TEXT: IRENE VERMEULEN
Peta Becker just can’t help herself. She lets her imagination run wild in creating new crochet products with her team of artisans. Her brand Projekt is well known in South Africa, as well as being picked up by international importers and retailers.
From her studio in Woodstock, where she stocks yarns and products, Peta works on crochet products that are used as jewelry or decorative objects for the home. Collaborating with other designers and artisans is something Peta embraces wholeheartedly; she works on furniture pieces with Margaret Woermann under the name Curious Room.
The crazy crochet cacti are perhaps the most remarkable products Peta has made. She admits she is unable to handle the crochet needle herself, but she works intensively with a group of women who are very skilled. They work from their homes in the Imizamo Yethu informal settlement in Hout Bay, and come to the community center every week to drop off products and to work on new designs. Peta shares inspiration and ideas with the women, and they come up with experiment after experiment.
For me, products that South African makers create have such a remarkable identity. It is a rare combination of quirkiness and attention to detail. Quality materials are chosen with the greatest care. The items are made using outstanding techniques. The dedication and the eagerness to experiment and innovate constantly makes South African crafts, such as Peta’s, stand out.
For more information, please visit http://projektonline.co.za.
Irene Vermuelen is founder of craftscurator.com, specializing in handmade design. She is based in Amsterdam, but travels the globe to spot the latest trends in handmade and sustainable design. With crafts exporters as well as importers, brands and retailers, she works on developing new products for the interior. The Craftscurator Trend Guide on handmade design is published every year. Irene regularly gives presentations on design and sustainability, and guides co-creation workshops.