Crafts start to take route

Crafters living in Grassy Park and surrounding areas are invited to join The Craft Route to get more exposure for their work.

“The Craft Route is not a route per se, with a starting point or a finishing line, but is homes in the different areas that are opened to other residents to showcase their craft. Each area has its own facilitator who organises the gathering. I am urging residents to get in contact with their area facilitator if they want to be part of The Craft Route,” says Robin Oakes, founder of ThinkTank SA.

The areas that form part of The Craft Route are Pelican Park, Lotus River, Parkwood, Zeekoevlei and Grassy Park.

“Each facilitator organises a workshop in her area, has a graduation ceremony, invites motivational speakers to encourage women and entrepreneurs to share what they are doing, and faith leaders as guest speakers. We don’t have the traditional craft markets once a week or month, but a get-together of neighbours in a street at one home where they share their craft,” he says.

Intensive craft development courses are offered where you can learn crafts such as beading, how to make candles, make your own jewellery and soap.

“The respective area facilitators also offer other introduction workshops over one or three days for our broader local communities. The Craft Route begins in Grassy Park – our Community ThinkTank hub can be considered as its ‘start’. The Craft Route is an inter-connected route of homes which meanders throughout the broader Grassy Park communities,” Oakes says.

According to him, The Craft Route is a growing initiative and he hopes more residents will start crafting.

“In Grassy Park, Vanessa and Rikki Ryklief are the area facilitators and Rikki, who began with making leather sandals, has more than 30 years’ crafting experience. He was the originator of the Green Point craft market and was also on the management board of Pelican Park. In Lotus River, the area facilitator is Graham Dreyer, in Zeekoevlei Fiona Edwards is in charge, in Parkwood/Fairways we have Sandra Green, and Pelican Park/Schaapkraal it is Amanda Lopes,” Oakes says.

Lopes has more than 20 years’ experience of crafting and also ran workshops for Cape Flats Development Association (Cafda) at the (now defunct) Cafda stables. She built the first houses in New Horizons/Pelican Park through Habitat for Humanity and was a community activist in New Horizons.

Edwards has 20 years’ experience in crafting and showcased her work at the 2006 Soccer World Cup in Germany. She is a former member of the South African Women’s Entrepreneurship Network who took her craft skills across the country from 2000 to 2006. She also hosts women’s and substance abuse workshops.

Greene is an accredited counsellor for abused women, is a community activist in Parkwood, hosts youth workshops and an indigenous language and culture activist.

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