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Handmade Terracotta Pottery by Osa

The instability of life on the road led former punk rock musician Osa Atoe to seek an alternative creative outlet. Pottery was something that had always been at the back of her mind so one day she signed up for classes and was hooked setting up her business Pottery by Osa in 2015 from her kitchen. Initially running her business part-time while working as an after-school art teacher Osa has since transitioned into working in it full-time from her dedicated studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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Woodturner Darren Appiagyei Revealing the Natural Beauty of Wood

The first thing I thought when I some of these vessels was that they are ceramics. The organic sculptural quality of the forms and the textured surface patterns display the qualities of clay. The vessels in fact are made from wood, hand-turned in a process that retains and reveals the unique characteristics of each piece used. The vessels are the creation of Darren Appiagyei a self-taught wood-turner and founder of In The Grain.

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Well Made in Kenya Furniture and Interior Accessories by Workshop Nairobi

Mid-Century Modern meets African print and traditional textiles in the furniture and interior accessories collections by Workshop Nairobi. A social enterprise based in Kenya’s bustling capital city Workshop Nairobi was founded in 2015 with a mission to contribute to the country’s furniture industry by connecting local artisans and furniture manufacturers and giving them the means to design, develop and craft their products.

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Simply Stylish Baskets Handwoven in Ghana

While catching up on the latest international tradeshows I came across some simple elegant baskets by Twenty One Tonnes an online retailer that seeks to celebrate the beauty of global craft by working with artisans around the world to create beautifully-crafted home decor collections and. The baskets are beautiful and sophisticated in their simplicity, using size, the colour of the material, and the woven patterns to give them character.

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Mutapo Ceramics Inspired by Zimbabwe’s Basket Weaving Traditions

Tucked away in Harare’s Miombo Woodland you will find Mutapo, a ceramic studio producing one-of-a-kind collectable crockery. Owned by Zimbabwean ceramicist, Marjorie Wallace, Mutapo has gained international recognition for its intricately decorated porcelain ceramics often coloured with the studio’s signature blue and white glaze. The patterns adorning each product are inspired by the patterns found in Africa’s basket weaving traditions. Marjorie’s love for baskets stems from childhood and her memories of being surrounded by baskets.

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Skinny laMinx Fabrics Take You To The SunnySide

South African textile brand Skinny laMinx turns up the heat with their latest collection. The SunnySide is a feelgood collection that encourages us to bring a little sunshine and positive energy into our everyday lives. The collection of dining and kitchen textiles features bold patterns and colour prints in the Skinny laMinx signature style, which blends midcentury style, pattern and colour, with African chic.

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Africa’s Basket Weavers Telling Stories Through Basketry

Basketry is a skill that has been practiced up and down the continent for centuries with examples from the past coveted by collectors around the world. Today Africa’s basket weavers are redefining the art form employing ingenious methods to create modern functional home decor products. But whilst these baskets may appear to be merely functional or decorative products, taking the time to look beyond the aesthetics reveals the layers of stories woven into the strands; as basketry -a skill traditionally practiced by women- carries within it the stories of livelihoods, of hopes, dreams, achievements, and sacrifices. Highlighting just how powerfully […]

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9 Designers Crafting A Well Made In Africa Aesthetic

Atelier Fifty Five spotlights the work of 9 dynamic designers whose innovative use of Africa’s diverse craft heritages is translated into modern sophisticated products for contemporary living. And in doing so are upholding the banner of Well Made In Africa. Re-imagining techniques and materials these designers are paying homage to the skill of making things by hand thereby recognising how craft is at the heart of true luxury.

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Design Inspired by the Decorative Forms Of Adinkra Symbols

As I highlighted in a previous editorial on Adinkra symbols are a much-referenced communication system that has endured to present day. The Adinkra symbols designs carry within them centuries of wisdom and are among one of the African continent’s oldest writing systems. The symbols have inspired designers and artists the world over who have drawn on the distinctive graphic shapes to create anything from jewellery to patterned textiles. I introduce 5 contemporary African brands referencing the Adinkra symbols in their designs, and in doing so giving them relevance in a modern day and age.

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String Pendant Lamps Inspired by Traditional African Jewellery

Jewellery is one of my great loves, and was the main reason I started this blog. I wanted to use the space as a place to store my finds. So I couldn’t help but be instinctively drawn to a collection of string pendant lamps by South African product designer Candice Lawrence. Inspired by the beaded layers of traditional African jewellery, the African Woven Necklace Lamp Shade features three interconnected circular hoops each punctuated with colourful bands of hand wrapped thread.

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Pino Nord’s Bold Afro Scandi Graphic Black and White Prints Made In Kenya

Bold graphic black and white prints with a distinctive Afro-Scandi aesthetic characterise the designs of Pino Nord, a design lifestyle company based in Nairobi, Kenya. Pino Nord draws on the minimalism of Scandinavian design, and fuses this with the vibrancy, boldness and artistic expression of daily life in Nairobi, and from this fusion comes a style that Pino Nord calls Tropical Minimalism.

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The Baba Tree Basket Company

Bolgatanga in Ghana’s Upper East Region is synonymous with basket weaving, and the distinctive round-bellied Bolga Market basket with its sturdy handles. Building on the region’s basket weaving heritage local business The Baba Tree Basket Company is producing some stunning gravity-defying basket designs, woven from locally sourced natural materials and dyed in vibrant colours.

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MitiMeth Turning Water Hyacinth Into Functional Handcrafted Products

Water Hyacinth is a plant that takes root in waterways the world over, causing destruction to aquatic and plant eco-systems. For communities that rely on their waterways for food, livelihoods, and transportation water hyacinth blocks access to the water essential to their survival. In Nigeria, a local social enterprise, MitiMeth, is harvesting water hyacinth and turning it into functional handcrafted products, and empowering members of the local community.

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