Margaret Kohn

I started painting after I retired from office work and moved to St Helena Bay, where I joined a group of friends taking art lessons from a well-known South African artist. The beauty of nature inspired me and I chose to paint animals. Not necessarily local animals, although my first love was ostriches with their huge blue eyes, as well as zebras with their beautiful curvaceous stripes, both of these animals were in abundance on the Cape West Coast.

A few years ago I relocated to the Natal South Coast, and a very old lady friend mentioned that she painted on silk. That intrigued me tremendously and I spent days with her, learning what she had learned so long ago. Silk painting became my prime art form for making birthday and other gifts.

I googled the internet to find where I could purchase pure silk and had to experiment to find the correct weight for the lightest of scarves. I then cut the silk to the correct size for scarves and and sewed them on an overlocker. Only then was I able to start painting.

Again, I Googled whatever I needed to know. From initially purely dyeing silk without any specific designs, I explored the possibility of painting and dyeing on the same garment, and after much experimentation, I eventually came up with the correct mixture to create colour-fast , vibrant and multi-coloured scarves.

It has been my ambition to produce a light, easily portable gift, aimed at the tourism industry, as this scarf is manufactured solely in South Africa, under the name of IZIKHAFU IAFRIKA, which is the Zulu name for SCARVES FROM AFRICA. This project has been very successful, but now, however, it is time to grow in a different direction, and I hope to soon make the public aware of this useful and colourful item of clothing.

Margaret Kohn

Margaret Kohn