Saturday, October 20, 2007

9. October Cape Town Crafts

Today is dedicated to craft. Bailey continues to hone his own craft with interviews all morning, at the Cape Craft and Design Institute. Frances, an ATA friend, the kids and I get to check out some of the wares onsite at the Institute (CCDI) - including a finished version of Willard’s table & chair set in a cheerful lime green. Also featured: wire&bead radios, room dividers in a vibrant melange of recycled tid-bits, finely-cut retro style floral lampshades - re-purposed milk jugs, upon closer inspection....

And the afternoon is spent in a wonderful multi-colored parade of ATA/CCDI-related shops. The first, Streetwires, was a traditional South African bead & wire store & workshop with at least 75 people “on the floor” chatting away, music cranking, and such a lively atmosphere that Maddie wanted to jump in working then & there. Streetwise was busy filling an order for Anthropologie - a sizeable flock of half-scale beaded sheep and wire coatracks stating in rainbow cursive “it’s beautiful here.” Look for them soon in a catalogue near you. Next stop, MonkeyBiz - a favorite of mine. They feature funky monkeys, chickens, rockets & critters created from tire innertube, buttons and other recycled bits and more fantastical beasties and figures in beads - color, color! African Image is a more straightforward retail establishment featuring fun vibrant urban contemporary graphics alongside collectible antique traditional pieces - more color, color! We were told that the owner of the next shop, who clearly had an eye for design, made an effort to share ideas and act in a networking & soundboard capacity between designers and marketers, and the positive results were evident in her store at Africa Nova. Final stop, Frances’ friend Binky’s place. Binky (real name Rosemary) lives in a covet-worthy, and, it goes without saying, artsy loft above her wholesale warehouse space. She finds and commissions baskets, sculptures, folk art, antique beads, textiles.... fun, fun, fun & lovely.

Final stop, at Binky’s suggestion, a new restaurant at the Gold Museum. It seems every business in South Africa is new since the end of Apartheid has shifted perspective for the tourism industry, (perhaps prematurely)
but literally this is the restaurants’ second night of operation. The kitchen and seating is entirely open-air in the large inner courtyard of the museum, with an upper level of tables nestled on a deck in treetops. To Finn’s delight, dinner is preceded by a half hour of Drumming 101. We have a set menu of traditional African foods - tapas style - I unfortunately did not take notes on the names. There is a lot of use of squash, grains and spices, gamier meat flavors - overall something reminiscent of Indian food crossed with Native American...? Delish.
All photos by Maddie Pryor.

No comments: