The Legendary Artisan- Alan Donovan

“To those outside its magnetic spell, Africa may seem
incomprehensible, fathomless, in the primordial past. Yet,
wherever we are in the world, everyone one of us had an African
ancestor, that much is almost certain. Africa is the cradle
of humanity….. As a co-founder of African Heritage, the
continent’s first Pan African Gallery, in Nairobi, Kenya, I
discovered Africa’s rich legacy to the world’s art….. I served
as a conduit and catalyst to reveal the awesome beauty of
Africa to its visitors and to others around the world” by Alan Donovan.

I was humbled to be hosted by the renowned Alan Donovan of African Heritage in his stunning Timbuktu Castle.He lay the foundation and passed on knowledge that trickled down and influenced numerous creatives.Alan’s passion and creativity in African art was my first point of contact with the World of Art.I was a frequent visitor of the African Heritage at Libra House .All the accessories mesmerized me,i imagined one day creating jewelry equally as beautiful.Today i got the opportunity to exchange ideas with this amazing creative,the experience was priceless.

Creativity is a journey in which the people you meet inspire you to do things differently…….be part of our cruise on http://www.etsy.com/shop/lukagwa.

TRADE BEADS OF AFRICA

Currently beads are thought of as adornments but if you look back to the ancient times they were symbolic for different things. Apart from making jewelry, beads in Africa were used on alter Mantles, apparel for Royal statutes and on stools. In Philippines two beads are placed in a cup during wedding ceremonies to bind the marriage. Beads have often been viewed as symbolic for curative powers, served as a passage to the afterlife, to conduct rituals and prayer. Beads are used to communicate ones status in the community. Beads have served as the medium of exchange in trade hence the name Trade beads. Europeans exchanged beads for Indonesia spices, gold, ivory and Slaves from Africa.

I chose to narrow in on beads popularly sourced from Africa which found their way through trade or the know-how of making them has been passed on through generations.

 Ostrich Eggshell disk Beads

Turkana is a marginalized Kenyan community that resides in the arid parts of Kenya. They are famous for making Ostrich disc shaped beads from Ostrich eggs. Once the ostrich walks away from the nest Turkana men pick the egg shells and take them to their women. The women shape those using stones or their teeth; though this is restricted by the game warden

The Pokot community makes and adorn themselves with layers of wooden beads to signify their marital status. Metallic beads are made from disposed off pans.

Glass beads

Glass beads continue to be made from recycled glass or imported glass as their raw material. Bead-making in Sub-saharan Africa has remained intact amongst the Bida of Nigeria and Krobo of Ghana.

Bodom glass powder beads are considered to have medicinal and magical powers. These beads are created by the Krobo people and are sometimes referred to as Krobo beads. They are mostly yellow in color.

A number of Venetian, Dutch and Bohemian beads made their way to Africa through barter trade. We have “Milliefiori” beads from Italy used to make beautiful African jewelry.

Mali wedding beads were given as a gift to a new bride hence they were considered to be special and intimate beads. The Agate stones when adorned were associated with royalty. Islamic beads that have a star on them are considered to be good luck charms.

Bronze Beads

Bronze beads were created for the ordinary people and Gold for the royal households. The Baoule of Ivory Coast and Asante of Ghana shared a common culture of being gold smiths. These bronze beads add a special sparkle to Afro-centric jewellery.

Old East African Coins

These are collectibles; these coins were used in the colonial period as medium of exchange. They were popular known as ‘Kaluwela” made from copper material. Before the onset of coins Cowrie shells were used as legal tender. Currently the same are used to bead on garments and make jewelry.

I am very passionate about Art and especially the art of making jewelry. As I design jewelry I take into account the beads I will use to depict the concept i visualized. Each bead I use tells of a culture whether political, social or religious. These are the images of Afro centric jewelry that has encompassed these beads.

#African #African bracelet

#African #African bracelet

African Handmade Leather bracelet with Old East African Coins

#Turqouise Necklace #Ashanti Bronze Pendant #African Necklace

#Turqouise Necklace #Ashanti Bronze Pendant
#African Necklace

Turqouise Green Afro-centric Jewellery with Mali Wedding beads

LUKAGWA JEWELRY PHOTOSHOOT

Photography is an art that captures timeless moments that are lost in time and expresses the personality of the photographer. They say pictures are worth a thousand words, I beg to emphasize that great pictures are worth more.

On each and every occasion I always look for a good excuse to carry out a photo shoot for the jewelry. The experience gives me a clear and vivid picture of what our jewelry is all about in a different perspective. It is a grand opportunity to appreciate how another artist can represent our handmade jewelry in an impeccable nature and give the photos the same passion we make the jewelry with.

This year I chose to work with the distinguished Eugene Muniah of “Picture Milieu” and Sophie of “I am Kenyan”. Eugene Muniah is an energetic and zealous photographer accompanied by Sophie who is a great activist, fashion stylist and model. The whole concept behind the photo shoot was to create lifestyle photography of Jewelry. The idea was to capture images of the jewelry as one carry’s out their everyday activity like enjoying a meal, working on the laptop or just hanging out.

The choice of venue was the amazing Talisman Restaurant in Karen that is popular for its breathtaking ambience, outstanding service and sumptuous meals. It is a garden restaurant that has been creatively furnished with sophisticated and elegant furniture. The play of warm colors gives the place a cozy feel.

Share with us the great moments!

The vivacious Sophie taking on a her pose and poise..

Our Photographer Eugene going about his work in a meticulous nature.

Eugene and his camera

We had the beautiful Sabina Pucher who volunteered to model our chic African jewelry; these colorful pieces of accessories blended in well with her flawless skin.

At work with Sabina ensuring the burgundy brown chunky Masai Beaded necklace by Lukagwa Jewelers is seating right….

028Looking for creative ways to depict the artistic jewelry…

A little fun with the kids to conclude the shoot…

Talisman RestaurantThe photoshoot was successful,you can view some of our great pieces of jewelry on http://www.etsy.com/shop/lukagwa.

The photographer’s collection can be viewed from his facebook page Picture Milieu.Sophie Umazi is the face behind a patriotic Kenyan project that seeks to unite kenyans and spread peace at this critical time of elections-http://www.iamkenyan.or.ke/

It was an invaluable experience working with this team;their ideals,ideas and vision to use their work to make a positive impact on society is remarkable.

IDEAS THAT WILL COMPLIMENT YOUR TRIBAL PRINT CLOTHING

Tribal print has been a trend which simply refuses to go away. People fell in love with the fun prints that make part of a perfect outfit for every occasion. The eye catching bold colors and exotic flare they exude with a wide array of texture available; tribal prints are a must for any wardrobe.

In Southern and Eastern part of Africa the Dutch wax print is popular due to its bold color.It is popularly used to make Kitenge outfits for occasions. We have the Aloha print that is the Hawaiian Fashion and Batik print that is trendy in South East Asia.

Tribal print clothing comes in all types; dresses, trousers, leggings, tops, jackets, sweaters, shoes, caps… everything. So how does one accessorize the tribal print clothing?

Way 1

Choose one color from the prints and use it in choosing your accessories, usually the neutral color.  You can use this color for your earrings,belts, necklaces, bracelets or shoes. Avoid too much contrast, however, you can also choose vivid colors for a daring look.

DSC_3768

Way 2

When choosing earrings use dangling earrings for a more alluring look. You can also wear chunky earrings with the look.

Lukagwa-37

Way 3

When choosing bangles and bracelets, the chunkier the better. You can also opt for wooden bangles or beaded bracelets.

DSC_0309

Way 4

When choosing necklaces go for funky, bold necklaces. Remember the chunkier the better. You can also wear  beaded necklaces to spice your look.

DSC_0133 copy

 

Way 5

You can also accessorize a tribal print look with a hat, over-sized clutch bags, trendy sunglasses and funky chunky rings.

Lukagwa-47

 

Remember with prints, less is more. So when accessorizing your look, do not overdo it, choose a maximum of 3 pieces to work with your look and don’t wear too much of one piece. One each is appropriate.

To buy any of these amazing  jewelry please log onto our online jewelry Store

http://www.etsy.com/shop/lukagwa

CLOTHES TREND FOR SPRING 2013 AND HOW TO ACCESSORiZE

Well, here at Lukagwa we continue to give you the down-low of what to expect this spring season. We document all things vogue so that when you step out of the house, you not only do so in confidence, but also exude glamour.

Today we focus on our every day essential, clothes! Yes we just can’t do without clothes and so it’s good to be in the know of what we will be seeing more of this season.

Men’s wear inspired and tailored

This fashion emerged last year where we saw a lot of ladies wearing men’s inspired outfit. The fad started with the boyfriend jackets, followed by boyfriend jeans but soon enough we had ladies approaching their tailors to make them men inspired suits. So this is definitely a style to look out for this coming year. This is a favorite for office wear.

The best way to accessorize this is by wearing cuffs and medium length earrings. You can also add a colored necklace or bracelet as this will bring out the femininity of the look.Image

Belted floral dresses

This was also a big hit last year and it’s a trend that you will definitely see more of in the coming days. This dresses are usually bold in color and full of little flower patterns and they are accessorized with a belt, the belt usually one color  These dresses are worn in the office or during cocktail events and sometimes even wedding.

The best way to accessorize this look is by just wearing beaded earrings and a bracelet to complete the look. The dress already has too much going on and over accessorizing might make you look like you are trying too much.

Image

Collarless blouses

A trend that is emerging this season is blouses that don’t have the usual collar. They can either be high neck or have a plunging neckline but they don’t have collars. This look can either be worn in the office or with jeans on a weekend.

You can accessorize the look by wearing long necklaces and stud earrings and a bracelet as the look is made to enhance your beautiful collar bones.

DSC_3591

To buy any of these looks click onto our online jewelry store-http://www.etsy.com/shop/lukagwa