Thursday, July 31, 2008

Port Elizabeth ceramics at Anthropologie...and a little more about South African ceramics

The other day I was browsing in Anthropologie when I noticed a very large earthy bowl and pitcher sitting alone on a shelf amongst the clothing. I picked up the bowl and turned it over (isn't everyone compelled to do this?) and saw that it was made in South Africa. I got that little rush of excitement that you get when you discover something new and came home to do some research.

I wasn't familiar with South African ceramics, but I learned that Anthropologie buyers have been traveling around South Africa in search of unique handmade goods.

Poppytalk highlighted some of Anthropologie's South African ceramics here.

And Sophie highlights more finds and discusses the potential humanitarian benefits of purchasing South African goods at her wonderfully-titled blog, Breakfast at Anthropologie.

I also discovered that the pattern that piqued my interest is called Port Elizabeth, which is a town on Africa's southern coast, and it looks like only the pitcher is available online.

portelizabethtable portelizabethpitcher

In searching around for South African ceramics, I found out about the Light from Africa foundation, "a non-profit organisation (NPO) that aims to empower historically disadvantaged South Africans - and especially children affected by HIV/Aids - through the creation and sale of handcrafted African ceramic artworks." They have some great information on the history of African ceramic arts, as well as lots of handcrafted ceramic art pieces for sale.

I'm quite fond of these candle holders:

largevirgin  peacebirdpeacebird2

 Left: large virgin; Right:  Peace birds (above, below)

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