It feels important at the moment to share some of the incredibly beautiful work that comes out of the black community. Amidst the Black Lives Matter protests, instagram has been awash with so much educational information around racism, as well as graphics and illustrations from designers showing their solidarity for the cause.
(Some of the resources I would highly recommend are The Black Curriculum, Diet Prada, Black Minds Matter and the Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race Podcast and other work by Reni Eddo-Lodge.)
There has also been an outpouring of people sharing Black artists and artisans you can support by shopping small with them. A shared appreciation for a beautifully crafted piece of work can bring people together, create a shared joy and help to break down barriers and racial stereotypes.
I've been actively trying to diversify my instagram feed with handcrafted work from black owned independent businesses, and here are some that are so swoon worthy you'll probably want to follow them too...
Inspired by the natural colours and textures of the earth, ceramicist Carla Sealy knows the value of simplicity. Her work marries the tactility of unglazed clay with calming earthy colours to make beautiful ceramic pieces you would treasure forever. Those mugs are definitely a set for the kitchen shelves and not the cupboard!
I've been such an admirer of La Basketry and Tabara's beautiful baskets for a long time. Her lifelong admiration for this beautiful Senegalese craft, and her knack for beautiful colour combinations, make her work a thing to behold. Tabara's gorgeous book "Baskets" and the kits she sells on her website also make basket making feel way more contemporary and accessible than you might think it is.
I'm always in awe of anyone who masters woodcarving, especially when the result is as beautiful as Sophie's work, which she produces under the brand Grain and Knot. There's something so captivating about the way she works with the different grains, resulting in truly unique pieces every time. Oh and her lovely dog friend Stanley is a bonus too!
Have you ever seen dolls with such cute outfits? The tiny crochet top! I'm a sucker for anything in miniature, and the way Me-Charis Dolls dresses her beautifully made creations is right up my street. Crafted with love and care, these heirloom dolls are ready to play dress up with your little ones (or with you, if you're a big kid like me!).
Hadiya Williams lifestyle brand Black Pepper Paperie Co. showcases her one-of-a-kind wearable ceramic art and homewares, inspired by cultural influences from across Africa. I love the modern way she's interpreted her ancestral heritage: every piece tells a story and is truly unique.
For more inspiration from Black artisans across the work, check out Black Artists + The Designers Guild and their directory of designers at the top of their field.