Kazuri – means ‘small and beautiful’ in Swahili
Kazuri was founded in 1975 and begun as a small workshop that focused on experimenting with hand crafted ceramic beads. The team has grown to involve and uplift over 300 women who are trained in crafting vibrant, breath-taking ceramic jewelry and pottery.
I first learnt about Kazuri through my fascination with chunky jewellery, that, plus walking into their stores was always such an aesthetically pleasing experience. I often found myself wandering the store lost in thought and wrapped in color as I tried to imagine how the pieces came to be. Once I found out you could take a tour of the factory and see the process from stage one to the finished product I jumped at the chance to seek inspiration that I could incorporate for this series.
The tour is quite comprehensive; one leaves the factory in awe of the development from initial design to the final glazed goodness we see in stores. It was an excellent opportunity to get a ‘backstage’ view and interact with the artisans as they create their pieces.
I am particularly enamored by the concept of mixed media as an art form and found different visions to draw from for the piece. Initially, I created a piece that was nice but scrapped the whole thing and started again. The new mix & match process created this beauty.