Unique, handmade items – that’s the reason we started this blog and you don’t get much more unique (or beautifully handmade) than this. Nicola de Jager tells us a bit more about her inspiration, her skulls and what goes into making them.
“I grew up in Kimberley for a few years and then Koffiefontein in the Free State for my high school years. I studied Graphic Design at Austen Ellis Graphic Design School and worked in design for a number of years. I reached a point where I was feeling quite uninspired and uncreative. I decided to spend my free time working with mediums that talked to me, and to pursue my need to get back in touch with my creative side. I started Calavera as an outlet to get back in touch with that creative side. My embroidery as a medium is very tactile, personal and intimate and makes me feel like I an artist again.
Calavera has evolved from a love of art, colour and tattoos. Each piece begins once I have stitched up the eyes. I like to see it as a birthing process, there is no clear idea of what I would like each one to look like, once the eyes are in place they form a personality and so I choose the remaining colours, mouth and nose elements, etc. I use a combination of hand embroidery and beading. Every item is unique and produced entirely by hand. I am not a fan of mass production so time is not of the essence when producing each skull.
I want to change people’s perceptions about skulls, instead of the fear we feel I want to invoke a smile from the viewer. And if by looking at one of my skulls, you cannot help but smile then I have achieved my objective.
Currently my work can be seen and bought at the Kalk Bay Contemporary Modern Art Gallery, The 2011 Cape Craft & Design Insitute Handmade Collection at the Primedia offices, South Africa Art Magazine Shop and Metal Machine Tattoo Studio. Alternatively they can be bought directly from me as I upload new work onto my Facebook page.
An exhibition is planned for 2011 at Salon 91 later this year and there’s one in the pipeline for Gold of Africa Museum.” (please keep us posted Nicole)
You can view her work on her facebook group.
Thanks Nicola, love your skulls (and yes they made us smile)