Late last year I joined the Craft Art Market at Spier. It’s a permanent set-up on the very exquisite Spier wine farm in Stellenbosch (the “wine route”) and run by Sue Heathcock Projects. There are 32 makers/traders in total, designing and producing an incredible range of handmade items.
Some of my new colleagues are Zimbabwean, so I have learnt how to say Hi, how are you? “mhoro, wakadii?“, Thank you “ndatenda“, and Please cover for me, I’m going for a smoke break “ndokumbira undivhare, ndiri kuenda kunozorora” in Shona. Okay, the last phrase needs a lot of practice and I have a long way to go. I’m pretty sure that what I come out with is more likely to be along the lines of I’ve just seen a spaceship landing near the railway line or Please help me, there’s a dead frog in my underpants. Whatever it is, everyone just smiles and nods their heads.
These photos really don’t do the place any justice. Part of the estate is wetland, so there are ponds and ducks and reeds; there are also restaurants, wine tastings, gift shops, coffee shops, play areas for children, and masses of huge trees with beautifully maintained lawns and garden-scaping. Naturally, being part of the “hospitality industry”, everyone has taken a huge knock when it comes to the consequences of lockdowns and bans on international travel. But we persevere, and there seems no end to peoples’ creativity and adaptability.
And, in the end, that’s what keeps us all going, isn’t it? It’s a little late but Happy New Year to all of you :)
2022 blessings Jill. Spier market looks wonderful, I’m sure your gorgeous creations are adding to the wonderfulness.
Thanks, Gail. I’m trying! but some of these guys are unbelievable artists, not like me just chugging along with my sewing machine or a needle and beads!
Better but also Happy New Year, Jill…
your descriptive words of the set up at Spier sounds like it has it’s heart and soul for those who are small enterprises who need that extra support, may you go well in your endeavours there…
Thanks Catherine. It really is a marvellous to be, and it’s extremely well-organised. I am still the new kid on the block (some creatives have been there over 15 years) but there is a great sense of community spirit and sharing of ideas.
My only contribution to that conversation would have been in Setswana “Pula e etla!”. Hopefully, it may be true, given the current state of weather in southern Africa! Here, the monsoon is upon us and we have already dodged the first cyclone of the season.
I have everything tightly crossed that you’ll have great success there, surrounded by other creatives.
We could certainly do with some pula!!! I love the days I spend there – everyone has his or her own work to do, and I keep a sharp eye out for chameleons :)
fabulous. I haven’t found a collective to join with my jewellery – but perhaps I should look a little harder. Hope it’s a huge success for you.
If that is what you want, I hope you do find one soon. So far I’m finding it incredibly enouraging. Management counts for a lot – you must find one with an efficient organiser!!!
What a totally wonderful looking place. No wonder you enjoy it so much.
It IS wonderful. I’ll add it to our tour when you come to visit South Africa!
It looks like a wonderful place and must be great to mix with so many creative people. I notice you don’t show us your corner of it.
I do have pics, but wanted this post to be about the market as a whole and not just me. Will include in next post :)
That market looks wonderful! I could see spending an entire day just exploring the various outlets and chatting with the makers. I hope you do well there and have a fabulous time!
Thanks Linne. You would be in your element, I promise you xx
Maybe one day . . . I haven’t given up on more travel yet. In the meantime, I do that vicariously. Hugs to you . . . hope your weather is behaving. We have tonnes of snow this year.
So many things are out of kilter at the moment but that place looks lovely and well done you for joining in (and for learning a few phrases in a new language). I hope 2022 is kind to you.
Ah, kilter! Don’t we all dream of kilter?! Sometimes it’s hard to remember what that was like….
The people I’ve met at Spier are all really terrific in one way or another (and not just to do with their creative skills). I’ve been both uplifted and humbled.
Good job learning some greetings in your colleagues’ language…and watch out for those frogs!
I love the idea of Spier…and I think small efforts at kiltering are the only way the horizon will ever stabilise, so keep crafting…every small effort helps!
Keeping on keeping on. Crafting is pretty much all I’m good for these days, and even then I falter and stumble and procrastinate…..sigh.