We have always said that we have a studio at the foot of table mountain, somehow factory just does not have the same edge, it also does not acknowledge the bond of all the Rarity artisans’. But lately we have been questioning this, does 500sm of open plan production oriented space even qualify as a studio?
The closest acceptable definition that we could find to support our, self appointed, studio status is-a workroom or atelier of an artist, a painter or sculptor.
So this then begs the definition of an atelier, as clearly no painting or sculpture is happening on site. Somehow, atelier, while very European and glamorous sees us attempting to impress by affecting greater importance or merit than actually possessed i.e. just being pretentious. it also takes the African out of a very African business, so we know this is not for us.
Can we argue that an artisan and artist have the same skills? Well, I say yes. As the only formally trained artist in the factory, I can appreciate the time, dedication and practice it takes to make a piece of art, and this is exactly what the Rarity artisans do. Our artisans’ do not only skill fully handcraft our products, they also tell the story of our country. These stories are embedded in every product you buy. It is the story of South Africa, a story of overcoming obstacles and seeking unity, of pride resilience and heritage.
The vibrancy of our people is reflected in our bright colours, the love of nature is showcased in our responsibly sourced natural materials, and our resilience is represented by our durable leathers. The interpretation of our dynamic, culturally diverse country is found in the unusual combinations’ of natural materials that have become our signature style .We hope that you will see our handbags as a piece of art/isanal indulgence.
So for now we will remain a studio, at the foot of table mountain, in the trendsetting Woodstock district . Pretentious we may sound, but that we are not!
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