African Handicraft as a Design Counterpoint
To start, let me say that I know nothing about interior design other than what looks appealing or interesting to my eyes. That said, there’s something I really like about the juxtaposition of objects from very different cultures. For example, in my own home I enjoy the look of Malian throws and pillows contrasted on an Italian leather sofa. Same is true for the Matamiss ceramics when placed on a contemporary bookcase or table. The vibrant contrast of patterns, colors and even finishes make a great counterpoint to the refinements found in Western furniture pieces. Intuitively, they may seem incongruent, design-wise, but when positioned creatively can make really interesting combinations.
I think what sets apart the pieces we carry is the fact that they are handcrafted. Whether it’s the woven grass baskets from Senegal or the ceramic plates and vases from Ghana, each reflects a degree of uniqueness and artisan-ship. Frankly, these are qualities you’re not going to find at a Pier One or a BBB. Sure, each item is ‘perfect’ down to the centimeter and shade. Break one? Don’t worry! You’ll find another exactly like it at any of their chain stores where thousands are sitting in the warehouse. But given how precious resources are– or at least should be treated– it seems that they are too valuable to spend on mass-produced, soulless products. And those aren’t the kind of pieces that truly add appeal to a room, anyway, in my view.