Monday, March 24, 2014

Design Indaba 2014


One of the highlights from my recent trip to South Africa was Design Indaba exhibit. Cape Town this year is World's Capital of design, unfortunately most of the exciting events will be later this year but I was very happy to receive an invitation from one of exhibiting artists - Anna Richerby - to visit her booth and see the whole exhibit. I went there with another artist - Maria van Gass. This was the first time I met both artists. How? This is a wonder of hyperbolic crochet - it connects me with people all over the world. In 2012 Maria was the organizer of Woodstock Crochet Coral Reef project. When I was preparing to my trip to South Africa I contacted her via WARP Facebook page and we met in Cape Town. The grapewine led me to meet Anna - she had heard about my work years ago, and she herself makes geometric bead work, including hyperbolic jewelry, and her company is called Beloved Beadwork.
here we are both with Anna

Anna's work was exhibited together with two other artists and the booth was quite busy so unfortunately  I did not get a good shot of her work.

I was fascinated by fiber designs in the exhibit. These felted bowls, for example:
 There was a big interest around this working knitting machine that was producing wonderful knitted garments from South African mohair. I never heard about South African mohair, and was surprised that there is one. At +30C heat I was more thinking how to minimize layers I am wearing. But February in South Africa is late summer, and people are looking forward to autumn which can come with some cool wind (they were saying that weather turned cold when it was +20C after thunderstorm...Today in Ithaca it is white ground and -10C, that is cold, though not the coldest we had this winter...)

Today I could use some exercise to drive this Mohair Bicycle to get warm:
The fleece of Angora goat, mohair, dates back thousands of years to Tibetan Himalayas from were Angora originated. South African mohair has about two centuries long history. The founding of mohair industry in South Africa was a stroke of good luck. Turkish Sultan sent twelve infertile Angora rams and one ewe to South Africa in 1838. Unknown to Sultan ewe was pregnant and gave birth to ram kid thus establishing the breading stock. These days large flocks of Angora are farmed in Karoo region of South Africa. The next two pictures are examples of what The Mohair Bicycle can produce from the excellent South African Mohair.

It was nice to talk with some artists and see their design ideas whether they were geometry in jewelry, crochet designs,or unusual ceramics.
And finally - what would be a design exhi bit without fashion design? Some of it was quite unusual and provocative...;-)