Here are some more inspiration from the SA Handmade Collection at Decorex 2009. Another theme which came across very strong was the use of wire and beads in sculpture:
These wire and bead sculptures was part of the Cape Craft & Design Institute exhibit. They represent different artists and help them with the marketing of their products. The do some wonderful work promoting craft as an economic sector. Please click on their name to go to their website. It is well worth a visit if you like this kind of thing.
They are actively assisting designer-makers to produce a range of original and new designs for the 2010 FIFA World Cup being held in SA.
These lovely brooches are made by Mignon Hattingh from Mignonette's. She makes beautiful textile and beaded jewellery including felt earrings and necklaces. I am sorry I didn't take more pictures because her work is really lovely!
This applique, below, was one of my absolute favourites! Just look at the detail... that pumpkin on the roof, the chickens running around everywhere, the small houses built close together, and the children playing in the street... I absolutely love it!
This is just one of the artworks made by Vezokuhle Creative Textile Mosaics CC in Upington in the Northern Cape. Vezokuhle is a Xhosa word meaning "showing the beauty", and that is exactly what these industrious ladies are doing. As with so many other success stories this one started with one women wanting to make a difference to the lives of unemployed and under educated people. Again, click on the name to go to their website and let them show you the beauty...
My other favourite was without a doubt these embroideries from the Mogalakwena Craft Art Development Foundation (MCADF) Mogalakwena is a beautiful part of our country in the Limpopo Province in the north of South Africa, close to the Botswana border.
Look at the detail...
...and the way one picture can tell a whole story.
These wire and bead fruit bowls are made by Bishop Tarambawamwe. He also make animal figures, other household items and even beaded paintings. Of all the wire and bead artist at the exhibition, he was my favourite - and a really nice guy too.
I looked at this orange fruit basket more than once, and I didn't buy it. I still regret it. I think it is one of the best beadwork baskets I have seen.
Well, this concludes my South African Handmade series. If you are inspired by these stories please visit all the websites I have mentioned. These people really do wonderful work and need all the support they can get. Supporting job creating incentives like these is the best way to combat the incredibly high crime rate that is crippling our country. People who work with their hands, who feel appreciated and loved and who are getting an education do not resort to crime.