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African Queen Studio

1 Grewe Street

“An art crafter using natural, local materials to make unique décor items, and bespoke collectables”. This is how South African born Lorraine Piers describes what she has become, but there’s a lot more to her story.

After acquiring her art qualification, Lorraine went to Germany and spent seven years learning the demanding skills of art-restoration. On returning to South Africa with her little daughter Merlind she discovered the village of McGregor and made it her home. The village didn’t exactly need a highly qualified art-restorer, so she became a seamstress instead. Over many years of unremitting toil her business grew and she was able to build a house. There, on the edge of the Kranz Nature Reserve, overlooking our 3 pretty graveyards, she employed a couple of assistants and started her own range of artistic garments - called African Queen because of their colourful ethnic motifs. It soon became necessary to train more workers and to build a studio to accommodate the burgeoning Queen. Using paper and all manner of natural materials along with fabric, Lorraine diversified and designed a variety of ingenious accessories. “The ‘gold’ (she says) is lying at our feet, waiting to be used. ” Natural recycled waste is now Lorraine’s major source of raw material and 1 Grewe Street is a hive of activity as she taps into her artistic talents and her helpers discover their own reserves of creativity.

The long art-apprenticeship in Germany has flowered at last and borne some extraordinary fruits … a green-felted Hobbitty chair for instance, which won an award at the Design Indaba in CapeTown, and a range of strikingly beautiful chandeliers made from thousands of discarded leather twists. Ironically, a couple of these enormous chandeliers have found their way back to Germany!

023 6251 843
076 194 9401

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