Can you believe that a discarded oil drum can be turned into an elephant, or that old car bodies and road signs can become a flock of geese? In the hands of an artist, even lathe waste, concrete reinforcing bars and industrial scrap can find new life as elegant sculptures for homes and gardens!
Old Concordian Lia Fox ('78) and her partner Henry Muradzikwa run Zambezi Crafts, an Adelaide Hills business that sells crafts and fabric from Africa. Everything is beautifully handmade and ethically sourced. They have animals, birds and flowers that have been made in Zimbabwe from recycled metal. They also sell recycled glass beads and cotton fabric from West Africa, and shopping totes that Lia makes from the fabric. Buying products made from recycled metal and glass helps to reduce landfill and encourages the re-purposing of waste materials into objects of utility and beauty.
The couple purchase their products directly from the artists who make them. The short supply chain ensures that income is distributed straight to vulnerable communities, which in turn creates vital employment, stimulates local businesses and helps to restore dignity. In Zimbabwe, where the economy is on the verge of collapse from decades of misrule, it provides the artists with much-needed foreign currency, alleviating some of the difficulties they face.
Zambezi Crafts has a stall at the Stirling market every month (fourth Sunday) and at other markets and events around South Australia. Their Aldgate studio is open by appointment 7 days and they will be launching a website for online sales in spring.