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View top handmade design at Design Indaba

The fourth CCDI Handmade Collection debuts at the Design Indaba Expo at Cape Town's International Convention Centre from 2-4 March 2012. A full-colour catalogue accompanies it, with objects divided into sections titled Earth, Brights, Romance, Shapes & Spaces and Essence.
JesseJames bamboo sunglasses. Photo by: Eric Miller

Panel selection criteria

The 2012 CCDI Handmade Collection selection panel comprised the departmental head of Industrial Design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Bart Verveckken; architect Mokena Makeka, principal and founder of Makeka Design Lab; Elle Decoration editor Laureen Rossouw; Margie Robertson of traditional African artefacts and contemporary design gallery Africa Nova; and CCDI executive director and artist Erica Elk.

They sought originality, innovation, local distinctiveness, integrity and skill in the chosen craft or design area, selecting 67 items made by 61 craft enterprises from the 264 entries received this year. They range from high quality bamboo sunglasses to photograph frames created from old-fashioned wooden tennis racquet presses.

"The panel has always looked for products that are not only very well made, but have a strong visual or conceptual appeal; objects with a wow factor," said Verveckken, who is also the CCDI board chairperson.

"That's why a strong criterion for selection is the degree of innovation. This will ensure freshness in the work produced in the Western Cape and allow our craft producers to explore new markets."

What to expect

Some objects were the sole work of master craftspeople, while others were collaborative projects. A steel, cement and mosaic figure of a builder represents figures from 'the long walk project', an Odd Enjinears empowerment concept aimed at economic stability for a group of sculptors and mosaic artists in Khayelitsha.

The province is renowned for superb ceramics, and this year is no exception. The wide range of styles and techniques includes architect-trained Natasha Stipinovich's hand-built earthenware ceramic inspired by Kente cloth, and Abongile Ntsane's bold, earthy design created by reworking broken slab pieces.

Adeline Joubert's brooches, “The Traffic Series”. Photo by: Eric Miller
Several finely detailed jewellery pieces were inspired by South Africa's rich floral kingdom. Giselle Petty's sterling silver and Perspex double-sided ring has a print of a pink pincushion protea set under Perspex, while Simone Redman's 'Vygie Cluster' neckpiece is made of recycled rubber inner tubes and glass beads.

Recycling and upcycling trends show no sign of abating. Objects include Jannie Uitlander's striking 'Re-coffee Table Lamp' made from a recycled Ricoffy tin, while photographer turned furniture designer Dan Saks makes side tables with storage space out of old wooden drawers set on new casings.

Homeware of all styles and sizes includes wire and beadwork pieces by Claudette Davis and Michael Chandler of Serpentine. Their 'Chinese Wares Objet', created in white beads and fine wire, explores the relationship between Africa and China through the crafting of classic antique Chinese shapes in a uniquely African way. Michael Chandler designed and Dickson Mureverwi and Malvern Shakede handcrafted. There are also Sithabe African Craft's contemporary beaded picture frames, made from traditional methods using grass and beads.

Jan Douglas' Kantelknaap light. Photo by: Eric Miller
Lighting includes a bold new take on the classic 1930s anglepoise light by Cape Town architect Jan Douglas, who used wood, metal and canvas for his 'Kantelknaap'.

Natty accessories include James Bisset's 'Panda Series' sustainable bamboo sunglasses, with high quality Zeiss lenses. Eddie April of Cappuccino Sandals has produced funky Nguni skin sandals on wooden wedges with handmade wire buckles.

Children of all ages should delight in Lobotoy-me's eco-conscious, durable rhinos made from inner tubes stitched with cotton cord by George-based artist Hannalie Taute, while fibre artist Gina Niederhumer has created sharks from recycled trousers and shirts, filled with fabric leftovers from the design industry.

Sophie Peters from Belhar has even developed comfortable handles for carrying heavy plastic bags. Inspired by a knife handle, she collects bluegum wood from the fields near her Belhar home. Sections are carved, painted and glazed to provide a strong, comfortable and aesthetic way to bring groceries home.

Items from the collection will be on display, after Design Indaba, at various Western Cape venues throughout the year. Orders for similar items can be ordered directly from the makers or through the order facilitation service on

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