AVOOVA produces exquisitely hand-crafted décor and larger interior pieces, clothed in a seductive mantle of ostrich eggshell – one of the world’s most luxurious natural veneers.
Every one of the many hundreds or thousands of fragments of ostrich eggshell that adorn an AVOOVA piece will have begun the journey as hatched eggs gathered from the ostrich breeders of the Karoo region of South Africa. From fine jewellery to refined table tops, all of AVOOVA’s
creations pass through the skilled hands of its 50-plus artisans working at AVOOVA’s workshops deep in this remote and beautiful area.
A complex and intricate production process involving as many as 40 different steps marries this extraordinary material to all manner of items and mediums, transforming them all with its creamy, sensual warmth – a unique look that is the hallmark of every AVOOVA product.
It’s not just the allure of the ostrich eggshell or the designs and the quality of the workmanship that makes AVOOVA’s work so unique and appealing, it is the story.
A story of authenticity and ingenuity, of sustainability and social upliftment, of ancient materials and modern designs.
But, above all, it is a story about the people of Africa celebrating the beauty of nature.
The bushmen of the Kalahari (which borders the Karoo) were the first people to appreciate the qualities of the ostrich egg using them as water vessels over 50,000 years ago. Ostriches and their eggs have inspired cultures and civilizations for the past 5000 years..
It was this legacy and an appreciation for the eggshell’s natural attributes that inspired Gideon Engelbrecht to start experimenting with the decorative and functional properties of ostrich eggshell in Prince Albert in 1999.
Today, it is still the local people of the Karoo that continue the long association between the egg of this indigenous bird and man.
Our people are the lifeblood of the business and their individual skills and styles can be seen in each AVOOVA piece. Many of the company’s designs originated in the minds and between the fingers of its artisans. It is that personality, the way the pieces are laid out, shaped and fitted together and lovingly sanded and polished that defines the luxury of handmade products.
AVOOVA is the largest private employer in Prince Albert, a small town nestling on the slopes of the Swartberg mountains bordering the vast Karoo region.
Prince Albert is prone to high unemployment and its associated social challenges. The impact of the AVOOVA business in providing secure employment contributes greatly to the sustainability and cohesion of the community and the upliftment of its people.
AVOOVA is following in the footsteps of craftsmen and women who down the millennia have used natural materials with particular aesthetic and practical properties to decorate and protect things of value within their societies.
Decorative veneering dates back more than 4000 years to the Egyptians who applied thin layers of wood to their furniture and sarcophogi to enhance their value and appearance.
The use of mother of pearl, bone and even duck eggshell began in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Ostrich eggshell as a veneer is a 21st century phenomenon and, we would add, this is thanks to AVOOVA.
For our customers, this form of decorative finish is both a statement of refinement and personal taste but this is not enough, it is a luxury that must also be sustainable, eco-friendly and uplift the lives of others.
It is thanks to this history and evolving values in society, as nature is increasingly in jeopardy, that AVOOVA counts amongst its discerning customers, people from all continents and walks of life. Amongst them there are leading international architects and interior designers, art collectors, presidents and prime ministers, top hoteliers and many others who share an appreciation of true luxury, which we define as the complete harmony between craftsmanship and nature.