Design Indaba 2012: High Thorn

By Marica

After a VERY busy 2 weeks, the dust has finally settled and we can focus on  the long overdue Design Indaba 2012 feedback we have been promising. Since the Conference part of our feedback is a little bit meaty and requires more thought, we thought it best to start with the Expo. Rose and I will be posting our general take on the Design Indaba 2012 Expo this week, including highlights and our favourite products and designers.

One stand close to the entrance caught my attention immediately – the beautiful African-inspired designs of Pietermaritzburg company, High Thorn.

Their handcrafted products include a wide range of lighting designs, coffee tables, ottomans, massive twig mirrors, leather pots, solid wood lampbases and turned vases, and even crochet leather scatter cushions & pouffes.

Now, I am not one that usually fawns over traditional African design, and I’m sure you are picturing tacky African masks, bowls and other general Greenmarket Square touristy junk in your mind as I speak. Not High Thorn – they have taken “African” to a whole new aesthetic level – it’s chic, contemporary, whimsical and trendy. If High Thorn is the proverbial traditional Zulu mama…she is carrying around a Louis Vuitton handbag (if you catch my drift).

It was the High Thorn lighting designs that totally stole my heart. Big, intricate chandeliers made from driftwood-like stripped jacaranda twigs hung with crystals, beautiful crochet leather pendants suspended like a collection of weaver’s nests, beaded bell pendants made from Imfibinga seeds, and a massive dramatic leather tassel chandelier interwoven with strings of glass beads.

The stand also featured stunning wildlife shots by Greg Anderson Photography including a drop-dead-gorgeous triptych of beautifully coloured birds in flight. To compliment this, a handful of High Horn’s trendy solid wood vases were painted in shades of aqua, lime and gorgeous coral to match the colouration of the birds. This combination of rustic nature and spring colours gave the stand a contemporary freshness not often associated with African products – gorgeous! I really have to commend them for this brilliant use of colour.

Because most of their designs are adapted to suit a contemporary style their products would not look out of place in a shabby chic, nostalgic or even minimalist residential interior. Although, Rose and I are secretly hoping there is a game farm / African hotel interior design project in our near future in order for us to use some of High Thorn’s beautiful designs.

Do check out High Thorn’s website for further in and product: here

1, 2, 3, 5 – High Thorn
4 & 6 – Copyright of The Design Tabloid
7 – SA Décor & Design

3 thoughts on “Design Indaba 2012: High Thorn

  1. I have been dying for some feedback. I couldn’t attend this year, so have to live vicariously through you guys. 😉

    I love those wildlife shots. They are incredible. Are those wooden vases also by High Thorn? The colours are fab.

    • Yup, those vases are a new addition to the High Thorn range.

      I’m only guessing, but I imagine as High Thorn already has a collection of turned solid wood lampbases it was probably easy for them to venture into turning some solid wood vases too.

      They look gorgeous with or without paint… but I have to say I too love love LOVE the colours!

  2. “If High Thorn is the proverbial traditional Zulu mama…she is carrying around a Louis Vuitton handbag (if you catch my drift).” Get your drift and think your imagery was fab! Looking forward to the coming updates – especially if High Thorn is anything to go by.

    Cheers from Syders 🙂

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