Friday, 24 July 2015

Meet Our KIN : Picnic Ceramics

As you may know, ceramics have always been very close to our hearts here at KIN, and we are very excited to have discovered the exquisite work of Picnic! Johannesburg-based ceramicist Becky Love does justice to the history of this ancient and precious medium, with dainty, hand-painted ceramic pieces made into wearable jewellery items. We stock Picnic's brooches and gorgeous stud earrings, and are constantly delighted by the new patterns and designs when we open the latest delivery. Read on to find out more about Becky's process and what has inspired her to follow her instinct and create Picnic Ceramics.

Why did you start making your products?

I loved the look of ceramic jewelry (that wasn't in the form of beads) and hadn’t seen it available anywhere – what started out as making jewelery for myself, quickly turned into Picnic Ceramics as a way for other people to enjoy the unique look of ceramic jewellery too!

How are your products made?

Each piece of jewellery is cut from a fine slab of wet clay. It is then dried and smoothed before being bisque fired. Each piece is then hand painted (hence my never ending quest for finer and finer paint brushes), the paint is fired on and then each piece is glazed with transparent glaze before one last firing. Each part of the process is done entirely with my own two hands.

What is your favourite part of the process?

I love opening up the kiln after the pieces’ third and final firing and seeing all the fine details shine under their transparent glaze. It never gets old!

How did you learn to make what you do?
I have been working with clay for over 6 years and experimenting with making ceramic jewellery for the past 4 years. Picnic Ceramics jewellery is the result of all those years of experimentation to get strong and delicate ceramic jewellery.

What materials are your products made from?

Our jewellery is made from earthenware casting slip - this allows for lovely, refined results. They are all then high fired to ensure strength despite their delicate form.

Do you have different ranges under your brand?
Yes, I have the Wanderlust Range made up of either a Forest, Sea or Mountain design on brooches, earrings and necklaces – inspired by my absolute adoration for the great outdoors.

I also have the Half ‘n Half range where I play with colours that I currently love and then the Skyline Range – presently this range has only my home-city of Johannesburg’s skyline, in minimalist black lines.

Do you have an interesting tidbit for us?

Since graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering nearly two years ago – I leapt straight into working with clay full time. I had suspicions that engineering wasn't really my calling and since being in a pottery studio full time – I became certain almost immediately!

When I am not making jewelry, I am either teaching adults and children how to work with clay or creating my own thrown and then decorated ceramic vessels in the studio.

 Follow Picnic Ceramics on Facebook & Instagram.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Wild in the City

1. Papier-mâché Diamond Brooches by Bvbblegvm
2. Table Mountain Artwork by Elsabé Milandri, Ceramic Bunny by Chandler House
3. You Are My Safe Place Card by Ruschka Du Toit
4. Geometric Gilt Studs by Smith Jewellery
5. Dassie T-shirt by judith+kevin
6. Kudu 'Trophy' by Head On Design
7. Ceramic Bunnies by Sootcookie
8. Brass & Silver Deco Dance Necklace by Schwarzie
9. Horse Pop-Up Card by Simple Intrigue
10. Silver Flamingo Tie Clip by Eon Hoon
11. Cape Town Ambigram Letterpress Print by judith+kevin
12. Silver, Pearl & Quartz Necklace by Schwarzie
13. Blue Swallows Tealight Shade by Sharon Boonzaier Design
14. Botcem PPC Cement Laptop Bag by the WREN design
15. Leaving the City Illustration by Alex Latimer

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Meet Our KIN : Tyche

As you know, we love original SA designs - especially if they are pretty. And even more if they are pretty and useful :) May we introduce Ingrid Jones of Tyche who has created objects that can be simply gazed at for their pleasing forms and praised for their effortless functionality. Ingrid makes beautiful over-sized wooden puzzle pieces that fit together and can be used as book ends, sturdy trays for tea and rusks, artistic storage boxes or wall-mounted niches (to name a few).

Why did you start making your products?

Since moving from Australia to South Africa, I have been searching for a way to embed my roots
into Cape Town and make it feel more like home. I consider myself to be very lucky to have
settled in here, because it really is a wonderful and beautiful city. So in order for me to create a
home, I decided to create intriguing homely things and Tyche has provided me with this
opportunity. I hope my products inspire and delight you.

How did you learn to make what you do?

I studied industrial design for 5 years in South Australia and was always encouraged to create
products that excite and delight through hands on experience. As a student I was encouraged to
learn about many manufacturing processes and CNC routing took my fancy because I could
incorporate it into my understanding of graphic production.

How are your products made?

The products I am currently creating are either CNC routed or laser cut and I then hand assemble
them myself.

What is your favourite part of the process?

Studying shapes and forms and then creating the initial drawings that turn the idea into a reality.

What materials are your products made from?

Most of my products are made from locally sourced ply wood. My materials all come from South Africa. It’s best to stay local and support the local industry.

Do you have an interesting tidbit for us?

Watch this space! The dreams are big but the imagination is bigger!

Follow Tyche on Facebook here

Pop in to KIN on Kloof to see these lovelies in person!

Monday, 13 July 2015

KIN Colour Dipped Ceramics

Have you met our beautiful new ceramic bowls? This luscious pastel collection came from one of Chantal's many Oooooo-someone-should-maaaake-this moments. She asked Leslie of Eleven Hundred Ceramics to take up the challenge, and aren't the results just gorgeous?

These colour-dipped pretties come in eight different colours and three sizes:
Small for R70 (8.5cm wide)
Medium for R90 (10.5cm wide)
Large for R115 (11.5cm wide).

Pop in to KIN on Kloof to get your hands on them :)

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Meet Our KIN : Ruschka Du Toit

If you've been to KIN on Kloof since our June revamp, you will have noticed we've added some gorgeous new ledges that are home to our ever-growing array of illustrations & prints. Joining our forces of superbly talented KIN designers, we would like to introduce Ruschka du Toit! Ruschka creates beautiful, light-hearted illustrations, and we currently stock her lovely pen & ink and watercolour cards. Her unassuming drawings will instantly capture your heart - scroll down to view some and get to know a little more about this free-spirited Cape Town artist. 

What is your favourite part of the process? 
My favourite part is definitely when an illustration starts to come together and can stand back and see something that was only an idea in my head, take shape. I also really LOVE meeting the people who purchase my products – that is probably my favourite part. 

Why did you start making your products?

I was starting out as a freelance designer and illustrator and needed some extra money over the festive season so when I got an opportunity to sell some art at a Christmas market I decided to make some greeting cards just for fun. They pretty much sold out! Being a freelancer I am often required to follow a brief so my products are my creative outlet where I get to explore and just have fun. 

How are your products made?
All the illustrations for my stationery are original and 100% mine. I print my products on environmentally friendly paper in Cape Town. My artworks are all done by hand using ink, watercolour, gouache and collage.

What materials are your products made from?
My greeting cards are digitally printed on an environmentally friendly, uncoated paper called Munken (I love Munken papers!). Original illustrations are done using inks, watercolours and fineliner. I usually work on a 200gm (min) watercolour paper.

Do you source your raw materials in SA, if not, where in the world do they come from? 

All my products are printed locally and the paper I use for my cards are made at one of the world’s cleanest paper mills in Sweden.

Find Ruschka on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Skaapie's Cosy Winter Windows

Skaapie's window is all about loving this beautiful country of ours and what it means to call Africa "home". Skaapie is a small Cape Town-based company that makes quality felt products using pure Merino wool and a variety of fabrics. All the products are made from wool which has been felted by hand into sheets using only water, soap and lots of hard labour. Luckily the gifted team at Skaapie love bringing wool to life, and are determined to always maintain the creative, hand-made feel that has made their products so warm-hearted, charming and comforting. To buy Skaapie products online, click here.

Tamryn, the inspired hands and heart behind our beautiful July windows

Skaapie's Africa silhouette is made from different patches of handmade felt and pieced together to make a gorgeous whole

A handmade felt Ellie with Shwe Shwe ears

A handmade felt Zebra amongst brightly coloured huts - each hut has a roof which can lift off to show a secret hiding place :)

Each mobile (with its wooden hanger) packs flat into a neat and easy-to-send parcel

Skaapie's beautiful Animal and Heart Strings are available online here

Now isn't a super soft zebra one of the best creatures to cuddle?

Follow @SkaapieCraft on Twitter


Skaapie handmade felt Ellies and alphabet blocks

Friday, 3 July 2015

The Remake Challenge 2015

How can we resist being a part of this fantastic competition for 2015!

What is the Remake Challenge?
Many people have a preconceived idea of what sustainable looks and feels like, and The Remake Challenge has set about breaking down that paradigm by illustrating just how beautiful, glamorous and exciting "green" options can be. Powered by Live Eco, this competition encourages conscious choice and asks each finalist to use sustainable materials and production methods, and present objects and garments which showcase the desirability of these materials.

How is KIN showing our support?
Just like The Remake Challenge 2014 we are joining up 5 of our highly talented KIN jewellery designers with the 5 Fashion Finalists to add beautiful jewellery pieces to their outfits. For 2015, in the true Live Eco spirit, we have also challenged our designers to make one piece using sustainable materials (and have fun exploring the possibilities that these materials offer :) "Sustainable" here can be materials that are found and reworked or recycled, materials which are grown / made responsibly (in a way which does not pollute or deplete the earth), materials which are gathered from the waste of other existing industries (for example, off-cuts of fabric, leather, perspex, etc).

Our 2015 KIN designers
We are so excited to watch all the finalists' progress through the competition, and to see the final outfits complete with KIN jewels! Here are our 5 jewellery designers paired up with the Fashion Finalist we think their work will best complement. Each outfit will be professionally photographed in the beginning of August so that the judges can make their decision in time for the Awards Evening on Thursday 13 August - so keep your eyes and ears open for all the excitement that is to come!

Aviv of Forever Love with Fashion Finalist Hannah-Rose Smith

Caryn of A Bird Named Frank with Fashion Finalist Roxanne Louw  

Claire of Reverie Designs with Fashion Finalist Werner Boshoff

Helen of White Rabbit Days with Fashion Finalist Justine Pulford

Tessa of Tessa J Kelly Jewellery with Fashion Finalist Jean Baard