Skull love – Calavera

Unique, handmade items – that’s the reason we started this blog and you don’t get much more unique (or beautifully handmade) than this. Nicola de Jager tells us a bit more about her inspiration, her skulls and what goes into making them.

“I grew up in Kimberley for a few years and then Koffiefontein in the Free State for my high school years. I studied Graphic Design at Austen Ellis Graphic Design School and worked in design for a number of years. I reached a point where I was feeling quite uninspired and uncreative. I decided to spend my free time working with mediums that talked to me, and to pursue my need to get back in touch with my creative side. I started Calavera as an outlet to get back in touch with that creative side. My embroidery as a medium is very tactile, personal and intimate and makes me feel like I an artist again.

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Fashion on Friday: Friend or Foe

Dominique Sarah Benton tells us more about their offbeat new label:

“Being a creative in Cape Town is quite tricky. There is a lot of unmentioned politics happening here. Who is cool, who knows who, etc. I’ve found it difficult to be accepted as a fine artist and get work or gain more experience. The market is saturated with cutesy kitsch pop design.

So my fiance and I decided  to start this label. Friend or foe. I have been struggling since my graduation to secure any form of permanent employment, and so decided to make a label that not only commented on the who is a friend or a foe within Cape Town and the industries, but to produce just that type of work that sells “cutesy kitsch pop designy things,” hoping that its aesthetic and commercial value would bring in the interest of a larger audience, at the same time making the audience aware of the double meaning behind the label’s name.

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The artist’s studio: An afternoon with Flip Hattingh

On MTV cribs they usually get to the bedroom and say, “This is where the magic happens,” well in Flip’s case it happens in his garden studio in Westdene. I had tea with him a few weeks ago and entered into Flip’s World. A world where art pieces spill from drawers and shelves and every inanimate object has a story. His favourite medium is rubbish, “It’s my mission to show the fuckers how beautiful rubbish can be if you cast your prejudice aside.”  (I should’ve called him during the Pikitup strike!) Flip is quiet, humble, intelligent and as funny as one can be without having a sailor for a dad (he’ll explain below).

(Click on the Google Translate Link if you don’t gooi the Taal)

    “Die self is een tawwe subjek om oor te praat. Nog van die vorige skool se vorige skool waar dit ‘n  skande was om te veel van jouself te dink, en nog minder te praat.

So ek’s ‘n kunstenaar want daar’s omtrent fokol wat ek anners kan doen. Meeste dinge maak geen sin – prentjies maak ook nie, maar at least is dit lekker. My grootste plesier innie lewe is om te kan sien, en as ek nie useless goete gemaak het nie, sou ek stories wou skrywe (of een van daai ouens op WWE raw wil wees).

My favourite medium is rommel en my missie is om virrie fokkers te wys hoe mooi die goed is as jy jou prejudice elders laat staan.  Reguit lyne kry te veel respek, ook art op die komper en meestal vind ek conceptual art nogal tedious (heel mootlik is ek net te toe ommie goed te verstaan). Ek hou nie van geel nie, kan nie rys kook nie, en het seker die skurfste hakskene in Afrika. Ongelukkig was my ma nie ‘n prostituut nie, en my pa nie ‘n seeman nie, so as ek jou iets interessants van my agtergrond vertel dan lieg ek.

As jy ander dinge oor my wil uitdink is jy welkom – never spoil a good story with the truth.”

Google Translate:|en|

More of Flip’s work:

You can now buy some of his work ONLINE.

Or Contact him:

Thanks Flip! (oh and yes, he also crochets, makes jewellery, has green thumbs, cooks etc. etc.)

Artist Profile: Jo’burg artist Mariette Bergh (and her dog Anabel)

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Mariёtte Bergh lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. After six years as a graphic designer and art director in magazines she decided to pursue art full-time. At the moment she wishes she could spend all her time with her puppy, Anabel, instead.
‘I’ve been fascinated with human behaviour and the manifestation of emotions since I can remember, observing quietly as if viewing a never-ending film. I express my own experiences through fictitious characters and, more recently, animals as well. The animals serve to illustrate the satire in city dwelling as they beautifully reflect the mundane routines that we are so caught up in.’

Visit for more amazing artwork.

Handsome Things will keep you posted on Mariёtte’s future exhibitions.  (be sure to get there early, her work usually  sells out before you’ve finished your first glass of wine! )