Monday, July 29, 2013

back at work

work has taken a bit of a back seat while rory and i have been getting used to finn.
its been a full time job taking care of him, but somewhere along the line we need to get back to work.
having a baby has also made me realise how much i love to go to work. 
i've missed it a lot. 

i kinda set up a make shift enamelling studio here at home, but i only get like 30min here, an hour there, etc. it's really hard getting things done when you also have to take care of a baby.

 cutting shiny transfer papers to go on our enamel "panga" pendants

 all the little pieces are individually cut, making every pendant totally unique and one of a kind

 ready for firing in the kiln

 after the kiln firing and cleaning, ready to be put on chains

you also realise how precious your time is, so there is no more time for procrastination, lying around watching season after season of this and that series. 
(i find this very depressing, because i used to love just lying around watching series on cold wintery days, or any weekend day or week night for that matter......sigh!!! no more dexter, boardwalk empire, game of thrones....and and and)
recently rory and i have been taking turns to go to work. 
it's been a slow re-start to our working days.
besides working i'm also finally getting around to changing our shop and studio. its been a long time coming and it needs a change. so much has changed, so it feels just right that the shop/studio changes. 
i will keep you up to date with what it looks like.
it still feels like it might take a while for me to get it the way i want it.
but when it's done i really want people to come and check it out and to come and shop. 
i know muizenberg is not cape town, but its not that far out the way.....
besides coming to us, there are many rad creative things happening here that people need to see. 
i think that might be a cool series of blog-posts...the people that live and work in muizenberg. 
i just had a brainwave. i'm definitely going to do this!!!!

anyhoots, here's some picks of work/studio and what i've been making. 
 bending brass wire for bangles and cutting out bangle shapes to be soldered onto the wire bangles

drilling holes in thick brass triangle shapes, i will solder a silver pin in the holes for a chain to hang on

prepping brass and silver rings for soldering

 the finished rings

some other nice rings we are making. i like them a lot. the brass bead moves around the silver wire shank. but when you put it on, it sits flush with your finger.

and finally, i'm not crazy about africa pendants. i find them a bit of a cliche, also because the conventional tourist trade in SA killed them in a bad way.
but the tourists like them, so we have made our very own enamel version with transfers.
the biscuit mill market is supported in a big way by visiting tourists and we have found that they all want some kind of africa pendant.
we hope these will go down well with them and make us some kasheesh.
tell me what you think of them, or do you think we're sell-outs?
i'm keen to's always a hard one, making just things that you like and think are sooper cool and also making things that you think will sell cause you really need to make some money.
i think it's a nice debate, so if anyone's got some view on this, please comment.


  1. Your Africas are very very AWESOME!!!

  2. It's so wonderful to see you back in the studio! Congratulations on parenthood!

    I love your interpretation of the African pendant. Maybe the shape has been done, but it's an iconic symbol that I think you've given a quirky, Skermunkil-esque treatment to. I love how they resemble shards of plates!

    Maybe sometimes one has to compromise a bit by making more popular or mainstream pieces so that one can fund more innovative stuff? I don't know if I have enough experience to really say that there is a right or wrong way of doing things - I think just finding a way to do what you love, that works, and that you can survive from is incredible!


    1. dankie miss bergie, nice to hear from you again!!! now that im back on the interwebs im sure we will have more communication :)
      yes, making a living from making stuff is truly hard and something im still figuring out. i will let you know when i have figured that one out :) xxxx

  3. aaaah those are some beautiful new pangas you are making. you know they are my favourite!

    and the africa pendants are super lovely and unique. I wouldn't normally wear an africa pendant but i reckon i could wear one of those for sure. its a tough call the art vs/surviving thing. especially now that you have a baba to think of. its about finding that balance between the doubt its something almost every artist struggles with. skermunkil sellouts? NO WAY!!! love love x

    1. yes, indeed that little finn chows lank money, but its not just the baby chowing all the cash....its also the long dark cape town winter. its a tough one. somehow we need to diversify, but with less money and less time its a hard one to figure out. miss you guys too much carona!!!! also i think we doing so $%& at the market cause you're not here anymore to charm those peeps :( shame poor rory is having a tough time not killing all those people asking the stoopid questions. xxxxx

  4. oh wow! love the pendants and the rings! Will pop in next time I'm in Muizies.

  5. Interesting pieces!

  6. When I lived in South Africa I didn't have ANY Africas and I thought they were for tourists only. However after living in London I have amassed quite a collection, I have Africa necklaces and brooches galore which I buy every time I visit home. I wear them when I'm home-sick, and whenever I feel like being an ambassador. People are curious and often strike up a conversation, and believe it or not I still get the "from Africa but you're white" response occasionally. I wear them at international conferences too and whenever I'm presenting my scientific work as I'm proud to show that South Africans are on the scientific map. I love how you've put your touch on these pendants and I will definitely buy one next time I visit <3