On the ground floor of the 2016 Afrika Handmade exhibition, the high table from Quinn Peaks was set with plates, bowls, salt and pepper shakers and candle holders from the Ugandan company Byentaro Ceramics. On the wall behind the table five large plates were arranged in a line. And just off to the left were these clay ‘boats’.
At once decorative and functional, these designs perfectly illustrate what was described in Afrika Handmade’s catalogue as Byentaro Ceramics’ distinct monochromatic aesthetic. “The black, dark colours are as a result of second firing, which is a special technique to my products,” Moses Byentaro explains over WhatsApp.
Moses has a diploma in Ceramics Engineering from the Uganda Technical College Bushenyi and for several years he taught at Uganda Ceramics before opening his own studio in Mukono, a town in central Uganda, earlier this year.
On Sunday 2 October, 2016 Craft Afrika opened the third installation of the Afrika Handmade Gallery to exhibit work from regional artisans and designers. The two-week event at Alliance Française, Nairobi, presented designs from home décor and textile companies; a prefabricated living pod from Two by Four; and a selection of artwork from the One Off Contemporary Art Gallery. Maridadi.co partnered with photographer Brian Siambi (better known on social media as @urbanskript) to feature a selection of designs from the exhibition.