Tag: Ceramic tiles

Bahia Art Ceramic and Textile Studio: The Husband’s Opinion, again

Michele Hamman Bahia Art Ceramics Textile Fabric Studio Dundee handprinted natural cotton ribbon

Well, what can I say about this explosion of effort, innovation and back-breaking hard work that it has been my privilege to witness over the last five years ? We started off on a bang with the bags, but had since redirected our efforts into more particular types of bags, and have given the tote bag a bit of a rest. Dundee has since been cursed with one of the worse droughts in the history of Kwazulu-Natal, and that has restricted Michele no end in her creativity. Well, you do need water to prepare a silk screen for printing, you know.

No matter. We have since manhandled a 210 litre plastic drum into position, make-shifted a tap into it, and voila!!! The high pressure pump is happy, and so is the screen. We have been forced to stop working when the taps ran dry (as they now do every day) but now more. Thanks to Jojo Tanks in Glencoe, she can continue with her colour plays. Michele has since become a wizard in perfecting a multiple print design onto the screen and then on to the clear, unworked fabric on the printing table.

A, yes…the screen printing table. That had been an effort of note, but we built it, and many a printed roll of fabric later, we can testify that on effort is the best solution.

This little gem is just starting to outgrow its kiddie shoes. Stay tuned, peeps….!!

And, as always, thanks kindly for taking the effort to read here.

Be well.

Johann

Bahia Art – A Husband’s Opinion

Michele working with her screen prints another fabulous piece of hand printed textile soon to see the light. Bahia Art Dundee
Labouring away…

Well, we knew that we were moving to the sticks, so to speak, but we had no inkling that it would inspire one of the brightest sparks that I have ever seen. We built a studio for Michele when we moved here almost nine years ago, as she was an ardent potter at the time. No novice either, as she had produced some of the most stunning ceramic pieces it was ever my good luck to see and experience.

The SA Ceramics Regional Exhibition in Durban thought so, too. Something else was missing, however, Michele was not a trained textile designer for nothing, it seemed. The next aware moment I had, was of her starting to fiddle with bag patterns, bag making bibles and a mindboggling array of textile samples, paint pots, brushes (many, many brushes…!!) and long, mind-numbing hours of reading technical manuals. Ok, so the first successful handbag did not exactly pounce on us like a hungry tiger, panting to be released. We were sitting in Dundee, in the back of beyond in Kwazulu-Natal, remember…?

Many frustrating phone calls, negotiating with supremely unsympathetic suppliers, who wanted us to buy everything in bulk and then ship it in to Dundee, started to nag at me, breeding all kinds of suspicions that they do not want small studios to succeed. We wanted a bag of D-rings, but they said we must buy 500 of them. We wanted 50 metres of natural cotton fibre, but they said we must take a 1000 meters. Minimum order, you see…? But this girl of mine persevered. She camped on the internet and the phone, and bought every book and magazine she could lay her hands on. The little Internet shop was her dream. She had stars in her eyes when that first bag appeared on the table, and what a thing of beauty it was. Twenty bags later, and a long slog on the computer (we were still pretty much feeling our way through WordPress ) we had all the bags on the website.

The clock was creeping towards midnight. She looked at me and said she wanted to check her email. just quickly, mind you. There was the first bag order. Sitting in the inbox, smiling at us. The next morning there were many more, and before sundown that next day, all the bags were gone. Wow…!!! The respect began to grow in me, but I said nothing, at first. Trouble began to manifest itself in the shape of capricious suppliers, who changed the rules with every single order. This led to more frustration, and new plans. Back to the Internet, and she started to strike gold, albeit only temporary in some respects. You would get the most beautiful cotton fibre ribbon from a supplier with the first order, and with the next one they would very prissily inform you that they are no longer keeping that ribbon. Silk screen-printing was a familiar old friend, and Michele soon began to print her own ribbons. I stood in the door of the studio and watched, with my jaw dropping lower and lower with every batch that came out from under that little woman’s hands. She though of sending a letter and some pictures to the Ideas magazine.

She did write a letter to TUIS, the Afrikaans version of the Home magazine, sending them a picture of her beautifully printed little ceramic tiles. The Idea submission fell though the cracks, but we did make contact with them later, and then the gods of Fortune smiled upon Bahia Art for the very first time. Both the Ideas and TUIS magazine came out with her tiles and bags, and that at the same time….!!!! The response was one of awe. We started running with bag orders, and people started writing about her. I watched from the sidelines, a non-combatant in this eternal war of publicity. Michele was working like a demon to satisfy all the environmental factors that now impinged upon her personal bubble. We had to look for new sowing machines. The eternal capitalist battle with the competition, whom I still think sucks big time, if you compare the utter quality of Michele’s work, down to the minutest  detail, was only just beginning. No band of formerly disadvantaged personalities sitting on the shop floor, stitching bag skeletons together yet. No cooks or bottlewashers. just Michele, a few printing screens, hundreds of detailed little colourful minutiae, a bullterrier, tons of textiles, infinitesimal patience and good old-fashioned talent. You go, girl…!!!!!   Thank you kindly for reading our post. Please feel free to comment, and find us on Facebook.   Michele can be found on www.bahiart.co.za or on the attached Facebook link. Go subscribe to the newsletter now and don’t miss an update again   Johannes…..

Bahia Art’s Blog: Our new creative ventures …

Michele Hamman Bahia Art Dundee handprinted fabrics natural cotton ribbons ceramics021Michele Hamman Bahia Art Dundee handprinted fabrics natural cotton ribbons ceramicsWe left the quiet road from Dundee to venture into Gauteng for some supply shopping.  We bought two new screens for some new and awesome silk screening.  One of them a very fine screen to silk screen on paper and cardstock. We also have a electronic die cutting machine to make our own tags, etc.  So we will be adding some unique and exquisite papery in the near future.  We will also be able to do vinyl lettering on a small scale.

For the ceramic side we bought stunning new on-glaze colours to silk screen decals.

So make sure you visit our website or our Facebook page often so as not to miss this colourful creative explosion that’s about to happen.

Bahia Art’s Blog: Our natural cotton and linens are one of a kind…

Michele Hamman Bahia Art Dundee handprinted fabrics natural cotton ribbons ceramicsBahia Art’s handbags are all handmade exclusively, by Michele, who also handprints the cotton and linen she uses in the bags. Every bag starts it life in our studio as a few squares of natural cotton fibre or linen, which are then printed by hand, with Michele’s own designs. Some of the bags have leather bottoms and handles, which are also handmade by Michele. No attachment or accessory is store-bought. We do not make two of the same bags ever, and each bag that goes out, is unique in every way.

 

Michele Hamman Bahia Art Dundee handprinted fabrics natural cotton ribbons ceramicsThe same applies to our natural cotton ribbons. All are printed by hand, with Michele’s own in-house designs. Hours are spent to get the artwork just right for each customer. A special thanks to our customers who take the time to read here, and please do visit our Facebook page as well.

Michele

Bahia Art’s Blog: A road of discovery to handmade handbags…

My first venture down my own Yellow Brick Lane led me into the unmitigated pleasure of colour and clay that had become Bahia Art. The colourful little textile and clay studio had been my sanctuary amidst a quiet world here in Dundee, in the heart of the battlefields.

I am not a battlefields person, and prefer to dabble in the wondrous world of discovering colour and other beautiful things. We hope to furnish you all with a steady look into our corner of handbags, ribbon and clay tiles. We also make ceramic vessels like the one in this picture. My handbags are one of a kind, and perfect for the sassy young lady of today, who would like to stand out from the ordinary.

BAB 107 Michele Hamman Bahia Art Dundee handprinted fabrics natural cotton ribbons ceramics

 

 

 

Thank you ver much for taking the time to read here.

Creative Greetings

Michele….