Tag Archives: gift economy

Practicing the gift economy

John  Seymour in his The New Complete Book of Self Sufficiency says that:

“We find that we no longer place the same importance on artifacts and gadgets that other people do. Also – every time we buy some factory- made article we wonder what sort of people made it – if they enjoyed making it or if it was just a bore – what sort of life the maker, or makers, lead … As far as we can we import our needs from small and honest craftsmen and tradesmen. We subscribe as little as we can to the tycoons, and the Ad-men, and the boys with their expense accounts.” [i]

Today I am giving away a bag, but I thought I should tell you a little about this bag and how it came to be. It started with a wonderful young man called Dylan McGarry, who was part of organizing an event called COP. I am not sure how to describe COPART, it was more than an exhibition or an art show, it was a happening. These amazing young people travelled trains across the city and country enlightening people about climate change in preparation for COP 17 in Durban and, incidentally, bringing art to the streets and out of the galleries.  You can read more about them on  http://dontcopoutcopart.blogspot.com/

“One” beads on leather

I thought I should support such a worthy effort and promised to make bead works for the COPART events. I suppose it has come across in these blogs that I am a bit of a craft nut, I love making things which combine beauty of form and function.  I thought here was something I could do. For most of 2011, every climate change workshop I went to, I was making beads. In honour of COPART, these were recycled beads left over from past projects, and leather scraps, so I had lots of fun being completely anarchic with colour and size. My favourite was “One”.  Each bead symbolizes an individual. Combined together in different shapes and colours the weaving became strong, showing the importance of identity. The tapestry as a whole said “one”, meaning that together we can create new meanings from old bits and pieces which had been considered useless. And, of course that the thread of life binds us, without it we are just miscellaneous, and so we had better get together and do something about climate change.

Well, I got so carried away with these beads I never finished them in time for COP. They are done now, and I am giving away a beaded leather bag to whoever orders a gift bag of soaps and oils from me first.

You will love the gift bag, it is a nice way to sample the things I make and decide what you like. It contains one of each product in my range and costs R 140 plus delivery. A gift bag contains:

50 ml liquid soap Extra Moisturizing

50 ml liquid soap Gently Antiseptic

1 bar Buchu Soap

1 bar Baby Buchu Soap

10 ml Body Butter

10 ml Buchu Oil

10 ml Extra Strength Buchu Oil

But don’t worry, even if you are not the first to order, I have another “One” on green canvas I will be giving away with the second order. If you are slow to order, every gift bag comes with a recyclable cloth bag made from scrap material. Each one is different, and each one shows how we can make new meaning from quiet places.

So spoil yourself this week and give yourself a long, hot, buchu  bath or shower! It will strengthen you to arise and create meaning.

Order from khoelife@gmail.com

Together we can make meaning matter


[i] Dorling Kindersley, 1976, pp. 17.

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