Were you amongst the throng of people at Design Indaba celebrating World Design Capital? What did you think?

We loved the strong representation of Cape ceramics; from Zizamele’s iconic Bambanani Bowls, to the fish swimming across John Newdigate’s highly glazed ceramic bowls. All the big names in ceramics were there; Liesel Trautman, Lisa Firer, Tania Babb, Clementina van der Walt, and a limited edition of Walter Battiss prints on big, bold platters.

One of our bestselling lines in Gifts at Cape Grace is Ardmore from KZN and they were at Design Indaba launching their Wonder Boy range of fabrics and soft furnishings. Wonder Boy was an Ardmore artist who died of AIDS and whose designs and poetry have been used for this linen range.  Look out for beautiful Ardmore ceramics and cushions at the Cape Grace reception.

Interesting fabrics were also a feature of this year’s Design Indaba, with the Namibian product Maid in Africa cladding ironing boards in bright African designs and the Keiskamma Art Project from the Eastern Cape showing off ethnic cotton-linens and embroidery, along with the most extraordinarily tactile felted fake Karoo flowers.

Alpaca and mohair wool and felt once again featured as a significant trend, grown and manufactured locally into touchy-feely clothes, throws and soft furnishings.  Cowgirl Blues even use mohair to make handbags that you just can’t help stroking.

It was easy to get lost in admiration at the innovative fashion and jewellery and almost impossible to leave Design Indaba without buying something beautiful, usually from the person who designed and made it. I left with a Liesel Trautman porcelain mug and laser-cut greeting cards from Artymiss, but without a Rodney Band hand-turned hardwood bowl, which is now top of the ‘wanted’ list!

What couldn’t you resist?

A review by Carrie Hampton.



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