in pursuit of purpose

As i look ahead to 2019, i’m excited by what the year will unfold, the designs that we will make and the new ventures we will pursue. Zimbabwe has been the greatest adventure of my life, and the memory of each customer who raved about my product is something i will carry with me everyday.

I have enjoyed working on wood, and producing pieces that people love. to my incredible customers who love to send me pictures of how they are using my decor in their homes and on their office desks. In a country where businesses are shutting down daily, its no small miracle that we cant always keep up with orders.

My time in Harare, Zimbabwe has been a great learning experience. Despite the challenges of the economy and politics, this is the place where i truly followed my passion without fear. As they say living in Zimbabwe is a skill !

Thank you to every customer who supports our craft, it’s allowed us not only to create the life we love and want, but also employ many more people and teach them skills to start their own passion businesses.

crafting in turbulent times

if there’s one thing we have learnt in the past year is to thrive in turbulent times. 2018 was extremely tough, a trusted and long-time employee orchestrated theft of all of our equipment and we were crippled for several months having to shut down the workshop. It took everything in us not to want to pack up and just leave.

For any one operating in Zimbabwe’s voodoo economics having your hard-work devalued, uncertain times, violence can be damaging to the spirit. The only constant that’s keep us going is the up liftment you get working on your passions and having customers who appreciate and support your work.

2019 has started out with even more chaos, more uncertainty and sometimes tragic and horrific events. For today we say, go out and work on the things you are passionate about, don’t let the chaos stop you from pursuing your dreams. Our only answer to the terror and fear is to carry on and live out our dreams.

Fair day..

While making craft is special, the most interesting part of it is also going out to market, and have customers not only ooh and aah over your items, but also buy some of the pieces you have crafted.

1820Workshop has really grown in its production, design and marketing by taking part in the many fairs happening across Zimbabwe.  Our favorite venues have several things in common, customers who love art, and the combination of multiple other crafts that make the experience of exhibiting and shopping equally exciting.

You can always get your inspiration from customer requests as well as from other crafts men to design something really beautiful.

Here is a throwback collection of some of my favorite fairs.

Guess what, you can still order and shop this collections if interested.  Come meet us this and every Saturday at Upmarket, Belgravia on Maasdorp Rd 8am-12pm.

get the lodge feel in your home

New designs coming out of the workshop right now, where Joe is using various mediums to recreate  natural look of many safari lodges. Many lodges like to re-use nature, driftwood, for an authentic  log-cabin feel. How about getting a piece of this in your home ? So he started by experimenting with driftwood, burlap and reclaimed wood for some gorgeous lamp stands and shades.

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The stacked wood design, is inspired  by the iconic rocks that dot most of Zimbabwe’s landscape.

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reclaimed wood with an unfinished look is ideal for this base,

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A neutral color for the lampshade makes for a stunning backdrop when the lights are switched on, for this piece. Place your orders today, starting price @ $ 40

 

 

 

from firewood to coffee table

when Joe starts on a piece, sometimes its bewildering to imagine what the end- product is going to look like. I promise you this is the eternal fight in our relationship, me asking to get all the details, and him kicking me out of the workshop tills it done;

Imagine my surprise when he met this random guy taking firewood home, and decided to make a coffee table!

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Most times, i choose not to argue 🙂

I was pleasantly surprise to see these unlikely pieces come together into a stunning piece of art.

12400560_478989558968918_7878564062414209629_nfirst came the sorting …

 

12509154_478991872302020_8610604081180024746_nthen cleaning, sanding, shaping, chiseling resizing, drilling…i could go on and on…

12509194_478992665635274_2889699148523211651_nnow constructing the table..not so easy

12400896_478994168968457_8926305646515417987_n starting to come together now…at this point i’ve stopped asking any more questions, and they generally just ignore me if i do 🙂

And of course the final bits always happen when im away, but the end product always leaves me awed!.. i

 

 

caring for your cactus

I must admit i have killed my fair share of cacti.  So my  advice is from a lot of experimenting, and the heartbreak of spending $15 on a beautiful cactus that ends up rotting on my driftwood. Well the first part of caring for your plant will be to identify what kind of cactus or succulent it is.

Some of the varieties  we love to  use often;

Bunny Ears:enthusiasts of this traditional cacti enjoy its easy to please nature. Despite the cute name, the Bunny Ear Cactus is in no way cuddly. Also known as the polka dot cactus) is fairly easy to grow if a grower can provide enough bright light, don’t over-water, it likes to rest in winter and make sure  to keep it in average room temperatures.  Easy Peasy!

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Zebra Cactus;  this little succulent is a favorite in many of our pieces. Its easy to propagate, requires plenty of light, but i noticed some varieties do not favor direct sunlight. You can experiment. Those that i killed were from over watering, try to maintain a regular schedule of once/twice a week

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Jelly Beans:  by far the easiest to grow,  survives well even when given little attention. It does prefer direct light, so i tend not to mix it with some of the cactus, looks lovely when combined with other succulents such as Echeveria.

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Echeveria: Very common  and in general these are pretty inexpensive  and easy plants, popular mostly because of their ornamental flower-shaped, thick-leaved succulent rosettes and wonderful colors and textures… these are really easy to propagate, but mine often get stretched out like the below because of staying indoors. Provide sufficient light, but not too much.

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There you have it, – a little water, sunlight, and some conversation( yes i talk to plants 🙂

 

cactus in wood

Cactus, succulents in driftwood for me are the perfect combination.  We have just finished a whole range of new designs, combining exotic cactus, with my favorite succulents in driftwood.

Each piece as always is an authentic piece of art. Miniature gardens/landscapes in wood.

New range of pieces costs  $30 so please grab yourselves a piece, before they sell out.

 

 

 

reclaiming wood

The beauty of wood, is that you can continue to re-use and re-purpose it for your home if you know what to do. I love what Joe designed with some rotting wooden planks. He can take pretty much what is garbage or waste to one person, and turn it into gold… He really is my goose that lays golden eggs..

How you ask ? well that’s his secret recipe… so check this out;

He took this ;

and turned it into some really gorgeous pieces;

cactus planters ;$5

 

 tissue holders; $15

if you  have a pile of wood lying about in your garden or home, don’t just toss it into the fire, come on by to 1820 Workshop and lets make art!

succulents…more succulents & driftwood

these pieces were designed during our last holiday in Diani Beach. We spent  hours on the beach and by the sea, and of course collecting  shells and little bits of washed up coral. Including the shells with the driftwood was such a cool touch to these  hand carved log planters.

They make for awesome gifts, indoor plants, kitchen or bathroom ledges, or a nice addition to the shaded areas of your garden.

We have a new collection of cacti, and succulents, can’t wait to plant them over the next few weeks, look out on this page for our latest in succulents & wood series… Beach meets desert…

 

succulents & wood

I fell in love with the diversity of succulents when i moved to Zimbabwe. The southern hemisphere does not rain as much as East Africa, i suppose that’s why so many garden designs constitute of water-wise succulent arrangements

Succulents and driftwood are a match made in heaven, and they make gorgeous indoor house plants, gifts or even wedding center pieces. We have gained quite a collection of cacti and succulents in the last year, and we are loving the different planters that customers have ordered and bought in the past.

rustic weddings…

the rustic themed wedding has often been associated with barn weddings, but more urban brides are choosing a one of a kind statement piece to incorporate with their themes.

Its woodsy, earthy, natural, and really says alot about the bride. You want to do you!..something fun, unique , that doesn;t break the bank.

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if’ your looking for something fun, creative and unique for your wedding, give us a ring for that 1820 handcrafted cake stand.

#Cupcakes & high tea

Ever wonder where the idea of high tea came from  ?

So while Afternoon Tea was largely a social event for their upper class counterparts, high tea was a necessary meal in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.A possible explanation why this type of meal was called high tea is the fact that it was eaten at a table. In comparison, Afternoon Tea was taken whilst seating in low, comfortable chairs or sofas. Of course, soon after, the upper classes developed their own variation and also called it ‘high tea’.

So for those who like tea, you may want to consider a crafty piece for you “high tea” snacks.

 

” cup cakes anyone ?”