Your A-Z guide to the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair
Everything you need to see and do this weekend
Filled with bacchanalian delights, the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair is back to rescue those of us in desperate need to suckle from the artisanal bosom.
This year’s event, once again on the rooftop of Hyde Park Shopping Centre, Johannesburg, is a Skittles packet full of the most eyebrow-raising, delicious and arresting stuff that SA has to offer.
There will be everything from small-batch gin to handcrafted jewellery as well as a generous helping of snob-iety (and not so much sobriety). While we can’t help you dodge the inevitable backhanded compliments from assorted socialites, we can help you navigate the stalls that are sure to catch your eye.
A is for ALEXANDRA HÖJER & METRO
Swedish-born fashion designer Alexandra Höjer’s Atelier is one of the coolest shops to open on Bree Street, Cape Town. She makes wearable limited edition garments that reflect a modern nostalgia.
B is for BABYLONSTOREN
SA’s pioneering lifestyle brand Babylonstoren will be running and curating the Lifestyle Pavilion, one of the four pavilions on the show. Babylonstoren is a historic Cape Dutch farm that boasts one of the best preserved farmyards in the Cape.
C is for CREATION WINES
Situated high up the Hemel-en-Aarde ridge near Hermanus, Creation’s vines climb the steep hills of Babylon Toren Mountain to an altitude of 350m. Here they bask in sunlight, flourish in 450-million-year-old clay loam soils with decomposed Bokkeveld shale, and dance in the cool breezes from the Atlantic Ocean. The wines are complex wines with length and depth.
D is for DARKHORSE
Dark Horse is a Cape Town studio that creates its own sexy brand of furniture and accessories like classic leather satchels, wallets and notebooks.
E is for ESPOSITO
Natural foods from the Kamberg Valley. A little piece of Italy on your doorstep. Handcrafted cured pork products made from pigs fed on milk, cereal and acorns (in season) with no growth hormones or antibiotics and using traditional Apennine methods.
F is for FROST POPCILES
The most delicious alcohol infused ice lollies in a wide range of flavours.
G is for GIN
The cool thing about a trend is setting it, not playing catch-up. And South African craft gins are right at the front of the pack, leading the revival of the white spirit. Flowstone Gin, Westcliff Gin, Mirari, Jorgensen and Ginifer are five great gin makers. Test them to find your perfect gin cocktail.
H is for HOUTLANDER
Founded by designers Phillip Hollander and Stephen Wilson, Houtlander makes beautiful, useful furniture to live with. Modernist, with a Scandinavian aesthetic, they respect the tried and tested methods of centuries of traditional joinery and challenge themselves to employ modern methods to create functional pieces with heritage.
I is for IRRESISTIBLE
Chocoloza pralines are made with pure Belgian chocolate, South African ingredients and a serious dose of passion and craftsmanship. They continue the tradition of Belgian chocolates and combine it with the best that SA has to offer: the finest fruits and nuts in the world.
J is for JANE SEWS
Cape Town designer Amy Venter’s clothing label, Jane Sews, combines classic shapes and styles with a focus on quality and craftsmanship.
K is for KARU
A line of artisanal home textiles and clothing that balances style with simplicity, craftsmanship with ease. Each versatile piece is designed to be timeless and convey the softness of feeling at home. Whether in the carved wooden block prints or hand quilting, dyeing and stitching, each Karu product has a handprint, making it subtly unique.
L is for LRNCE
A Marrakesh-based lifestyle brand focusing on interior decoration and accessories. Founded in 2013 by Belgian sunchaser Laurence Leenaert, who revises materials' purpose and spontaneously combines elements to create uniquely designed pieces.
M is for MAKERS OF STUFF
A Johannesburg-based design studio creating a range of lighting and furniture products. They specialise in commissioned bespoke design pieces.
N is for NORMANDIE WINES
Normandie wine farm was established in 1693 and is one of the original 29 French Huguenot-settled farms in the Franschhoek region of the Cape Winelands. Their location on the mid slopes of the majestic Groot Drakenstein Mountain peak is 28km from the Atlantic Ocean. Set in a unique microclimate of hot days and cool nights, 16 of its 48ha are planted to vine with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot grape varieties.
O is for OLIVES
The Rio Largo estate is owned by Nick and Brenda Wilkinson and comprises olive orchards, vines, an olive specific nursery and a state of the art Oliomio olive processing and bottling plant. Superior Italian cultivars, state of the art processing facilities, ideal storage facilities and owner-driven passion create a winning recipe.
P is for PULL THE WOOL
Pull the Wool aims to take you out of the digital and back into the tactile – to pass on knowledge and connect people with shared creative interests and skills, across all ages and cultures. Their contemporary knitting kits embody values of creativity, community, quality and simple style.
In each kit you’ll find simple, stylish and easy to follow patterns; luxurious, soft, single spun and 100% Merino Woolly Mammoth yarn and beautifully crafted jacaranda wood knitting needles.
Q is for QUALITY AND QUANTITY
Let’s face it, being discerning at Handmade Contemporary can be a little difficult. There is a lot to choose from and not very much of it is bad. Thus we suggest that you eat as little as possible before arriving, take out a bank loan and then buy any and every thing that tickles your fancy. The consequences the next day may be offputting but at least you will have a happy belly and a house full of shiny new things.
R is for RICHARD BOSMAN’S QUALITY CURED MEATS
One would be hard pressed to find someone who loves their meat as much as Richard Bosman. What started in 2009 as a new adventure has blossomed into a full-blown obsession with a focus on quality over quantity. Using bred-to-purpose pigs, Bosman crafts a variety of Spanish- and Italian-style hand-cured meats. The meat is ethically sourced so you need not feel guilty for nibbling on Herr Snowball.
S is for SIDAI DESIGNS
Sidai is the Maasai word for beautiful, and that is just what the Sidai Designs are. Their stand features unique, high-quality, beaded jewellery and homeware designs, handmade by women from the Maasai tribe in northern Tanzania. Their work aims to celebrate and preserve Maasai beading techniques elevating the traditional methods and giving them a contemporary aesthetic appeal. Their materials range from upcycled to luxurious. Salvaged grain bags are used for thread, alongside 18-carat gold fill and fine sterling silver. Plastic containers are cut up and recycled for boning, while soft suede and precious metal fastenings give their jewellery an elegant finish. They source materials locally and globally; the origin of each design is firmly rooted in Africa, but created for the global marketplace.
T is for TRUNKS
Conceptualised on Clifton 4th beach in 2014, Granadilla is a swimwear, beach accessory and summer-loving brand that embodies the energetic spirit of summer in Cape Town. Initially focusing on premium swim shorts made in SA, it has now expanded to bikinis, kiddies shorts and other quintessential beach products. All feature a locally inspired design, while staying on the forefront of fashion, culture and most importantly a summer attitude.
Brands like Missibaba return to the fair with their new range Where The Wild Things Are to add their unique colour to the festivities.
U UNDER ONE ROOF
Combining the pleasures of eating, drinking and perusing beautiful local, with great outdoor space and views across Joburg, the fair is a wonderful place to start your Christmas shopping.
V is for VIVID
Don not pass by Where The Wild Things Are.
W is for WOODSTOCK LAUNDRY
Their garments are light yet substantial, warm but breathable, cool but timeless. Artisinally hand-crafted with the environment in mind and each bespoke item is designed in house to be as comfortable as possible. Woodstock Laundry’s sleepwear is not only for sleeping in but living in.
X MARKS THE SPOT
Once again the fair takes place on the rooftop of Hyde Park Shopping Centre, which will be transformed into a bright and airy space full of beautifully designed stalls and smelling of the luscious, delicious that will available until Sunday.
Y is for YEMI AWOSILE
Originally from Nigeria, her work is informed by cultural insights expressed primarily through textiles and printed matter. The broader scope of her practice bridges design and visual arts through social interventions.
Z is for ZOJA
Designed by South African-Serbian creative Zoja Mihic, her eponymous line evokes a narrative around colour, beautiful and unexpected materials and her contemporary sensibility.