15 December 2010 by Dianne Tipping-Woods

Special finds in Sedgefield

En route to Oudtshoorn for breakfast (and a trip to ArtKaroo) I stumbled upon the Sedgefield Christmas Art and Craft Market. It was booming! There was great music by Wild Letters (featuring guitarist Reinhardt Buhr), lots of activity and some fantastic art and crafts on sale.

I’m pickier than most when it comes to shopping at markets. Whatever I buy must be original, great quality, beautiful to look at, and I have to be able to pay for it, so affordable is also a factor (although there are often things that meet all my criteria except the last!)

It was an unplanned stop, but in the hour I spent looking around the market, I found some great stalls.

First up was Rhubarb Handcrafted Fabrics. Their designs are classy and authentically African, drawing inspiration from indigenous plants, motifs and materials. All Rhubarb products are made from locally sourced natural fabrics and hand printed from original designs.

I was also impressed with Mike Weston Gems. He stocks a gorgeous selection of gemstones from around Southern Africa -which you can have or buy cut - and then have incorporated into a jewellery design of your choice. He doesn’t have a website, but you can contact him via e-mail (mike.weston at lantic.net).

I also loved Christopher Smart’s ceramics. He works with a special blend of South African clays and produced work that is beautifully formed and subtly coloured. While his iconic goose teapot has often featured in design reviews, I liked the range inspired by South African seeds and pods even more.

Martie’s hand-spun and dyed woollen products come in a gorgeous range of colours and textures and Stephen Jofirisi (from the Knysna Craft Market - more on that soon) is an incredible sculptor whose work blew me away. They don’t have websites, but if you’re interested in contacting them, I have their numbers.

I wish I’d had a bit more time to explore further - but I have more than enough reasons to go back for another visit.

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