Artisan Focus: Golden Editions
Golden Editions founder, Sara Reddin
Tell us about the inspiration behind Golden Editions
My Mother was Ghanaian and when we were kids we were surrounded by arts and crafts from Ghana. She went back to study geography when we were around 10 years old (my twin sister and I) with the hope to move to Ghana and work with the land. Her dream didn’t come to life, many everyday constraints made it too difficult to take risks. But the seed was planted and I was always dreaming of working in Ghana.
How did you fall in love with the craft of weaving?
I studied textile design and Central St Martins in London and subsequently have worked in Fashion and Homewares for over 20 years. Weaving has always been part of my work, textiles, then leather. Later I discovered basketry and all the amazing techniques around the world, in Africa, South Africa and Japan. It surprised me that the Bolga technique was not being used to make more beautiful homewares.
Shadow hand-woven pendant in ginger, £410
What qualities do you think woven homewares bring to a home?
A touch of nature and humanity. They symbolise the beauty of natural materials and the patience and dexterity of human hands.
Tell us more about how your designs are made and the skills that go into making them.
The weaving skills are taught in the communities. The basket weaving is passed from generation to generation. Most communities work in large groups with a head weaver who makes the first try of the design and the transmits the information to the rest of the team. Certain designs have been more challenging. For particular details such as the triangle open weave, only a few weavers do this well, so they work in teams.
The Kente weaving is different, it is considered a noble art and the weaving is done by men. Making cushions from Kente is not really elevating the art, it is already respected. But the cloths are normally worn, and placing them inside your home as cushions, makes them little like artworks that adorn your sofa. The design process was simpler with the Kente weavers, the designs are reinterpretations of traditional Ewe weaving.
Your business model of bringing Ghanaian craft skills to a global market to provide sustainable rural employment is something we are passionate about at HADEDA, why do you think it is important for the future of a modern African business model?
For several reasons, firstly I think if the weaving communities start making more interesting pieces, in turn they are be able to benefit financially and culturally. It makes the art more noble, allows the communities to become more affluent, educate their children and also encourages people top stay, to develop where they come from rather than thinking that a better life is only found elsewhere, be it a larger town/city or abroad.
Shadow table lamp in ginger, £510
Tell us about the inspiration behind the High Life collection specifically
The collection started with the Kente cloth cushions. The weaving is so vibrant and rhythmical that I immediately thought of a musical name. The sharp contrasts between white, black and bright colours make the designs feel contemporary and graphic. The lamp collection was to follow the same direction, contrasting colours, sharp stripes that show off the weave and allow light to dance around a room.
Who/what are your biggest design influences?
Africa, of course, what a goldmine of design in so many cultures, natural, vibrant, patterns. Afterward I also love Bauhaus textiles patterns and Japanese craft.
What’s on your wishlist to develop in 2021?
For 2021 we will be focusing on other home objects and new cushions.
Finish the sentence: Golden Editions is my passion because… it brightens up your home whilst shining a light on Ghanaian craftsmanship.