Monday, February 28, 2011


" The Firefly Chandelier " is made of Handwoven Traditional Beer Strainers from South-Africa.

With this design my vision of marrying traditional craft techniques and organic natural material with modern design has been realized.

The bottom part of this Chandelier consists of five elongated traditional hand-woven beer-strainers made of reed grass. These beer strainers are sometimes still used in rural areas in my country to strain a handmade beer brew made from millies (maize).

This technique is centuries old, was cultivated mainly in the villages and only a few, mostly old people, are still capable of weaving beer-strainers or baskets in this particular manner which is very complicated and extremely time consuming.

If not promoted this craft will die.

I have been trying to find a modern use for these beautiful hand woven items for quite a while. This lamp is a very unique handcrafted Ceiling Chandelier that gives you a beautiful warm soft glowing light. It looks like big fireflies glowing in the night. The Chandelier is simple but very elegant at the same time.

And it is nearly as beautiful as a natural chandelier.

This production line will not be able to produce a high number of items in a very short time because it is depending on the  availability of the beer strainers but increased demand in this item will also lead to job creation  in the villages who still produce the strainers and an old craft will survive. 

Available here: Chocolat Negro Recycled Design and Art

Saturday, February 26, 2011


And now after I have told the story of the Spotted Genet and his dirty deeds in the forest......

I am going to upload some pictures of the Terrible Seven when they were still united.

Because a beautiful and naughty bunch they were - and three of them still are !
When I bought them they were thin and in some places bare off all feathers

But after good care and fine food.....

the possibility to take excessive dust baths

 AND  a  gorgeous home in the wild they recovered. This old tree is part of their enclosure and the huge branches give them shade throughout the day.

 and for all this I am getting plenty in return.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Whatever you start in life, no matter how small it might be and how little you thought about it - it will lead to another thing with definite consequences because everything is linked. For me this is the most beautiful thing about life, unavoidable evolution and the new knowledge that comes with it. You can not avoid getting drawn into it otherwise you would have to stay in your room and do nothing in life. 
And  in the above picture is the beautiful murderer.

The idea of keeping my own chicken was to have fresh organic eggs from happy free running healthy  chicken. The eggs I do have in abundance now and it is a real culinary treat to eat a completely natural egg. But along with the chicken came another visitor who has a cruel hobby. He likes to kill chicken. He does not eat their flesh and drinks only a little bit of their blood. 

" Unfortunately he kills them all. Spotted Genets are like that. You can only poison him ", I was told by a farmer when telling the story. 
So he is a Spotted Genet ! At least I know now what he is because he comes only at night and you never see him.

But he is much more than that. He is on the list of Spotted endangered cats and breathtakingly beautiful. And can he be punished or poisoned just because I live close to the bush. A definite NO also he has killed 5 chicken and my 5 baby guinea fowls in 2 months.

And if you truly want something you will get help. A friend directed me to the SPCA and they were eager to assist me to catch him to safe his life and release him into the wild. They gave me the above trap.

And we caught him. Not only one but two !

Not shy or scared at all given the fact that he had never seen a human and dislikes the daylight.

But I had the chance to get amazing pictures of this rare animal before I brought him to the SPCA.

and this is the place where he was released into the wild with his companion.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Here are some beautiful pictures that I have taken recently at a private Conservation Reserve

I have called them " DREAMING OF THE MOTHERLAND ".

Asleep and dreaming


I am showing you some impressions from a recent visit to Cintsa East

A small fishing and holiday village at the coast

very peaceful and quiet

with glossy starlings riding on telephone lines in the stormy wind

and bread delivery vans
FROM THE OVEN TO THE TABLE- so it is promised

Rustic and sandy boardwalks that lead right to the turquoise sea.

with places for loneliness and celebration

simply amazing light and small bays

and after all the most beloved beer in South Africa


Thursday, February 17, 2011


The second favorite place for barbecuing is this spot just before the bush begins.
So beautiful at night

and we really do like big fires


African Barbecue Preparations make ample use of wood 

thorn -wood is the best and an old rusted truck wheel grill

given to me by my father five years ago and still as strong as Hercules
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