WORDS Debbie Loots
Hare&Rose is creative Etmáál van Jaarsveld’s sweet little collection of handmade hares that have hopped out of the Jozi woodwork, and straight into our hearts.
Each cut from a single piece of cloth, they never get close to a sewing machine or the smell of glue: after being starched, Etmáál lovingly hand-folds, hand-presses and hand-sews each one. It takes about three to four hours to complete. The cute pointy-eared creatures are made of 100% cotton, linen and shweshwe, and come in two different sizes.
Although a butler by trade, Etmáál confesses his heart beats art, art, art − a thousand times a day − and his creativity seems to leave him little sleep. He is now busy with a new collection of interior products; calling it his take on East Meets West, with a proudly South African flavour.
He is also busy with a special, second range of hares, the Braille Collection, which is inspired by his personal experience of degenerative eyesight. Etmáál has decided to put a positive spin on his plight, and in this collection he is sewing a personal candlewick word or message in braille on each little creature, proving that art is not just for those who can see, but lies as much in tangible experience.