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7 Signs You Should Invest in Makonde Art

One of the most interesting forms of African art - one that we are seeing more and more in homes around the world - is Makonde artwork and sculpture. It is the visual appeal and abstract nature of the hand carvings especially that intrigue people, making these pieces very desirable in both home and office décor.

About Makonde Art - Makonde art has become popular in Western culture because of the fascinating nature of the pieces and the history of the Makonde culture. The Makonde peoples from Mozambique and Tanzania are known for their hand carved wood pieces in the global artistic community.

The pieces are highly desirable because of the high quality African Blackwood (Mpingo) used, and the intricate carving details which are incorporated into a variety of household objects, sculptures and masks created by Makonde artisans. Makonde artists are best known for their masks. The carvings are based on the mythical spirit – the Shetani. The Shetani, like much of Makonde art expressiveness, takes on many abstract forms and is known to represent spirits, humans, and animal forms!

7 Signs You Should Invest in Makonde Art 


  • You are a fan of wood carvings: If you love wood carvings, there are perhaps none finer than those from the Makonde. From wood masks, sculptures, and even household items, there is no shortage of intriguing pieces to add to your personal collection.
  • Your home is filled with unique items: If your home décor and design is based on unique items, a piece from the Makonde will fit in perfectly. Add a piece on your mantel, in a display case, or make it the focal point of your living room. Selecting a Limited Edition carving will add a unique touch to any room.
  • You want rare items: No two pieces of Makonde art are the same. The pieces are not common here in North America, and you can spend hours looking for a piece that has a rare look and the meaning that you desire.
  • You are an art collector: No art collection is complete without a unique piece from the Makonde artisans of Tanzania or Mozambique. The high degree of detail and mystique in these pieces make them a must-have for your collection.
  • You have been to Africa and love the culture: One trip to Africa is all you need to fall in love with the art and culture of the Makonde. Having the chance to see artisans first hand and view the intricate carvings and masks in person will make you want to invest, Bringing Africa Home with you.
  • The Shetani has you intrigued: There is something very intriguing and fascinating about the mythology and the story of the Shetani and the dominant role it plays in African culture. It is represented in so many different ways, and the diverse humanistic and animalistic forms it takes on in Makonde art is attention grabbing.
  • You are looking for an out of the ordinary décor piece: If you want to break out of cookie cutter design, adding an African mask or unique sculpture is the perfect solution. A piece from the Makonde can easily become the centerpiece or focal point of a room in your home. Fusion or global décor is beautifully communicated by the addition of a unique piece of African hand carved sculpture.

How many of these signs have you identified in yourself? Is it time to invest in Makonde art and Bring Africa Into Your Home?

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Enter the World of the Makonde Shetani

There has been resurgence in the popularity of African art, especially when it comes to wood carvings and traditional African works of art. When most people envision African art, they are quite often thinking about the beautiful hand carvings created by the Makonde of Tanzania and Mozambique.
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Egyptian Papyrus: Fascinating Stories for Your Walls!

The art of Egyptian Papyrus paintings brings the past alive - depicting daily life, mythology, gods and goddesses and momentous historical events. But, it was almost lost forever. 

A Brief History

Papyrus was extremely important to ancient Egyptians and helped transform Egyptian society.

Once the technology of papyrus making was developed, its method of production was kept secret allowing the Egyptians to have a monopoly on it. The first use of papyrus paper is believed to have been 4000 BC.

The raw material to make papyrus paper comes from the Cyperus papyrus plant which grew along the banks of the Nile. Cyperus papyrus was not only used to make paper but was also used in the manufacture of boats, rope and baskets. Papyrus paper was ancient Egypt's largest export!

An Almost Lost Art

The Arab people developed a method for producing pulp paper which was durable and lightweight. It was easier to produce but was not as durable as papyrus.

Nevertheless, this new form of paper production led to a decline in papyrus production and cultivation of Cyperus papyrus plants. Eventually, the papyrus plant disappeared from the Nile. Imagine, the plant that represented Egypt's greatest export - papyrus paper - was no longer important!

Papyrus paper production ceased and was not revived until about 1969 when an Egyptian scientist - Dr. Hassan Ragab - started a papyrus plantation near Cairo. But it wasn't easy! Ancient Egyptians had kept the exact production method a secret and had left no written records. Dr. Ragab persevered and figured out how to make papyrus paper. As a result, papyrus making and use is back!

A Lovely Addition to Home or Office Décor

Papyrus art is often used to record a momentous historical event - tell a story - show a facet of every day life.

This makes papyrus artwork not only a conversation starter - it turns your wall into a story telling centre. Papyrus paintings are often so intricate, you will discover something new every time you look at them!

Please take a few moments to review our Papyrus Art Collection. We think the stories told are intriguing and the colours used are simply lovely. We hope you do too!

Bring the past alive in your home or office with Egyptian depicting the daily life, mythology, gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt!


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I Wish I Was A Giraffe - or at least could sleep like one!

A giraffe sleeps only about two hours per day. Just imagine how much I could get done.

And they are so loved - the world round. The number of visitors to websites featuring the imminent birth of a baby giraffe is just astounding. And, who can forget the unbelievable response to the baby toy 'Sophie the Giraffe"? It was difficult to get your hands on one! And, how can we forget the ubiquitous TOYSRUS mascot - Geoffrey the Giraffe? My grand-daughter can't get enough of the terrific children's book Giraffe's Can't Dance by Giles Andreae. So you've got the message, right? We (and lots of others) love Giraffes. Moses and his crew of incredible metal artisans create the most realistic animal sculptures you can believe. All from materials like recycled oil drums, scrapped engine parts and discarded cutlery. These beautiful and environmentally sound sculptures come in all sorts of animals and all sorts of sizes. Birds, lions, giraffes, impalas - all suitable for either outdoor (home and garden) or indoor home décor. So, you can "do your bit" for the environment AND make everyone smile by introducing one of our recycled metal animal friends to your home.

Eagle Recycled Steel Sculpture

Now, let's learn some more about Giraffes! At an average height of around 5 m (16-18 ft.), the giraffe is the tallest land animal in the world. Characterized by its long legs, long neck, and distinctive spotted pattern, many people first believed the giraffe was a cross between a leopard and a camel, which is reflected in its scientific name, Giraffa camelopardalis.


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B is for Bowl - The Most Versatile Vessel Ever

Bowls can be round. But they can also be square, rectangular, oval, oblong - you get the drift. And, not to put too fine a point on it, they can be used for a lot more than consuming liquids or foods.

Latte bowls for drinking coffee. Small tip bowls on your favourite coffee shop counter. Great big bowls for storing things like DVDs, pens, pencils, notepaper. Bowls to hold ever-multiplying remotes on your coffee table. Prep bowls for food. Condiment bowls for spices and relishes. Frankly, I have a fabric bowl on my desk (made by my talented sister who sews) that is what I call my flotsam and jetsam bowl. In other words, a catch-all for whatever I don't know what to do with!

Punch bowls abound at weddings and other celebrations. Big wooden salad bowls are used to create Caesar salads from scratch tableside in some restaurants.

Bowls can be made of many different types of materials such as ceramic,
porcelain, plastic, wood, stone, glass, metal - just to name what readily comes to mind.

Bowls have been in use for thousands of years

Bowls have been found dating back thousands of years in archeological digs in China, Ancient Greece and some Native American cultures.

In ancient Greece, bowls called phiales included a small dent in the centre of the bowl that enabled the bowl to be more easily held or steadied with a finger. Some sources think these phiales were used for perfume instead of wine or other liquids. Imagine! A perfume bowl.

  • So far as we know, the oldest bowl ever found is 18,000 years old.
  • Some Chinese pottery bowls have been dated back to the Neolithic period.

**Did you know that a bowl is also a standard unit of measure? One bowl is 3.75 cups or 887.2059 ml.**

The Ardmore Collection

On Springvale Farm, located in the KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), a most astounding art studio is found. Ardmore Ceramics has been acknowledged by the acclaimed auction house - Christie's - as producers of "modern day collectibles". Styled in an exuberant, exotic (even, may we say, whimsical style), the ceramics produced by this remarkable atelier are superb examples of design and craftsmanship. Often inspired by wildlife, Ardmore Ceramics have been exhibited in leading galleries and collections around the world, including The Museum of Art & Design in New York and The Museum of Cultures in Basel (Switzerland). Ardmore's modern art style breaks ceramic conventions, using techniques resulting from years of experimentation with materials and processes. The vibrant colours and enormous attention to detail are simply superb.



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