Along with some of our existing pieces, we present a new collection of furniture by three designers at the event. These include a new table and stool by the talented and established designer Garth Roberts — made in sustainable FSC hardwood, the Seri round dining table and side table are a further continuation of the Seri table-top accessories originally launched in 2014.
The solid wood table and side table are circular, with the intricate Seri texture having been expertly crafted on both their edges and their legs by Mabeo craftsmen and women in Botswana.
Also being presented is a new collection, featuring both a new material and a new direction for Mabeo. For this fresh approach, we have collaborated with a new and up-and-coming talent in design, Inès Bressand; comprised of a chair, cabinet and coffee table, the collection — dubbed Zezuru — is the final result of an ongoing collaborative process between Mabeo wood craftsmen and Zezuru Metal craftsmen in Botswana.
Marrying wood with galvanized metal, each object is not only made from the two distinct materials, but from two very distinct craft techniques. Hand cut, hammered, shaped and folded, galvanized metal sheet components are inserted into or suspended on the wooden components of each piece, in order to create a variety of different products: a chair, a table and a storage cabinet. Pairing these reflective galvanized metal components — with their visible hammer marks — with smoothly handcrafted wood forms results in beautiful, and beautifully contrasted, pieces.
For more designs incorporating this sheet metal material, we have also enlisted the help of the enormously talented designer Francesco Faccin. With great attention to process and to working by hand, our collaboration with Francesco has resulted in round platforms for pot plants: the scale of these pieces, alongside their simple forms, and the freehand manipulation of the sheet metal, creates an interesting range of objects that visibly reflect the tension between strict form and a basic, yet skilled hand technique.
The galvanized sheets are sourced from waste material from the construction industry, while the wood used is FSC hardwood sourced from the Southern Africa region. This use of disparate material and separate processes is reflective of the constant interest at Mabeo in making simple and beautiful objects of design through contemporary, craft based activity from Africa: realised through careful use of sustainable materials, promotion of interdependent craft economies, and combined with collaborations with like-minded creative people from dfferent parts of the world.
This ethos — and these latest projects, along with the rest of Mabeo’s collection — are combined in a new publication, Furniture for Everyday Life. The book is a testament to over a decade of work, collaboration and cross-cultural inspiration at Mabeo.