African Mask

African Mask

Monday, 30 January 2012

Lukagwa African Art and Jewelers from Kenya.

Lukagwa African Art & Jewelers was started by people who have a youthful passion for art. We embrace the meaning of Lukagwa to be that “Our ideas are heaven sent”. We specialize in the meticulous assemble of beads to form art pieces that are a fusion of contemporary and historical trends. Our jewelry is a unique infusion of different styles, ideas, inspirations and global influences.
Lucille has recently submitted two new pieces to her shop that can be found on Her chosen theme is to display her pieces of jewelry on a black background on some rocks. It's a striking display and really is going to hold her shop together.
 This theme will make the shop memorable, so returning customers will recognise it right away and feel at home.

This is definitely the way to go when showing your work. These pieces of jewelry are striking, innovative and fun!

Pay a visit to Lukagwa and see what else she may have uploaded.

Here's hoping that she will get a lot of support from folks all over the world.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Jessie of Henry Kuikens in Cape Town, South Africa!

Jesse does some great fabric printing. Here is a bit about her from her:

I'm a free-lance illustrator, comic artist, and print-maker, living in Cape Town, South Africa. My Shop on Etsy is called Henry Kuikens.

Printing patterns with individual hand-carved blocks means that I'm able to design the layout of the pattern as I print. My fabrics are sourced locally, in Cape Town, either at cotton mills in my area or at flea markets. 

There is this one cushion of Jesses' that i just love. It caught my eye and made me take a closer look. It's called: 
Black Flowers Cushion Cover. 

I asked Jesse how this design came about and this is what she told me.
"The cushion cover is a variation on another design printed with the same block, a much simpler geometric design. While I was printing that, I accidentally dropped the block,and realised that it would work as an overprint on the basic design."
A fortunate accident! I just love it when something great gets created out of happenstance. 

This photo is a good close-up of the design. To think that she hand carves these out first and then carefully prints them onto the fabric... It must take some time.

There is something else she designed that I liked and that is her fabric covered buttons. She doesn't just cut out fabric and cover metal or plastic buttons with them. NO! She first carves a tiny design and then prints them onto the fabric. Then she cures the dyes so that they will not run and then cuts them out and makes the buttons. Hmmm not a quick job here either.  Click this to go to the shop and look at it.

Jesse writes this about the buttons:
"Printed with hand-carved blocks and water-based silkscreen ink on cotton, they've been heat-cured to set the ink. The dome of the button is rust-proof metal, the back plastic, and each one is interfaced to prevent the metal shining through. Hand washing is recommended, dry-cleaning is not."

"The buttons are printed interpretations of buttons from my vintage button collection".

This is another design that she has done. There are a lot more on display in her shop and to see them all you have to do is click THIS :-)

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Singing Heart Jewelry Designs from CapeTown, South Africa

Debbie is an enterprising lady living in the Western Cape. Her studio and home are at the foot of the Kogelberg Mountains at the southernmost tip of Africa, set in a nature reserve. Wow isn't she lucky. yeah I know a lot of you prefer the cities and such but I'm a country girl and just love the bush of Africa. There is nothing like it anywhere!
Debbie makes wonderful jewelry and she's pretty hot behind the camera too!  Her Photography shop is called  Nomadh Photography.
Anyway here is her story about a couple of her gorgeous Jewelry pieces:
Creating jewelry for me is like meditating.  It’s difficult to put into words.  When I sit down at my jewelry table in my studio, it’s as if the shells and stones speak to me.  Rather than a thinking process, it’s a feeling process.  There are times when an idea for a piece comes into my mind – finished – and I automatically know how I’ll put it together – I can see the colors, shapes, and all the materials – right down to the clasp I will make.  That will often happen to me in that wonderfully creative time just before falling asleep, or when I wake up, but before I’m fully awake.  Other times I will choose the main part of a piece; a shell, for example, and I will begin it without knowing how it will end up, or what I will put with it.  Yet, there is no hesitation as I create.  I seem to know, without thinking, which stone to add next, which colors to mix.  That’s why I say the materials speak to me and tell me what to do.  I can nearly say it’s not me making the jewelry, it comes through me.
However, for some of the pieces, I start with a feeling.  For instance, with the chunky turquoise anklet, I had the feeling of a beach somewhere in the tropics – perhaps along East Africa’s shores – Mozambique or Zanzibar.  Although turquoise is often associated with the southwest, I imagined this being worn while walking beside a sea, while wearing a colorful wrap-around skirt and no shoes! There is a handmade Ethiopian silver prayer bead in it, which, to me, gives the energy of ancient African rituals and prayers.
The jasper necklace was wonderful to make.  I love the swirly colors and the organic shape of this chunk of jasper – just holding it felt good.  This piece also has some of Africa in it.  The Abo beads are handmade by the Krobo people of Ghana, and are the color of rust, or the soil here.  It’s truly a necklace of the earth – organic and raw. You are welcome to visit my store.

I just thought that you might like to know ... the jasper necklace is sold... BUT if you'd like one just send me a note... go to my store and click on the 'contact' button. :-)

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Star Bright Girl from Durban, South Africa

Megan is from Durban. It's a great city to visit and to live in. The beaches are wonderful and the surfing can be flipping brilliant. Anyway I digress :-)

This is from Megan,
I hand make from scratch everything I do (I smelt metal, roll wire, and even my resin colours are hand-mixed!), and use only sterling silver findings :)
I hope to achieve a mix of funky, fun & sweet, but ultimately wearable & comfortable every day jewellery - hope you'll love my work as much as I do!!

Here is some of her work for you to look at:
Butterfly Domed Stud Earrings:

These were part of a series of earrings - I wanted to create a bold design, but to create interest I decided to invert the dome - makes making them a little trickier, but I think it works well!
The delicate designs of the resin also add contrast to the solidity of the studs..
I also love to work with resin - by changing the colour used, you can create completely different tones in    your jewellery..

 Although this butterfly tone is playful, the black resin adds a sombre tone, and makes it a little more grown up :)

Amethyst Chunky Ring:

This ring was really designed around the stone - I wanted a bigger stone, but this leads to limitations with regards to the setting.
I decided on a rub-over or gypsy setting, but this meant that the ring would have to be very thick, to accommodate the stone, so I decided to taper the band towards the base - to make it more comfortable to wear.. (Comfort is highly important to me for my designs)
I also decided not to taper the width of the ring - rather keeping it even all the way around, which keeps it feeling chunky and bold - it's a really fun ring!

Megan has a lot of really lovely items in her shop. If you click on the Titles: Butterfly Domed Stud Earrings and the Amethyst Chunky Ring, there is a link embedded in them and they will take you to her shop to those items. If you'd like to visit her shop as a whole click here.

Keep a look out because we'll be featuring more of Megan's work. I think that it's important for people to realise that there are some stunning creations available in Africa. So spread the word. Tweet this and FB it too!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

TippyLaLa, Angels from Africa

My name is Alex Boyle and I run a studio called TippyLaLA. This is the home of the Angelique Angel range. I have been making dolls for about eight years now. About a year ago I decided to make an angel for one of my daughter's friends for her birthday. the Angelique Angel was born at that moment.

It is a limited edition range. I have decided to only ever make 800 of them. For that reason I sign and number each one, and I don't ever make two alike. So if you own one of my angels you have something Unique and Special, but I do make other angels and I plan to do more limited edition ranges too.

It takes me ten hours to make an angel from scratch. I start with merino roving which I dye in different colours. I use acid dyes and creat colourways that take my fancy. I tend to prefer pastel shades though some can be bright as well. the next step is to card the wool. At this point I might add in other fibers: alpaca, tussah, silk, sari silk to mane but a few. When I have the effect that I want I make felt using the wet felting technique.

I use a traditional Waldorf technique to make the head and face. I like to keep the features very simple. I think it makes my angels look serene and angelic. In the assembly process I do a lot of decoration on the angel. Her character is taking shape at this stage and I may choose one of many ways to embellish her. Beads, sequins, embroidery stitches, needle felting, braids, buttons, flowers.

The first Angel I ever sold was carrying a white dove, made using needle felting, in her hands.

This is Angelique Angel, number 16. She is an angel that I made where I have executed every step short of sheering the actual sheep! I was in Northern Ireland some years ago, doing a workshop on dyeing techniques at Mourne Grange. We were given the fleece of a sheep to work with and had to wash it, card it and dye it. It was the first time I used acid dyes. With acid dyes you can mix the colours or you can add several colours to the dye bath in such a way as to minimise their mixing. This gives a variegated effect. So, I have used pinks and blues in creating this dye lot, and where they have blended, there are lovely shades of lilac. I only had enough of this woll to make two angels and I had to mix in a blue merino in order to have enough. Her texture is somewhat different than the others because the wool has not been through an industrial process. She is 35 cm tall.

The other Angel that I'd like to share with you is one of my favourites. I know you are not supposed to have favourites amongst your children, but with this on, I just can't help it.

This wool was also prepared in a workshop at Nuturing Fibers in Philadelphia ( we have one in South Africa). Here I was able to use some fibres that I don't usually have access to and you will even find strands of glittery threads in this felt. This is the only time I will ever use something synthetic, for the odd strand of glitter.

Not all my angels are holding something but I like her particularly because she is engrossed in her book. It has also been suggested that she is singing from her hymnal in the church choir. A lovely pastime either way... Her book is made using the needle felting technique. The cover is dark borwn and the pages are white.
She is number 21 in the range and is 35 cm tall.

I am 41 years old. I live in Cape Town with my three daughters, husband, a Golden Retriever and a cat. I have worked in IT most of my working life but it is really all kinds of craft that gets me going. I was a handwork teacher at Raheen Wood Steiner School for a while and I offer all manner of craft classes in Cape Town. I do evening classes and Saturday workshops. I teach children and adults in my studio and at a local art centre.
You can see my shop by clicking HERE.
You can see my angels on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

I cried with laughter!

You just have to go to this site. The story is called 'Only South Africans can appreciate this story' it was so funny, it felt like I was standing there and watching the goings on.

Click Here.

You gotta go and see it!

An African Bird

I know that most people have seen a Guinea Fowl in pictures, but many haven't actually seen one in the flesh.

They are quite large birds, they can fly for short stretches, like up into a tree. Their feathers are so strong that if you try and shoot one side on with a 22 the bullet will bounce off.... well that's what I've been told. :-D

If they happen to become road kill it's more likely that your car will be the one that dies not the bird. It can do great damage to a vehicle. So if you see one, don't try and run it over, you'll regret it.

This video shows the sounds that the male Guinea Fowl make... They don't make this noise all the time :-) They do sleep sometimes .. lol.... They love to eat ticks, so farmers love to have them on their farms :-) They'll wake you up early in the morning.

Anyway the reason I'm writing this is because A little while ago I was asked if I would paint a picture with Guinea Fowl and eventually this past week I got down to it.
All sorts of captions come to mind :-)
So cute, you just gotta love him. :-)
This is what I could see in my head, so I'm happy that it came out the way I thought it should be. Come visit me on

Ba Beads All the way from Africa!

I've decided that I'm going to feature Artists that are living in Africa to get them more well known. After all this blog is called Africa Bursting Out! :-D So I've contacted a few and got them to supply me with some information, which I will impart to you. I plan to do this every month, finding new artists and also talking about new things that the existing artists are producing. So watch out for them!

There is a shop on called BaBeads. Lovely necklaces selling out of Cape Town in South Africa. 
I must say it seems that there is quite an artists colony in the Cape :-)
Bold Red Glass Beaded Necklace.
If you click on the photo's caption you can have a look at it on Etsy.
So beautifully made! I love that clasp.

The owner tells me that when she saw these beads she could see quite clearly the necklace that they would make.
She just had to buy the beads!  :-D The small silver beads are real silver as is the clasp.

If you would like to visit BABEADS click HERE!

Watch this blog for more beautiful work.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Black Star SA... peeking out from Africa

Tracey started her shop on Etsy in August last year. and in her profile you can read the following excerpt:

 " I have been a jeweller for many years now and have been working for the last few years at a popular destination site in Cape Town called the V & A Waterfront. I decided a few months ago to start my own business and this is one of the platforms that I get to showcase my work.

All my pieces are handmade and designed by me. I like create designs that are unique. A lot of time in my work I incorporate ancient techniques with a contemporary design and other times I am just having some fun for example, my marble ring collection. I always like to incorporate stones that have the best fire."

Me again - I've been to the V & A Waterfront! It's lovely there. You'll find Cape Town's Ocean Aquarium there. It's also a great spot to stop and have a bite to eat. I'm sure they are really fussy as to whomever rents their shop space and judging by the photo's of her work I'd say she had no problem getting them to rent to her. :-D
This is one of her pieces :
Sterling Silver Snake Ring.
If you click on the picture's description it will take you to this item in her shop. The following was supplied by Tracey:

Material: Sterling Silver
Stones: Black Spinel = Eyes, 

                     Garnet = Head

Inspiration: I have always been fascinated with snakes due to their way they move. I actually had a few constritors (pythons) when I was younger which inspired the look of this snakes face.

The challenge in this piece was to create the fluid movement of a snake in silver. All the engraving on this snake is done by hand which creates a lovely glittery look to the piece.

Yup I agree.. a stunning piece of work.

Garnet Ring
As previously, click on the photo's caption and you'll be able to go shopping :-D
Here is some info on this lovely ring.

Material: Sterling Silver
Stone: Garnet

I love to use ancient techniques and combine them with a contemporary style.
In this ring I used an ancient technique with cuttle fish. This technique creates the texture on the inner band that is very effective!
I love taking my time to choose the right stones as this will generally bring my piece to life. The stone I chose here has so much fire, I really did it a injustice in my photograph.

Wow! Such lovely work coming directly out of Africa. These items are the tip of the iceberg. You should take a few minutes to check out her shop.. There are lots of great pieces there. 

To get to Black Star SA click HERE!
To get to her Facebook Page click HERE!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Thank you Kenya!

So here we are and another year has come and gone. I am so thankful for the year I had. in November of 2011 I had the privilege of visiting Kenya. I stayed in a slum called Kibera which is located in Nairobi. The experience was life changing and I even found love. It was in Kibera that I learned what the true sense of community is. People worked together without expectation of monetary compensation or a promise of a future favor; they work together because they know their survival is dependent upon it. If America can shift its culture from the individualist that it is to such a culture, we too would be prosperous. I guess it will happen when all other options have been exhausted. Don't get me wrong, I love my America, I just wish think we have a lot to learn when it comes to the spirit of community.

The best part of my travels was a visit to Lake Victoria where I ate the biggest and freshest piece of tilapia that I ever had in my life. Another unforgettable experience was when we visited Siaya county and took a casual stroll in the night. The only light that could be seen was the shining moon and stars which made for a peaceful moment. There is so much beauty in Africa that is yet untold. I plan to visit again shortly. The people have made me feel as though it is now home for me as well. I guess when you set out to help others you find you helping yourself too. Thank you Kenya!