Our Artisans and Partners
Lisa lives & work in Johannesburg, South Africa. As the youngest daughter of Sammy and Mary Liebermann, and a third-generation ceramic artist, she has been playing with clay for as long as she can remember. Lisa’s journey has taken her from Johannesburg to Cape Town and then to Plettenberg bay where she lived and worked for 15 years. There Lisa developed a variety of skills in the pottery business. Lisa has sold work locally and internationally, through galleries, Olisa Pottery in Plett, CX Potters exhibitions, Trent Reid in Knysna, annual eco fundraising art auctions and more. Now her journey brings me back to Jo’burg – where Lisa started – bringing her full circle and a whole new scope of opportunity. Gathering works in collaboration with Lisa Liebermann on various pieces made and bespoke commissions. read more
Ubumbano is an organization consisting of teams working together to produce pottery and associated crafts and market them. The organization consists of Trend spotters, Marketing executives, Ceramic Designers, Producers, Artisans, and Apprentices. Ubumbano stands for certain principles. Products that are made under its umbrella are branded as such. ‘Ubumbano Artisan made in S.A. Ubumbano only supports products that are handmade in South Africa. The Ubumbano stamp is a stamp guaranteeing good quality and a high standard of workmanship in manufacture. It is a commitment to fair labour practice. Ubumbano supports environmentally friendly practices by keeping things local and using recycled materials where possible. The business model that Ubumbano follows is share-based. The business consists of various separate agreements between end-users, marketers, producers Artisans and their Apprentices. The group supports skills development and encouragement through group networking. Artisans produce the work. Every Artisan will be given a membership to the Ubumbano group. They will need to sign the Terms and Conditions for their particular product line. The products are designed in such a way that every Artisan marks their work as they are doing it . In this way recognition is given to every Artisan. Artisans are paid for what they do and not for how long they spend doing it. Payment due is processed when the product leaves the studio or factory and is admitted to dispatch. At this point the work is counted, recognized and entered to the system for payment. Faulty work will not be paid for. Any Artisan who routinely wastes materials or resources will have their membership rescinded. To become an Artisan a person must first work for an existing Artisan as an apprentice or Appy for short. The Appy must be of service to the Artisan. The agreement between them is personal but the Artisan must train the Appy in exchange for service. The Artisan can pay the Appy a nominal amount or not depending on their personal agreement. An Appy must have successfully completed the work by themselves before they can be considered for membership. An Appy must undergo an interview and meet other members of the team before they are accepted. Creative training /social events will be held every few weeks to facilitate this. The work itself may be carried out at home or at the studio or factory where the product is being made. Each studio will have its own comprehensive set of running rules. For an Artisan who has completed skills in many lines of production, exhibitions will be held annually to facilitate the creative design. Winning designers will be offered opportunities to launch their own lines of products under the umbrella of Ubumbano. Ubumbano supports new product lines that are not in conflict with existing product lines under the umbrella. Copyright is recognized on all production lines and designers are encouraged to have their designs copyright enforced. Producers may offer their factory or studio space to designers on a share basis. Accurate costings need to be made available for any product line within the Umbubano system. All agreements need to be written out and signed . Gathering works in collaboration with Umbumbano on various pieces made and bespoke commissions. read more
The name Nurturing Fibres for my Indie dyeing label because I nurture colour into the yarn and then you, the knitter, crocheter, weaver then nurture the yarn into a garment. Finally the garment nurtures and comforts. The owner sees colour in everything, memories are not event based but are more colour memories. Carle knows colour and the complex layers. Nurturing Fibres is a big part of their farm life. Carle the chief dyer, colour developer and is the dyehouse manager. And do the admin
Karl manages the stock levels, supplies, and accounts. Nolundi is my right handed (wo)man, She is an excellent dyer and all yarns dyed pass through her hands. She is kind, gentle, loyal and eager to assist and learn. She has been with me since 2002 and we are closely bonded. Russell and Erik assist Nolundi in dyeing the cotton, fusion and the bamboo yarns. Erik also does balling. Juamanda does balling and assists Nolundi and I with the dyeing of the wool Ruben makes our skeins and assists with the balling
We are conscious that, if not properly managed, our passion for dyeing yarn could have an environmental impact and we believe that by careful planning we can make a difference. With this in mind, we designed our dyehouse to run with the lowest possible environmental impact and the greatest possible socio-economic benefit to our very small local community.
Using Renewable Energy resources:
We use solar power to heat our water for dyeing and only top up the temperature if need be. In the dye house, the water is gravity fed instead of being pumped. Yarns are dried naturally either in the sunshine or over our Aga Stove. All our skeining and balling is done on manually.
It takes a whole day for one dye batch to be balled, since we can dye up to 14 dyelots a day [70kgs] this means that 14 jobs can be created just in the balling department.
We are not running at full production, but with your continued orders we are able to continue growing and therefore employ more Xhosa people from the local farms.
Water is precious:
The water used to soak the skeins in preparation for dyeing is recycled and used to irrigate the staff Vegetable Garden. All other water used in the dyeing process is ph balanced and then used to irrigate the 120 Olive trees. The washing of equipment and the yarn is done with Borehole water. As this water is sourced on the farm, it has a much lower environmental impact compared to other water sources.
Our wool is from local free ranging sheep that are non-mulesed. Our cotton is locally grown and while not certified organic, it has been farmed with these principles.
Our dyes are Oeko-Teko approved as they do not contain any restricted substances listed on the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 list read more