Handcarved textile stamps from Oshiwa,
a carving group in Namibia.
Anita Brandt, founder of Oshiwa Designs, joined our Fiber Focus Group awhile back and approached me about using Rayela Art as the distributor for the textile stamps her carving group produces. After several months of emailing back and forth, trying to figure out the logistics of such a partnership, we are almost ready to hit the market! Last week, two huge boxes arrived at my doorstep loaded with the stamps. Our first introduction to the public will be here in Paducah during the quilt show which starts next week. If you are coming to Paducah, please visit the Rayela Art booth at 212 Broadway, housed in Antique Galleria. Broadway is Paducah's main street, a short walk from the Quilt Museum and other downtown businesses.
The Oshiwa Namibia Team
Anita's team consists of a small group of talented carvers. Each brings special skills and talents to the mix. We will have more stories about each one in the future. The stamps are their main focus, but they also have a booth in Namibia with other products they make including gorgeous picture frames, pillows and other crafts. Distribution from Namibia to a larger market has been a major problem for Anita, so we are hoping that by working with Rayela Art, this problem will be solved. At this point, we will start only with the stamps and later move on to the other possible products.
Oshiwa carved photo frame.
Maria sewing Oshiwa cusion covers.
Oshiwa cushion cover using stamped fabric.
The stamps are available as individual pieces as seen in the first photos or as sets. We are still working out the pricing details. Anita has been operating on a string budget with no salary for herself for years and years. Is this a sustainable approach? We need to be able to find a price point where they can meet their needs and which is affordable for the artists who will be our primary market.
Oshiwa textile stamps sold as sets.
As sets, the stamps have jigsaw patterns that can be used to compliment each other. All of the photos in this post show their distinctive African geometric patterns, but many also depict animals, both real and imaginary. Some include the elephants, rhinos and snakes of Africa, while others are just funny creatures that are inside the carver's imagination. Here are a couple of creature graphics that were created with the stamps:
Oshiwa creature designs using their textile stamps.
Oshiwa recently joined TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List and we will move into creating a greater online presence for the group once the Quilt Show is over. We have a lot of work carved out for us: setting up a shop on Etsy, getting a blog going for the group, a facebook fan page, and so on. Meanwhile, we could really use your feedback!
- What is your reaction to the designs? (Too ethnic? Too African? Or, just drop dead gorgeous?!!)
- Would you pay $2 per square inch for a stamp?
- What would you use the stamps for? (fabric, paper or clay?)
- What themes would interest you?
- Would you prefer to buy individual stamps or sets?
For more information, visit Oshiwa.com.