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Bredasdorp, South Africa
Kapula is located in Bredasdorp, a small community in the southern most region of South Africa. Started by Ilse Appelgryn as a hobby/home business in 1993, Kapula began to employ the local women of the community, many of whom are single women. Ilse taught these women how to make and paint the candles in her kitchen. Today Kapula has a staff of nearly 120 people, both men and women, who are trained to create the beautiful candles and ceramic pieces.
Using traditional methods, the candles are hand poured using only the best imported raw materials. The candles are then hand-painted with original designs composed of bright/vivid colors and patterns that are inspired by the warmth and deep richness of the African landscape and heritage. The beauty of the candles only gets better as the flame lowers and glows from within showing the delicate artistry.
A few years ago Kapula expanded into ceramics production, bringing their unique designs to this medium. Originally the designs came from Ilse, and while she is still most active in this role, the design sources now include her daughter as well as members of the painting staff themselves. The ceramics are hand poured into molds and them hand-painted. No patterns or stencils are used in the painting of these items. Once painted the piece is fired three times to create the glossy finish.
A large part of Kapula's focus is on creating sustainable employment in their small farming community. Such employment contributes to the improvement of the quality of life, education and health of its employees and their families.
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