My Artisan Market Adventure

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If you follow this blog, you’ve probably noticed I have a serious love for events, markets or sales. More so, writing about them and making you wish you’d been there. I had my eye on the Artisan Market for months and for some reason went solo, and actually enjoyed it. It was a feast of jewellery, cool men’s accessories, print on almost EVERYTHING, interior decor, delicious jams, leather bags,dolls, shoes, recycled goodies and art pieces.

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It’s hosted each year by either Kampala Fair or Good Glass on Bukoto Street, where a group of selected artisans pay 40,000Ugx for a stall and display their work to the public. I noticed I was one of the few Ugandans that was walking around from table to table curious to learn about what was was displayed.  Majority were tourists and foreigners, whom I came to learn love buying soveneirs to take back home. Part of the profits made from the market go to charity.

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Artisans possess a special power to create with their hands. There’s something about the way they describe their work process and inspiration that makes you fall in love with their creations. With those I spoke to at least, I felt extremely inspired to go out an make something from scratch- don’t ask me what yet…

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Good glass is a neat open space, lined with uniquely crafted glass goods made from recycling glass that’s got from local dumps and trash centres. I loved the dark green shades, which were distinctive and stylish.These fun wind chimes were my absolute favourite! Gave me several ideas for my future home…

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They also have some beautiful cutlery and Corona Beer glasses which are all uniquely designed. I had the pleasure of helping these two ladies pick out some cool glasses as presents for their friends back home in the US.

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Kampala Fair is a Danish/British owned boutique that designs clothing and home decor, inspired by the vibrancy of African-life. The ladies behind the brand use Kitenge fabric to design each piece with simplicity and longevity in mind.

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Their mission is giving gorgeous clothes to customers and grow a socially responsible business by empowering Ugandan women with job opportunities.

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And look who it is guys, Balungi!

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Who can forget the fun, detailed post I wrote on her amazing jewellery line made from bark cloth using all the colors of the rainbow. It’s always a joy seeing my friend Eve, even more seeing her lovely creations.

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She actually told me about the market and I went solo knowing they’d be a cheerful face waiting to see me.

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4AFrica is an organization founded by 3 Norwegian ladies; Elin Zecker Aune, Mona rege and Line Svingen that aims at improving the life conditions of poor and HIV positive women in Uganda by training them in making jewelry, crotchet & knitting, tailoring . Using recycled paper, clay, cow horn,cotton, Alpaca,African Kitenge, back cloth and  P.v material to make jewelry products, gifts, interior designs and other accessory products, the income obtained is used to sustain the women’s lively hood.

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Their products are also supplied to the international Tourist Market, exported to Kenya, Norway through the founders and also sold at The Serena, Emin Pasha, African Village, Banana boat and Kyaninga lodges.

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I love this make-up bag I got!

The soulful designer behind Mazan is called Anne. She’s big on recycling and mostly uses natural or recycled materials to give them a new life, sprouting unique creations. Combining colours and textures to create stimulating products which are both functional and different is her passion.  Her work features designer jewellery from cow horn, recycled leather and suede and old beads, coins and trinkets.

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She also makes accessories like up-cycled bags and purses as well as pocket mirrors with horn and papier mache. She’s also into interior decor products such as colour blocks and papier mache mirrors.  Having lived in Africa for 20 years, she’s inspired and motivated by the colour, nature and diversity that comes with each day.  Her mission is for everyone to colour their life, which is clearly expressed in her work.

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I met Thijs and his lovely wife, who introduced me to  Product of prison, a non-profit organisation that provides vocational skills training to prepare prisoners for their transition into society. Prisoners make crafts, jewellery, clothing, candles, blankets, pillows and bags. Their products can be found in Gulu at Gulu Plaza, on Jinnah road next to Butterflies Bar and Restaurant.

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The prisoners are paid for their work as a way to earn income while in prison and make the most out of their sentence. Product of prison sells the products and services to raise awareness of prison conditions in Africa, their rights and to strengthen their connection with the community.

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XJO Art Works is owned by this cute German/Ugandan couple Mandy Liedke and Joseph Bukenya who design creative and artistic jewellery using natural seeds, shells, precious stones, & wires.

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Each piece is hand-made with a unique design. They also paint, do photography, mask making and give art lessons. I also learnt about their charity Art For A Cause a separate project, where they give free art lessons to disadvantaged communities.

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Sebo meaning “Sir” in Luganda is a men’s accessory line creating African –print ties, bow ties and pocket squares by tailored in Uganda. Co-founders Sam Wheatley and Christoph Hartmann drew inspiration from Kampala’s vibrant entrepreneurs.

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Their line offer guys a captivating look that’s cultured and ambitious, with a minimalist- style-cut worn by gents to occasions like a party, date, or wedding.

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Natural scents and oils like Jasmine, Rosemary and Lavender kept me at the Prof Bio research table.

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Are Ugandans embracing the artisanal culture? ”Slowly by slowly” would be my answer. I’m looking forward to the next one, since this was a first. How are you spending your weekend?

Have a fun weekend everyone,

Karen

 

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