Various Skull Decor by Sobeit Studio

Trend Alert: Skulls

We have seen the skull trend pick up steam in the last year or two. Now, this trend is an acquired taste and not for the faint of heart… some might find it a tad creepy, but there is something mysterious and fascinatingly pretty about these skulls. Here is some of our favourite local skull designs – I especially like the vintage-looking ones…
Skull Cushion by Number 19

Love this kick-ass pipe-smoking vintage skull scatter cushion by Number 19. The design is called “Handsome Portrait” and it’s silkscreened onto an off-white linen cushion cover. The same design has also been used as a limited edition print – silkscreened onto old book paper. Both these are available online through Hello Pretty.Various Skull Decor by Sobeit Studio

Sobeit Studio is skull décor Promised Land – in fact, the have a whole range called, The Skullery! They have an awesome collection of skull candles in various colours – just imagine how super cool it must look when the heat of the flame starts melting the skull… Or how about adding a touch of glam with those metallized skulls, available in copper, gold & chrome – it looks totally gangster!Mrs Ples Fabric by Design Team

The Mrs Ples fabric design forms part of Design Team‘s brand spanking new collection called, African Archive. The design features awesome anatomy sketches that look as if they just fell out of the pages of a vintage medical journal.
Carved Timber Skulls by Bronze Age Art

Carved out of Jakaranda wood by Friday Jibu, the amount of work that went in these carved timber animal skulls is just amazing! The skulls are available from Bronze Age art gallery in the Foundry.
Hand Embroidered Skulls by Calavera

We have featured the magical work of Nicola de Jager of Calavera before and every time I totally stumped by the magnificent attention to detail (seriously, images don’t do it justice, you have to see it in the flesh). She hand embroiders every Dia de los Muertos skull (or Calavera as they are also known) by hand. Breath-taking.Skull Light Boxes by Colwyn Thomas

Check out these super cool skull light boxes by talented Durban illustrator, Colwyn Thomas. The light-emitting skulls are cleverly made-up out of a tangle of either butterflies, koi fish or doves.

Design Indaba 2011 Through Rose Coloured Glasses

Having missed out on The Design Indaba Expo for last couple of years, I was determined to go along this year.  I had to resist the desire to hang around the pool on a hot summer’s day, in favour of The Convention Centre.

Like I said, it has been a good 2 or 3 years since my last Indaba and somehow I cannot recall it being as busy before, as it was on the Sunday.  The exhibition hall isles were buzzing from early morning.

From a Design aspect, as I still carry the expectation of “unique’ design products being exhibited at this Expo (and there were many), what struck me was the density of the commercial atmosphere.  Nevertheless, being unashamedly “Proudly South African” I was thrilled by the abundance of design talent our country produces.

Aden Thomas of Cape Talk made the comment along the lines of it being just a “fancy/larney craft market”.  Something which Jonathan Cherry (Advertising Guru) duly proceeded to endorsed.  Well I cannot share their take on the Expo and would like to point out that there is a difference between handmade products designed and produced by talented people, and craft market items, although both require the passion to craft something.

After four hours, I walked away an exhausted woman, heading straight for that pool at home.

Below are some of the images that struck me for odd reasons and get the “Royal Seal of Awesomeness” from Design Monarchy:

The Beautifully Detailed Cake form Charly's Bakery

What I have termed the “Cape Town Tour” Cake from Charlie’s Bakery. I could not take my eyes of the details which were so amazingly carved, telling the story of all the magnificent places and people of our country.  I must have walked around it 3 or 4 times.

The Bos Ice Tea's Branded Traditional Ice Cream Cart

The BOS Ice Tea “Ice Cream Man’s Cart and Bike” – this has more personal nostalgic value for me – of days gone by when the ice cream man was my favourite visitor to our street most days.  In a time when nostalgia is big, BOS choose this clever “vehicle” for their brand.

Admore's Qalakabusha Couch

Ardmore’s latest development – textiles with their ever famous animale images on it.  I give them the “Royal Seal’ for the appropriate choice of sofa to apply their textile design. I so wanna have this sofa in my house.

Printers Tray Cupboard by Recreate

Re-Create’s Printers Tray, with glass front door – another nostalgic item, housing novel itsy-bitsy items.  Took me back to my ole printers tray which I gave someone years ago – Damn! Hats off to her for her imaginative use of all things “old/nostalgic”.

Aren't these Embroidered "El Dia De Los Muertos" Skulls by Calavera rocking?

The Mexican “Day of the Dead” Skulls, by Nicola of Calavera – never before has a skull looked so impressive. The eyes are rather haunting.

The Chasing Bees Chandelier by Ashley Wood

Staying with haunting items – this Rocky Horror Show type light fitting by one of the Emerging Designers, Ashley Wood, just did it for me. Believe it or not, the material is Gauze Bandage.

I salute all the brave Designers and Emerging Designers who put themselves out there by exhibiting their talent at the Expo.  It takes courage to “expose” your talent and passion to the public at large.

For more info check out the Design Indaba’s Website.

Images via Design Indaba & the various designers.