BlocART was started in 2010 by Cape Town artist Kenau Botha. Kenau studied Fine art (BA Fine Art, Major in sculpture) at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. After moving from her hometown to Cape Town she soon became involved as a model maker in the movie industry. The movie industry is quite a seasonal dependant industry in Cape Town and often left her without work, and subsequently, cash-strapped.
With the upcoming birthday of a close friend, she decided that a handmade gift would have to do. She walked around the factories surrounding her studio and found some random offcuts of antique wood from a furniture manufacturer. Determined that the pieces of antique wood were too beautiful to discard, she cut them up and glued them back together again and thus the first piece of BlocArt came to life! A beautiful big heart that still hangs in her friend’s bedroom wall.
At first, it was just a hobby with only a few designs, but soon became an expanded range of shapes of designs. The application has evolved somewhat, and the wood is now sourced from recycling depots, building sites, or intercepted before it goes to a landfill. Other waste materials are also sourced from the manufacturing industry, and we try to use as many recycled materials as possible – from the wood, the paint, and fabrics, all the way to the packaging materials.
Every piece of wood has a history – coming from homes, gardens, broken furniture or discarded shelving. This is so obviously seen during the cleaning process – when the personal histories show themselves – sometimes in the nails or screws , the many layers of paint, the drawings of children on a skirting, or the chew marks from a pet, the stains from a workbench…
The wood is cleaned and painted before the process of cutting and gluing begins. Every piece is put together, cut and finished by hand.
BlocART currently provides an income for 10 people. We love the textures and history that each piece carries, and we are so happy that we are making something beautiful from discarded materials, as we are so passionate about recycling. The application in itself is a time consuming effort, and every piece speaks of the love and patience it has been crafted with.
BlocART is based in Cape Town, South Africa, and provides to numerous boutique stores/retailers nationally and internationally. All products are made to order, and we also accept larger commissions.