husband Chris Redecke. You can take a peek into the Moroccan interior design and African decor accents in Peacocks Pavilions as the home is featured in the April issue of Elle Decor, which celebrates beautifully, decorated homes from around the world as part of their international issue.
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Beldi Moroccan Interior Accessories Traditional Ceramics

I love pretty ceramics; so ideal for adding quick, interchangeable bursts of pattern and colour throughout the home and whilst browsing beautifully stylish blog, AphroChic I came across a posting featuring new online store Beldi, which is introducing customers to the authentic, Moroccan interior accessories and way of living. Visiting the website I spotted these gorgeously patterned plates and bowls, hand painted and hand glazed by artisans in Safi, a place renowned for its skillful pottery creations. The spirals on the ‘Spiral Safi bowls’ are based on the ancient Berber symbol for eternity, said to be a common symbol throughout Morocco. The intricate patterns, often portraying various local traditional motifs, are brought to life with vivid colour palettes.
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L’Occitane Packaging Inspired By West African Print Textiles

Escaping the crowds on Regent Street I ducked into L’Occitane in search of a few moments of respite. When it’s comes to tourist attractions London’s Regent Street is notoriously congested. I have been spending quite bit of the time in the area due to a current assignment and most lunchtimes have literally found myself doing battle as I try to make my way along… frustration is not the word, but in an attempt to avoid the crowds have found myself wandering off the beaten track, discovering some quiet oases in the process. One day however I wasn’t quite as lucky and got swept along, getting more and more agitated and in a desperate attempt to snatch a few moments of respite from the confusion ducked into L’Occitane; and oh…my…goodness… I’ve found a new best friend! Familiar with the brand having tried a few of their products, I’ve never really spent much time in their stores, well… that could change.