Empowering local creativity
Watershed, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town
Maiden Africa brings you carefully curated pieces that are geared towards empowering those who make them. Located in one of Cape Town’s most prestigious addresses, the Watershed at the Waterfront, Maiden Africa is a veritable treasure trove of beautifully crafted art and décor items. The store evokes all of Africa – from grasslands and the big five to indigenous cultures and quirky designs, including the famous “Piss off Piggy” t-shirt range.
Individually made baskets, created from African grass and palm leaves, dyed using natural organic and traditional methods, the Maiden Africa basket range is hand-picked by owner Wendy in rural Zulu-land. Using only organic dyes for the palm leaves – from roots, bark, leaves and berries, the baskets are truly organically raw in nature. Berries are rare as they are seasonal and in high demand from birds and other animals as a source of food, which is why there are few baskets with red and pink pigments. The female collective that produces these gorgeous baskets comprises around 1,500 women. Maiden Africa provides the mechanism that allows these women to market and sell their crafts.
We use only the best quality genuine Ostrich eggs from Oudtsthoorn which is the hot, dry heart of Ostrich farming in South Africa. A limited range of images from original oil paintings (copyright) are transferred using a Decoupage technique onto the drained and cleaned eggs. Finishing touches with paint are done by hand so that the final product is a work of art. Images are the same on both sides of the egg.
David Cubbin, ornithological artist
Coupled with these beautifully hand-crafted pieces, Maiden Africa is also one of the exclusive suppliers of South African artist, David Cubbin’s works – from delicately painted birds on indigenous wood to stunning wildlife paintings and prints. David Cubbin draws his art from his on-going experiences in the African bush, depicting not only the exquisite beauty of the environment, but also the traditions and cultures of the people who live there. His work is available in a variety of sizes, as well as originals and prints.
His Big-5 images on ostrich eggs is a huge favourite and can be found around the world.
Take a piece of authentic, hand-made African art home with you.
A scholar of botany and zoology, owner Wendy Bell has a deep love for nature and conservation.
Since 2002, after moving from KwaZulu-Natal to the Cape, Wendy has been carefully curating exquisite African art and crafts. With a presence first at various craft markets, the Blue Shed, Red Shed and now located in the exceptional Watershed, Wendy’s eye for raw, organic, hand-made and beautifully crafted items has seen numerous customers returning year on year to her store.
Exquisitely created ethnic cards are the work of women on an organic farm in Wellington in the Cape. Selected by Wendy for their beautiful evocation of the heart of Africa, with designs that have been perfected over two decades. Each card is painstakingly hand-made, using materials gathered from the area or made on site. The cards can be purchased individually, or as a stunning artwork, collated, mounted and framed.