We had an early trip to Durban planned, to deliver a carving and fetch a fishing rod ....... then the day was ours to browse. We headed to Art Africa in Umhlanga, my favourite shop in KwaZulu Natal.
They stock a wonderful selection of African artefacts, both traditional and contemporary. Most of my Ethiopian crosses come from Art Africa and I have my eye on quite a few other pieces but today was just for browsing.
A new consignment of life sized colonial figures had just arrived. Traditionally a Baoule woman would have a carving made of her future husband , dressed in the garb of whatever profession she admired. With the colonial influence in Africa the idealised vision of her future husband changed and the more westernised figures of doctors, teachers, priests, businessmen, chefs etc. became popular.
It was a treat to get out of the house to waft around the shops, eating food that I didn't have to cook and just sit, contemplating the sea from a cafe at the top of the hill. It's taken me far too long to finish my carving order due to a little accident or two, starting with a nick in one thumb. You won't believe how painful a nicked thumb can be....and as if that wasn't enough the following day I sliced through the other one with a chisel. Something I havn't done in years. Nicks yes but slices no. (Funnily enough it is the exact spot I had stitched when I sliced through my thumb when I was about 15 ). Since my trip to casualty I've been floating around with two thumbs sticking up at right angles, feeling very clumsy....and all thumbs! Ah well that will teach me for carving like a hooligan.