Windhoek is rolling out a series of Pure Beer Society venues; existing venues, re-launched with handcrafted furniture and fittings made from materials specifically selected for authenticity and quality.
Three local artisans were chosen to create bespoke pieces for the venues.
James Mudge, renowned for his clean lines and use of natural materials, has created a large communal table, which features a timeline of the history of Windhoek beer and the beer tasting process engraved in the wood.
Its no secret that here at DECO we are massive fans of James, having nominated him as South African Designer of the year in 2011.Every item of furniture that comes out of his Cape Town studio is a work of art, so the feature tables he designed for the Windhoek Pure Beer Society venues were always going to be better than bog-standard bar fare. He has cleverly inset coasters into the African hardwood surface, and inlaid brass timelines showing the history of beer going back 10,000 years.
As one of South Africa’s top craftsmen, Mudge was approached by Windhoek because he makes furniture the old-fashioned, lasting way, using mortise-and-tenon joints, in classic shapes that have a contemporary, natural look.
Mudge grew up in Plettenberg Bay in a family that loved and treasured wood, and who ran a well-known furniture shop called Knysna Forest Furniture. Armed with an Architectural Studies degree from UCT, along with his carpentry knowledge and expertise, the talented Mudge was soon snapped up by the best and went to work for world famous American designer Ralph Lauren, making shop fittings for his London and Paris stores. After that, he honed his skills working for an international design company.
Jared Odell designed a chair and a small table, using green Windhoek crates as bases, for use specifically in taverns.
The ingenious tables and chairs that Cape Town designer Jarred Odell has dreamt up for Windhoek’s Pure Beer Society taverns are guaranteed to raise a chuckle from patrons. The tough, dark green crates that play such a big role in the lifecycle of a Premium Light bottle is put to unexpected use: Odell has turned them into bases for seats and as pedestals for tables.
His reinvention of the beer crate means a stool can instantly transform into a chair, with a clever, fold-down backrest – each with a handy inset bottle-opener – and tabletops double up as games boards for umbalabala, cards or draughts.
Jared has a degree in industrial design, and typically produces an “edgy” collection of Bauhaus-inspired contemporary furniture with a look of mid-century modernism, called Fulbrite, which he markets with the catchphrase: “What’s your colour?” because of the way his pieces must be personalised.
Odell says that when he takes on a commission, his desire is “to create something beautiful yet classic and timeless”. He lists adventure, style, beauty, freedom and individuality as his driving creative forces.
Lighting expert Ryan Matchett has married his love of natural forms and the outdoors to design a bottle pendant and vat lights using recycled Windhoek bottles, brass and copper.
Matchett has a talent for elevating ordinary objects into collectors’ items – something he seems to have achieved effortlessly with the tavern lights he was commissioned to produce. He has taken perfectly mundane items relevant to beer and brewing and turned them into curiosities that captivate and enchant.
As a child mucking about his father’s garage, Matchett discovered his knack for visualising wonderful shapes and uses for discarded possessions or bits of junk that had been kept for their functional potential. He says he would spend hours “making, breaking and inventing things” and became an obsessive collector of beautiful, natural objects, particularly driftwood.
Matchett earned a Diploma in Industrial Design from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and completed a fifth year of study, learning Mechanical Drafting at the Academy of Drafting.From his Cape Town workshop, he creates a wide range of furnishings and décor accessories for lodges, hotels, restaurants and private homes both locally and internationally. His commissions are to be found in places as diverse as the Seychelles, Paris, the US, Holland, Rwanda, Namibia and throughout Africa. He was invited to show his distinctly contemporary, collectable work at the Milan Furniture Fair.
Matchett says each and every item he produces is born out of a design philosophy of producing beautiful items that are sustainable and eco-friendly. He is intent on “making the world more naturally beautiful in a way that won’t damage it in the process”. He aims to create pieces that will be considered classics in time to come. The inspiration behind his work is “the design union of straight, geometric lines found in modern-day design, with the curved, organic textures and shapes found in nature”.
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