Over the past several months, we've been working hard to seek out new collaborations to expand our offerings in the entertaining and serving space, including two visits to South Africa to explore various wonderful studios and woodshops. When we connected with master woodworker Cindy and her artisan team of Coco Africa in the idyllic mountain town of Franschoek, we were absolutely enchanted!
Cindy and her team embrace a zen-link commitment to simple designs and unwavering perfectionism that shines through in every piece. Along with kanju's existing wide variety of natural, handmade decor, I wanted to offer a range of new designs meant for everyday use and functionality, bringing the kanju ethos of natural-made quality to the breakfast table, the holiday meal, and every little moment in between.
Coco Africa celebrates a minimalist style that enables the natural wood to stand out as the soul of the design. This reverence for the material itself, and for designs without any elements of complexity, are what make the pieces such beautiful canvases for artfully sharing meals with your loved ones. The warm loaf of bread, the artisanal salt, the fresh bit of salad or perfectly formed tapa.... all will present as the wonderful bits of edible art they are when served on Coco Africa tableware, connecting us to each other and the simple gifts of the world, meal after meal and year after year.
Below, a bit more about Coco Africa in their own words, and how to best care for your wood pieces.
Who we are, what we do & Why we do it
The Coco Africa workshop is a team of gifted woodworking craftsmen from the local community, focusing on the highest standards of manufacturing, joinery and finishing. Aubrey heads the production, concentrating on perfect joinery. Assistant Eldriek process rough stock and finish jointed items to perfection. Cindy focuses on design and marketing and provides final quality control: no items leave the shop without having been properly looked over and lovingly felt.
What it’s all about: "The excitement of the wood arriving, watching the patina appear as the planks are processed. The scent of the natural wood oils in the dust. A few sneezes in between. Seeing the designs form as the wood gets a new life. Giving the designs a name. The smell of the wood as the branding iron burns the logo. The relationship and respect for each other as wood lovers in production. Working alongside a team of creative people. Establishing meaningful relationships with our clients. Working in such a beautiful part of the world.
The sheer joy of making beautiful things."
Cindy Douglas, creative director, owner.
Available in: 200ml & 500ml glass jar or 1 Litre tin. Seal your new wooden product, to protect from damage and moisture.
A perfect product to reseal all wooden products or to use when wood is
dry or scratched.
It also works well on leather or to naturally seal chalk paint.
Linseed oil, Beeswax, Carnauba Wax & essential oil of orange peel.
Yes, Linseed oil also known as flaxseed oil obtained from dried ripened seeds of the flax plant. Beeswax from beehives. Carnauba is a wax of the leaves of a palm tree grown in NE Brazil used to coat sweets & orange peel essential oil is distilled from the outer skin of oranges.
WOOD IS NATURAL AND ORGANIC.
Cracks might appear, it can naturally warp, create a curve and change colour over time due to environmental factors. Coco Africa uses wood that has been kiln dried to 8% moisture, it is in the most stable state humanly possible when we carefully manufacture our products. We cannot predict or control the changes in the environmental conditions once our products leave our workshop although as much care as possible is taken when transporting and storing our products.
HOW DO I USE THE WAX?
Sparingly apply with a soft lint-free cloth. Leave the product for a few minutes to soak in. Remove surplus wax with a clean lint-free cloth and polish slightly. The strong pleasant aroma will oxidise after about an hour, leaving you with a beautifully waxed product.
TIPS & ADVICE
Lighter wood turns a slight shade of orange but this will fade and you will be left with a slightly darker wood shade. All wood turns slightly darker with a finish-sealant. Waxing or oiling helps protect against moisture absorption which can damage wood.
Make sure you air dry your cloths before storing away. The cloths can be flammable if compacted when packed away. Keep wax in a safe place, up high, away from children. Press the lid down firmly to seal.
Wooden products can also be sealed with slightly warmed up olive oil or coconut oil.
HOW OFTEN DO I USE?
Apply every 3 months or when needed.
HOW DO I CLEAN MY WOODEN PRODUCTS?
Wood does not like being soaked in water, does not like too much moisture or heat (no hot pots) or to be washed in a dishwasher.
Wash your products over a sink of soapy water, sponging the products till clean. Dry with clean drying towel. Place the products on a drying rack and leave to drip-dry completely before packing away.
Wood is hydroscopic, it naturally absorbs and releases moisture to balance its internal moisture content with its surrounding environment.