The Art of Handmade #2

Our second “the art of handmade” event transformed LightCo’s showroom into an experience like no other 

What characterises a genuine handmade product?

Handmade products are inevitably ‘one-offs’!  Even though some might appear identical, by virtue of the fact that hands were involved, each is unique! Products that have the human touch are products that embrace character. A number of LightCo’s brands have handmade elements to them – from mouth-blown glass and hand-forged metal detailing, to naturally aged finishes. 

Following on from our much talked about authentic Italian ‘pasta making’ event held in July, last week’s rhythm infused evening created a lot of noise! (Especially to our neighbours!)

Pulsating rhythms – high energy and smiles all round 

INVITATION – This time our guests received a small brown box filled with wood chips, a hint to what was to come. Rolled up inside the box, a hand written note aroused suspicion but divulged nothing more than asking guests to bring along ‘a sense of adventure and an appetite for all things handmade!’ 

Hidden beneath the wood chips lurked a subtle clue (a sweetener) to help guests try to figure out what the experience would be! It was a packet of Maynards wine gums, an iconic South African candy! 

THE EVENT – On arrival guests enjoying drinks and our famous grazing table laden with delicious traditional South African goodies including biltong, braai broodjies and droewors themed with an elephant and rhino carving. The showroom decor offered a hint of Africa which had our guests guessing… but it was only at the first thunderous TAKA-BOOM-TAKA-BOOM-TAKA-BOOM-BOOM-BOOM  beat of the Djembe drums that they peaked into the inner room to be welcomed by the dynamic Rhythm Village drumming group –  virtuosos of the skins!

Seated in a circle on low stools with their own drums, guests were advised to flex their hands to the max!

TAKA-BOOM-TAKA-BOOM-TAKA-BOOM-BOOM-BOOM

First off, following the theme ‘The Art of Handmade’, guests got a glimpse into the process of creating the authentic Djembe drum – from a solid piece of timber, shaping and carving the wood (hence the wood chips in the invitation!), stretching the skin and tightening the rope. Every minor change creates a different sound.

Secondly, the art of hand making sounds on the drums. 

Four musicians, well-rehearsed, each knowing what the other will next do, exploded into magical and mystical drumbeats.

Some at the speed of a gazelle being chased through the long grass – others echoing the pounding hooves of 40,000 wildebeests leaping croc infested rivers on the vast African savanna plains.

Perched on low stools, each guest with their own Djembe drum, were encouraged and directed when to join in forming a circle of rhythm! The engaging and fabulous Josh and his Rhythm Village group had everyone making music together. Drumming, Zulu war dancing and a few stories and even singing and dancing. The room pulsated with rhythms, high energy and smiles all around. 

Two of the drummers are from Africa and both engrossed us with stories of their traditions. (Seems drumming was the real precursor to Twitter!) Messages were drummed from person to person, across rivers and valleys, up and down mountains and the open plains to convey important news. Some rhythms were warnings of impending danger – ‘neighbouring tribe on the warpath’.

Others were good news – ‘the chief has a new baby’! 

Getting the full African experience with some amazing traditional dancing

DINNER – Then, after the drumming, at the front of the showroom which had been converted into a 5-star-like restaurant, and with rhythm still running hot through everyone’s hearts and souls, a grand African feast was served. Genuine African cuisine, prepared by authentic South African caterers, including babotie, lekker boerewors which was braaied (BBQ’d) on the deck outside, sosaties, curried loin chops, peri-peri chicken, oxtail stew, pap and chakalaka pie, pumpkin fritters and copper penny salad.  LightCo team serving a delicious South African inspired dinner   

And hoping people still had some room left, this was followed by a trio of desserts and a powerful Don Pedro cocktail. Each table had bottles of fine South African wines of both hues. And, as if that wasn’t enough, the evening finished with a glass of Amarula – the traditional South African liqueur. (Made from the same Amarula berry that renders a fully-grown 5,000kg elephant into a drunken stupor on a hot day in the African bush! (Check YouTube)

And we still had to get home!

As guests left, we couldn’t let them go empty-handed!

Each received a hand carved, LightCo branded, half-size Djembe drum …(which of course, everyone now knows how to play!) Taking the beat home with handmade LightCo Djembe drums. It was a wonderful finish to a memorable evening. We hope everyone learned something and enjoyed themselves. We certainly did!

Thank you all for coming. 

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