Teeming with deep, dark inky tones, the latest klaylife chandelier collection represents a moodier turn for the brand – just in time for winter. “We have introduced an ink tone that can be applied as a monotone colourway. It’s perfect for moody, deep toned spaces but it also anchors our spectacular ink, indigo and white ombré chandelier that can be styled to suit everything from beachy interiors to more sophisticated room scapes,” says klaylife’s Kerri Wallace.
The gorgeous ombre beading technique has become something of a klaylife signature and it features heavily in the new range. “My personal favourite would have to be the new ombre dome. The ombre beading technique has become synonymous with klaylife and we couldn’t wait to apply it to our best-selling style. Thousands of small beads make up each individual piece and it is a true work of art,” says Kerri.
And while on the topic of art, the range also features a collaboration with Melbourne artist Elena Martorella of Three Queens Interiors that fuses beads with macramé to fabulous effect. “Elena’s signature macramé work has been interwoven with soft grey-toned clay beads and the result is a chandelier that’s romantic and delicate. It’s ideal for bedrooms or lofty spaces where you want a softer look,” says Kerri.
“I fell in love with Elena’s artistry and unique style of wall hangings and I thought they would look cool with our clay beads. I approached her and she jumped at the chance of weaving our hand rolled beads in her macramé. Every few months we release a collection of Elena’s one-off wall hangings and they sell out in half an hour so when she asked if she could ‘have a play’ with lighting, we couldn’t wait to see what she would conjure up.”
And in great news for klaylife, demand for the brand’s wares shows no sign of abating with pieces often selling out before they leave Africa and arrive in Australia. “There is a definite demand for klaylife amongst the discerning, who appreciate the handmade nature and beauty of our pieces. Unlike the cheap wooden copies, no two klaylife pieces are identical. Sometimes, if you look closely, you might spot the finger print of the person who rolled the beads, making each one as unique as it is beautiful,” says Kerri.
“We have a small warehouse in Australia where we keep some stock, but we are also shipping all over the globe. Global expansion is a focus for us this year and we are in talks now about how we can take klaylife to the world stage,” says Kerri who could perhaps use the services of Hollywood actor Patrick Dempsey (aka McDreamy from Grey’s Anatomy) who is a devotee of the brand and owns three klaylife chandeliers.
“He posted a pic of one of the chandeliers to his Instagram account that has 3.7 million followers. He told them about the story of klaylife so he’s been a wonderful non-paid brand ambassador! Next stop, Oprah!
Kerri adds: “Our focus will always be our lighting and how we can develop new pieces which are more impressive than the last, but we are also exploring new categories. We are about to release a range of hand felted cushions, also handmade in Africa. Whatever we do and whatever we become, Africa and its amazing people will always be at the core of our business.”
Photography: Armelle Habib | Art direction & styling: Jacqui Moore