Last year, I was honored to receive an invitation to exhibit at the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair. Every year, the fair features celebrated contemporary designers, chefs and vintners and showcases their handcrafted products to connoisseuring Joburgers. The idea is to celebrate what’s local, what’s handmade and what’s African. It’s a fantastic place not only to shop, but to meet and have a social experience with other design-enthusiasts.
I showed pieces from my Moon Safari Collection. My pieces come of my admiration of elements of African culture but with this collection I wanted to take it all the way to the moon. In designing it, I imagined what it would be like to walk the moon and so the collection has elements of the alien and the familiar and a sense of wonder and discovery. It’s this devotion, emotion and thought, in design as well as in handcrafting, that makes the collection truly luxurious.
I got to meet some incredible designers at the Sanlam fair. Most memorable were Saba Studio, Dounia Home and Tongoro.
Saba Studio is a furniture brand inspired by Swahili culture ; this means it has both Bantu and Arabic sensibilities. The founder, Moran Munyuthe says he started Saba Studio to preserve and continue the woodcarving tradition in Lamu.
He mostly uses the Mvule hardwood which he praises for its workability and longevity. Moran ensures that all the products are made from legally and ethically sourced hardwood.
Dounia Home is Moroccan-inspired and produces high-end lighting and furniture. Tamri, the creative soul behind Dounia Home, draws from her Moroccan heritage and design background to create timeless fixtures and furniture. Each piece is handcrafted using organic, local products.
Tongoro, which was featured in our previous blog post, is a high-end, Made in Africa clothing brand. The founder, Sarah sources her fabric from within Senegal and works with local tailors to create modern, chic and affordable fashion.
Spaces like the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair are important because they serve as a meeting point between craft and consumerism. They encourage enterprise, ingenuity and variety and expand on the idea of what handmade African luxury is. We will be doing future posts on similar spaces where seekers of premium, African, handcrafted delights may lose themselves.
In the meantime, get or gift Adele Dejak! Buy pieces from the Moon Safari collection and more from our online store and visit my Instagram page to share my world. Been to SHC’s fair or any other artisanal fair? Let us know what your experience was!