Meet the Artisan - Interior of Africa
Tamlin Lockhart, 41 years old, was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. She loves yoga, U2, the color blue and is the founder of Interior of Africa. Read on to discover more about this artisan who creates unique home decor items.
How did you become an artisan?
My life is a testament to the fact that our lives are not set in stone. If one follows one’s passion and inspiration through different creative paths, it all comes together in the end. I have worked for nearly two decades as a graphic designer across different genres of publishing – from marketing material for corporates to upmarket travel guides and business web design – and each has given me insight into that market and inspiration to draw from for the unique home decor items of Interior of Africa.
I studied graphic design, but my true love has always been for decor items. My husband inspired me to take the risk and indulge my passion. He always says that one can do anything with the right attitude! He actually bought an ostrich egg factory in Oudtshoorn over 10 years ago. I got involved in the business and the idea for Interior of Africa was born. Now, I love keeping myself busy with the creativity of making and marketing my products. Generally, I love every aspect from the design through to the photographing and retailing stages.
What inspires your craft?
I am inspired by the landscapes of South Africa and the vibrancy of its people. After inspiration shows, I draw the designs of what I want and then brief the team of artisans that I work with. We source different kinds of materials from all over Africa. However, I mostly enjoy working with ostrich eggshells. Because it is such a unique medium to work on and with! We also use different techniques for different products; for example, we use shape, color, paint and other materials to elevate ostrich eggshells to artistic decoupage eggs. Recently, we designed a unique mobile using ostrich eggs, which was quite challenging technically. It took a few days to produce it to perfection.
I love a few of my items in particular: the painted birdfeeders, glazed ostrich egg bowls, and the hummingbird lamp. These are probably my favorites because they’re such unique home decor items, whimsical and feminine. Another product I love isn’t one of my own, but actually by another artisan on Discovered. I absolutely love Mrinalika Jain’s hand-painted teapots!
What do you love the most about being an artisan?
It takes a lot of work to establish a thriving artisanal business, but it is so worth persevering. You’re able to offer a variety of products to appeal to a diverse customer base. My dream is to eventually expand the business from a home-based operation to a prosperous company. Of course, finding the time to fit everything – my family, this business, and my other work – can be challenging. However, I make sure that my days off are spent with my children.
Check out more of Tamlin’s products on her online marketplace on Discovered.