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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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Luxurious Tasselled Silk Masquerade Clutch Collection by Textile Designer Banke Kuku

Landing on Banke Kuku’s gorgeous website is like entering a tropical paradise. The vibrant colours, the patterns, the textures are just mesmerising. Honing in on her Masquerade Collection of tasselled clutch bags Banke has taken her brand’s signature silk prints and woven together strips of the fabrics to form the bags, which are then finished off with a playful complementary string of tassels.

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Modern Organic Hardwood Furniture Design by Lambert Shumbusho

Lambert Shumbusho is a designer/artist who transforms pieces of discarded, damaged and found hardwoods into functional works of art. Having cultivated a modern organic design style Lambert lets the unique characteristic of the wood dictate what it will become, working with the splits, holes, cracks, and natural textures to reveal the inner beauty of each piece.

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Artist Dozie Kanu Intersecting Art and Design

Dozie Kanu is a Nigerian-American artist and designer who practice intersects art and design. The son of Nigerian immigrant parents Dozie was born in the US, and currently lives and works in Portugal and New York City. These multi-cultural experiences inform his creative expression and the stories he tells through the object he creates. His inspirations draw on the streets and environment where he grew up in Texas, and the traditions of African craftsmanship.

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Designer Masks to Keep You Safe and Fashionable

To say it’s been an ‘interesting’ few months would be a gross understatement as life as we know it has been turned on its head. And oh how quickly we adapt. Now I don’t think twice now about grabbing a mask and a pair of gloves before heading out for essential reasons. With some countries starting to ease their imposed lockdown restrictions it has become increasingly clear we are not safe yet and that masks are going to be an essential everyday accessory for some months if not years to come.

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5 Chefs Bringing The Flavours of West African Cuisine to International Foodies

Africa has yet to make a permanent mark on international cuisine. Pop up experiences and cookbooks like The Groundnut Cookbook, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen and Hibiscus have introduced culinary enthusiasts to the diverse tastes of African flavours. Serving as worthy introductions to what the continent has to offer these pioneers have only just scratched the surface. The sheer diversity of Africa’s regions and cultures means there are more exciting taste experiences waiting to be brought forth.

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Duro Olowu’s Vibrant Patterned Textile Collection For Soane Britain

Fashion designer Duro Olowu has designed a textile collection for furniture brand Soane Britain. The collection sees Olowu’s signature style of colourful clashing patterns meet the furniture maker’s quintessential English sensibility. The collection came about after Olowu posted a picture of the Soane Britain storefront on his Instagram page. Founder Lulu Lytle saw it and reach out, beginning a conversation that uncovered a mutual interest in a love of pattern, deep respect for craftsmanship, and brought forth similar ideas for a textile range.

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Anita Quansah Hand-Embellished Raffia Slippers

I just had to stop for a second to feast my eyes on these too cute for words creations. They tickle my shoe obsession! These fun and fabulous statement slippers are by Anita Quansah, a London-based accessories designer. I have shared Anita’s statement jewellery previously and these slip-on shoes are next level exquisiteness, that can be dressed up or down- think floaty maxi’s, jeans, shorts, and even tailored suits.

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Sencillo a Stylish Minimalist Lagos Beach House

Sencillo meaning simple in Spanish is the name given to a stylish minimalist private beach house on the Island of Ilashe in Lagos Nigeria. Situated on a serene beach front which can only be accessed by water travel Sencillo offers a respite from the bustling traffic heavy city of Lagos. As such the architectural design of the property reflects the desire for a calming retreat with captivating views of the Atlantic Ocean.

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7 Designers and Artists Inspired by Scarification

Contemporary African designers and artists inspired by scarification and referencing the ancient African tradition in their work. Scarification is the process of superficially cutting, scratching, etching or burning permanent designs into the skin. This form of body decoration is a practice common to West Africa where for centuries the resultant markings expressed a form of unspoken communication such as rank, tribe, beauty, and strength. Patterns in the form of scars would range from simple markings to those more elaborate and intricate adorning the face, chest, torso arms and legs. Scarification is not for the faint-hearted, undergoing the practice was said […]

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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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Seven Inspiring Modern African Design Collaborations

Collaboration is a powerful thing, the meeting of ideas to create new ones and at times offering up unexpected viewpoints. Collaboration offers those involved a chance to learn, pick up new skills and show off each other’s skills at their best. And in this spirit I have rounded up seven inspiring modern African design collaborations that have come together over the years:

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Ikoyi Fining Dining Inspired by West African Flavours

London fine dining experiences focusing on African cuisine are few and far between. Enter Ikoyi whose West African inspired flavours have got the critics buzzing. Despite offering dishes such as Jollof Rice and Suya Ikoyi’s founders are keen to stress that the restaurant is not a West African restaurant rather one that uses the ingredients and spices to come up with something new. This approach sees ingredients unfamiliar to European palates combined with local British seasonal produce. The Ikoyi menu is created on a foundation of spices most of which are sourced from West Africa.

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Ranti Bam’s Organic And Sculptural Collage Ceramics

Freeform, organic, and sculptural are just some of the words that come to mind when viewing the work of ceramicist Ranti Bamgbala aka Ranti Bam, who is inspired by a love of words and metaphor, Eastern philosophy, etymology, and clay. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, and raised in London Ranti set up her studio practice in 2015 after graduating from the renowned City Lit Ceramics degree course.

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Pamper Your Skin With 54 Thrones Botanical Skincare Made In Africa

More and more people are shunning chemically formulated on the shelf beauty products in favour of natural, holistic handcrafted formulations, and the beauty industry has witnessed a rise in brands around the world catering to this need by tapping into their own homegrown beauty rituals and bringing them to global attention. And Africa is no exception. Natural skin care ingredients such as cocoa butter and shea that have been used by African women for centuries are being recognised for their benefits, but we are only just scratching the surface. Fruit of the African soil, ingredients such as baobab, marula, and […]

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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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African Furniture Design At Salone del Mobile 2018

Salone del Mobile, the prestigious Italian furniture fair opens its doors today offering visitors the very best in international furniture design concepts. Salone del Mobile is also home to SaloneSatellite an event that spotlights promising young designers under 35 by giving them a platform to connect with manufacturers, buyers and talent scouts. Noted for launching the careers of designers such as Oki Sato of Nendo, this year’s SaloneSatellite theme is Africa/Latin America: Rising Design – Design Emergente and as such is presenting a group of designers representing both regions. Among those representing African design is Jomo Tariku, founder of Jomo […]

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