Stylish design & craft: the Handmade Contemporary rooftop fair will pique all interests

Next week's Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair will feature 120 exhibitors, writes Andrea Nagel

05 October 2017 - 14:44 By Andrea Nagel
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Butter Pudding makes cool and quirky clothes that kids and parents love.
Butter Pudding makes cool and quirky clothes that kids and parents love.
Image: Supplied

Artisans, creative types and entrepreneurs, local and from throughout Africa, are gettingready to descend on Johannesburg for the annual Handmade Contemporary Fair on the Hyde Park Corner rooftop next week.

“There’s something special about having the opportunity to take an ordinary concrete slab and transform it into an eclectic, energetic arena, creating a platform for this continent’s top creators,” says Mandla Sibeko, director of Artlogic, hosts of the fair.

Look out for the ‘‘Well Made in Africa” showcase, which features five African artisansselected by guest curator Tapiwa Matsinde and the HmC and South African Fashion Week collaboration with designer Lukhanyo Mdinigi.

In addition, more than 120 exhibitors means there will be plenty to see. We spoke to three local designers exhibiting this year.

BUTTER PUDDING — Papama Ramogase

Cool and quirky (with a touch of nostalgia) clothes that are the antithesis of logo brandished clothing.

Three words that describe your clothing?Eclectic, versatile and timeless.

Inspiration?Kids — I have two kids of my own and five god-kids. I’m always surrounded by them.

Describe your personal style.Simple, effortless and timeless.

The most important factor to take into account when designing clothes for kids?Children can be chic as well as comfortable. Style works best when it’s also functional.

Where do you source your fabrics?South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique.

Reaction of kids to your designs?Positive.

SAINT D’ICI —Marie Aoun

Johannesburg-based fragrance house stradd les the luxurious world of fine perfumery and the down-to-earth origins of the beautiful scents in the wild.

Saint D'ici perfume.
Saint D'ici perfume.
Image: Supplied

What sparked your interest in fragrance?
A friend works for a large perfume house. Through her a world of scent creation and
structured smelling opened up to me.

The most interesting thing you’ve discovered about your sense of smell?
The extent to which we use our sense of smell subconsciously every day. I recently became a mother and scent has been an important part of my relationship with my baby.

Unusual fragrance you’ve created?
I was commissioned to create a perfume that smelled of fallen oak leaves in autumn. It
turned out beautifully.

How has your interest in scent helped you connect with people across Africa?
There are some amazing community driven projects around natural scent extraction all over the continent. Seeking these out and sourcing from them is my favourite part of my work. As technological networks spread special connections become easier to forge.

Do you think scent connects you with a sense of place?
Better than anything else. Our sense of smell communicates directly with our limbic brain, which is why we can recall a place we’ve visited so acutely when it has a specific smell.

Has technology impacted on your business?
A niche product like mine can’t exist without access to the world’s customers. E-commerce allows me to come into contact with suppliers in remote regions who only existed before on Facebook.

NATIVE DÉCOR — Vusani Ravele

Creates quirky, functional and innovative products using sustainable timber. The minimalist style is inspired by our country.

Wine holder by Native Décor.
Wine holder by Native Décor.
Image: Supplied

How did you start your business?I’ve always had an artistic side, but the seed was planted when my girlfriend bought mea cordless drill. I couldn’t stop drilling holes in things. I bought a CNC machine to forgedetailed timber products.

I was forced to design in 2D and think out of the box about creating 3D objects.

I was on M-Net’s Shark Tank TV show as the first entrepreneur to benefit from an investment deal with my business partner Gil Oved, of The Creative Counsel.

How does design improve lives?Designing things helps our minds become more fluid and open. It makes us happy.

Best thing about your material?Wood is forgiving, with amazing textures.

Inspiration?Other designers and our beautiful country.

Design philosophy?If I can’t have fun making it, it’s not worthwhile

Favourite piece from your collection?A tie between Jerry, the giraffe wine holder, and the round magazine rack.

Best seller?The wine holder range.

Reaction to your products?People are fascinated by minimalist style.

• The Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair takes place on the rooftop of Hyde Park Corner, Johannesburg from October 13 to October 15. See formore info.

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