Beadwork is widespread through the cultures of Africa. In early times ostrich shells, clay and seed pods were used to create jewellery, decoration and adornment. In more recent times glass beads have replaced these and one of the main exporters of glass beads to South Africa is the Czech Republic.
African decorative wire work is an art form that was born out of the ingenuity that comes from limited resources. Children in the townships often used to fashion toys with moving parts out of tin cans and scrap wire. Over time the re-purposing of wire to create fun or decorative objects has seen the creation of an entire art medium of wire sculptures which can often be bought at the side of the road but now increasingly also in galleries and expensive airport shops. The blend of threading glass ‘seed’ beads onto wire sculptures and fashioning of ornaments is one that has also become a thriving and recognisable African craft practice that requires skill and a lot of patience.
We are really excited to be introducing our Kudu Collection label. From time to time we will be collaborating with artists and makers to create products exclusively for Kudu. We did this last season when we collaborated with Babatunde for the Babatunde for Kudu umbrellas. This season we have our ‘Wall Trophy’ series. These wire and glass bead sculptures are each made by hand by street artists in South Africa. They capture the essence of the animal they represent and make an impressive and dramatic addition to any wall.