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Craft Market at Spier, New Artists: Dana Dreyer
By: Sue Heathcock   (2019-12-17)

Dana uses laser-cut wood and card and vibrant shweshwe fabrics to create a funky range that includes small gifts such as fridge magnets, keyrings and decorations, and larger ones like the vibey clocks, rhino wine bottle holders and kids’ puzzles. She tells us more about her work.

How did you get started?

I started with papercraft, owning a shop years ago where I did cardmaking, scrapbooking and various other arts and crafts.

For many years now I have designed my own diary as I was so tired of buying diaries at stationery stores that did not work for me. From there I made for friends and family and now I make for various markets and annual orders for regulars as people love them. I love everything paper and my range extends to calendars, journals, note-books etc. True to my paper love, Paperhog was borne. I then started using shweshwe designs to add a vibrant African feel.

I love the shweshwe fabrics, the stunning colours, designs and exquisite flowers. It’s a totally South African waxed cotton with intricate recurring patterns and bright colours.

I’m self-taught, I’ve designed my own things most of my life. My grandfather and father were both very talented and creative and there were always many projects on the go. Trying different things, experimenting with different mediums and not being scared to try, is the big thing for me.

Tell us how you came to join The Craft Market at Spier.

When I showed my calendars and diaries to Sue she said, “Love it but it’s not right for our market.” She liked the African styled magnets and gave me one week to come up with ideas for a whole range. That was a huge challenge, it inspired me to dream up my new range of African products. I knew I had to incorporate shweshwe, because that was what I enjoyed most doing my books, the vibrancy of it. Now I love my new products – animal magnets, keyrings, Christmas decorations, frames and clocks. All these I designed new for Spier at the beginning of this season. Recent new additions are animal puzzles and the pictures – animals with African acacia and baobab trees - that’s more papercraft, going back into what I used to do and love.

What do you enjoy about being part of the market?

I love being at Spier. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone and working with them - they are truly inspiring and very creative people. It takes a lot of hard work to be here, consistently creative, inspired and come up with new and innovative things. The people are awesome!

See Dana’s work for yourself at The Craft Market at Spier, open every day 10h00 to 17h30 (with extended hours in the holiday season) on the lawns below the Wine Centre at Spier Wine Farm.