CRAFT TECHNIQUES AND MATERIALS

At the heart of Kenya’s crafts industry is a defiant resourcefulness that also drives the sector’s dynamism and creativity. Contemporary Kenyan crafts reflect ongoing experimentation and crossovers between traditional and modern techniques, which hint at possible future creative directions. For instance, a basket woven using a traditional weaving technique will carry a metallic buckle created from scrap metal retrieved from scrapyards. This also points to how Kenya’s craftspeople are bridging gaps in material availability through ingenious recycling and repurposing. Here one sees the industry’s link to the environment, more so because other materials, such as wood and plant fibers, used in the industry are derived from nature.

“I was sitting at the beach and I saw all this trash, and I told myself why don’t I change all this trash into money.”
— Isiah Chebiator, Artist who turns trash collected from the Indian Ocean into art, Lamu Island
 

GALLERY OF CRAFTSMANSHIP: MATERIALS AND PROCESS