In a vibrant corner of the Hilde List Loft at the Namibian Craft Centre, a strong Namibian flavor accumulates the air. Here, the habitat of EKIPA Jewellery and Art pays homage to the delicacy that nature has to offer.
With the afflatus of Namibia’s landscapes, wildlife, and geological extraordinaire, Grit Böttcher takes the art of bijouterie on an all-new marathon. The eccentric and intrepidly designed jewellery is fabricated in such a manner, that the essence of Namibia becomes evident in one's jewellery box.
Born in Germany and once raised in Argentina, the master goldsmith, Grit Böttcher, never knew of her bound African journey. In 1996, having finished her studies in Germany, she embarked on a jet-set to Namibia - a voyage, forever changing the outlines of her career blueprints. Amid red dunes and camel-thorn trees, she grew a deep affection for the shapes gifted by the Namibian nature and so, took the liberty to frame it.
Thereupon, from the name of the traditional Owambo ornamental button, and “precious jewellery”, EKIPA came to life.
Founded in 2001, EKIPA Jewellery and Art has been furnishing both the local and international fashion industry with jewellery that illustrates Namibia in a modern and quirky approach. When browsing through the hand-crafted jewellery, a distinctive aesthetic of contrast becomes notable.
Commemorating the rich African heritage, pendants, asymmetrical rings, and other jewellery pieces are assembled with all-natural materials. In this brand, antique ostrich eggshell, porcupine quills, desert sand, colorful springbok fur, and precious stones are a “girl's best friend”. Antique trade beads and recycled glass beads, each melted and handmade, contribute to the timeless style invented by EKIPA. And the locally mined tourmaline, amethyst, citrine, and aquamarine hum the precious melody of their bright proverb – SOMETIMES FUNKY, ALWAYS STYLISH.
Mrs. H. Getrud Kavari undertakes the intricate process that is filigree sawing work of African animals from aluminium. These pieces are crafted with care, translating to the Namibian that belies within the core of every piece of contemporary jewellery.
The combination of palpable and soft materials with that of copper, silver, and aluminum, creates a sensuality parallel to the coastal bordering of the Atlantic and the Namib Desert.
EKIPA has been representing these distinctive jewelry collections in Gondwana Collection lodges, from her kick-off. Desert sand and egg shell jewellery thrive at Kalahari Anib Lodge, the African animal inspired, "Wild Art Range" at Etosha Safari Camp, and the "Quiver tree Range" at Canyon Lodge and Roadhouse are amongst the bestsellers.
EKIPA Jewellery and Art is a priority shop that flourishes in fascinating jewelry and basks in an African feel. The Narrative wishes EKIPA a happy 20th birthday and Gondwana finds pride in the 2-decade old association with this gratifying Namibian brand.
Shop the range here: Ekipa Range
Written by: Marlene Orffer