Since St George Gallery first opened in Addis Ababa 1991, the gallery has supported, encouraged, and promoted Ethiopian crafts and skills. In addition to promoting traditional paintings and textiles, the gallery also supports potters, carpenters, and metal smiths and other crafts people in their efforts to keep old skills, traditions and designs alive while at the same time encouraging them to develop new designs or expand their skills. Another important element of the mission of St George in Addis Ababa is to provide practical, hands-on training to carvers, leather workers, traditional painters, and potters. Decorative items and object d’art pieces include hand painted boxes, hand decorated pottery, hand crosses mounted on leather panels, processional Crosses, and attractively packaged incense.
St George in Alexandria has also recently designed two different sets of coffee mugs that incorporate traditional Ethiopian stories in a series of paintings on the mugs. One set of mugs tells the story of the Discovery of Coffee while the other set features the story of the love affair between King Solomon of Jerusalem and Ethiopia’s Queen Sheba. The coffee mugs, mounted crosses and many other items will be available in our Web store in the near future.
Pottery is one area where St George has been particularly active and St George Gallery in Addis Ababa has encouraged the local women’s potters cooperative to develop new designs like the very decorative terra cotta jugs or the whimsical guinea hens.
In addition to supporting freelance artisans and crafts people, the gallery employees a number of artisans to do carving, traditional painting, leather work, and finishing.
St George feels that it is important to support local crafts and is pleased to be able to offer a variety of crafts to customers in both Addis Ababa and in the United States.