Carrol Boyes was the founder, creator and CEO of the Carrol Boyes (Pty) Ltd retailer in Cape Town. She was an iconic South African designer and her brand has deftly crafted a coveted and high-end product range of upmarket home and lifestyle items. Carrol passed away in August 2019 after a brief illness.
Carrol Boyes was a fine arts graduate with a major in sculpture from the University of Pretoria. She was initially an English teacher until at the age of 35 she decided to live her dream of being an artist. She began making crafts from her home in a seaside suburb of Cape Town in 1989. Her aim was to combine sculpture with functionality and the result is a range of absolutely gorgeous homeware and table-top accessories. She had a special talent for taking relatively plain and unadventurous traditional utensils and transforming them into sculptured collectable items. This vision has been successfully passed on to her design team whom she mentored for over a decade and who continue to create products after Carrol’s death in August 2019.
The Carrol Boyes products are associated with style and finesse and are available throughout South Africa and in over 30 other countries around the world. The designs are inimitable and unique, succeeding in putting South Africa on the design map. New customers are being attracted globally every day by these stylish and distinctive designs.
Today, Carrol Boyes (Pty) Ltd is a multi-cultural organisation that supports gender empowerment both within and out of its infrastructure. The company’s ethos is driven by a sincere commitment to the betterment and welfare of individuals in the community and workplace. It invests in its staff to ensure the future growth of the organization, and supports the community at a grassroots level. Carrol Boyes (Pty) Ltd is currently working within the guidelines set by sector education and training authorities in South Africa, focusing on skills development, training implementation and growth within the company. The Carrol Boyes brand is recognised as an icon both locally and internationally.
Martine is the creative co-director of the Carrol Boyes brand. She graduated from the University of Cape Town with an honors degree in Fine Arts. Her role has been overseeing visual branding and marketing as well as designing products for the range. She is, primarily, an acclaimed artist in her own right.
Her work has appeared in shows both locally and abroad. Ceramics remains a great passion for Martine. Distinctive organic shapes adorned with repetitive patterns are the hallmark of her one-of-a-kind, hand-built ceramic pieces. This is reflected in ‘Curve’, her debut ceramic range for the company. She draws inspiration from nature – the earth with its myriad textures, contours, and organic patterns. ‘Splash’, her second collection, is an elegant range of stainless steel tableware.
Madeleine Morgan is a prototype and restoration artist and designer, with an array of talents that include design, sketching, and sculpting. She is happiest when getting her hands dirty and working on new designs, and finds it extremely satisfying to see her work through from its production stages to being put on display in a world-renowned store.
After qualifying in Industrial Design at CPUT in 2004, Madi joined the company and soon made her mark. She now has several of her own designs in the New Leaf, Hummingbird, Savannah, and Wink ranges, with many more brand new styles pending.
Anton Combrink is an impressive pattern maker by trade and has been involved in moulding, pattern making, castings, and design since 1990. Initially, Anton worked at the Carrol Boyes manufacturing facility in the Northern Province before transferring to the head office in Cape Town. With his quiet and humble nature, Anton is a calming influence in the busy and creatively swirling atmosphere.
He is multi-skilled and talented, and his hands-on involvement in prototype design and development is indispensable to the company. Anton is a diverse personality and when he’s not at the office, he’s spending time with his family. His other interests include sculpture and painting, as well as ancient Aztec history and architecture. It has been rumoured that Anton has a lovely singing voice and is a regular member of his church choir.
Holly Birkby is a product designer for Carrol Boyes, as well as an artist and jeweller. She adds a new dimension to the general elegance and style of the company’s products with her soft spot for raucous kitsch. She has designed a variety of quirky objects, playful paraphernalia, and stylish jewellery.
We love the humorous side of her objects and the trendy colours they come in. Most recently, Holly designed the new Argus Cycle Tour trophy, which was perfectly suited to the iconic status of this tour as the world’s largest timed cycle race. She finds inspiration in popular culture, the natural world, mythology, and traditional crafts. Holly is also interested in the balance between theatricality and simplicity, functionality and mystery.
Jacobus Geeringh, or Kobus as he prefers to be called, is a man of many hats and he’s very much a hands-on guy. He is a trained and experienced jewellery designer, and is the production manager at our manufacturing facility in Letsitele, in the Northern Province. His chief responsibility is to assemble (by welding, bending, soldering, gluing etc.) all the various components that make up the final product.
As a designer, Kobus markets his jewellery range for Carrol Boyes under the KC design label. Although he’s very active being a family man, golfer and avid rugby and cricket supporter, he still finds time to play around with new design ideas. Kobus says he thoroughly enjoys the challenge of, “making something new from nothing”. A maxim he lives by is: “with art, your mind can free flow and there are no limits”.
Jinx Shaw is a manager at Carrol Boyes. Her line function is that of custodian of quality. She’s also a mixed media artist and artisan who has designed and skillfully handcrafted theatre costumes, accessories, sets, props, shop fittings, homeware and furniture. Jinx works mainly in wood, leather, ceramics, metal, fabric, paint, and dye, and has exhibited internationally in Europe, America, and Africa.
Her individual style integrates the ancient with the contemporary and draws its inspiration from the living form, specifically as depicted in ethnic African designs. This dexterous artist is known for her ability to marry contrasting elements, such as black and white, or bold and refined.
Random words that encompass part of who I am and what interests me:
…daydream, design, drawing, sculpting, forms, shape, texture, space, metal
…fitting & turning, jewellery design, technology, metallurgy, mineralogy, gemmology
…natural laws, golden ratio, Fibonacci, chaos theory, sociology
…photography, painting, hiking, biking, feeling, absorbing, and just being…
Graduate of Ruth Prowse School of Art 2007
Sarah Aitchison is a young and vibrant designer and a member of the prototype developing and design team. Sarah has a background in motion picture production design and further qualifications in motion picture make-up and fashion design. She joined the company in 2008, and her studies and work experiences have given her particular skills in casting, sculpting and miniature set construction. Imaginative, creative, impulsive, and compassionate are the words best used to describe her.
Sarah confesses, “I have a fetish for stones and an undying belief in fairy-tales.” On the practical side of her personality, she would love to run a mobile animal clinic.
Andrèa Fedder explored the world of film and theatre at City Varsity, where she received multiple awards and was named Student of the Year throughout her tertiary education. In 2007 she graduated as a student and assistant lecturer with merit awards for art direction as well as theory and research. After qualifying, Andrèa fed her creative appetite by training in photography, creative writing, and Spanish.
From 2008 to 2011 she worked with the Carrol Boyes design team as a prototype and restoration artist and designer. Her Kelp range was specially developed in recognition of her great love of nature and the oceans in particular, and she donates a certain percentage of her proceeds to the AfriOceans Conservation Alliance.
Since establishing Martin Doller Design in 2011, a passion for designing and developing products, furniture and contemporary lighting has seen industrial designer Martin Doller become a prominent supplier to South African architects, decorators, and designers. The blades of the lamp are made from the highest grade aircraft aluminium, anodized in black, and come with a choice of three different coloured fabric cords – red, black, or gold – enabling you to tailor-make your own light fixture.
In the centre of each is an LED bulb highlighting the bare beauty of the skeleton structure. “I am passionate about design and I want to create a brand to express and reflect this passion,” explains Doller who is committed to promoting a sustainable and eco-friendly future, Doller adds “LED technology allows the bulb to be a design object in itself. The product comes entirely flat packed and the parts can be easily assembled without any tools. “It encourages more interaction with the product as you get to build your own pendant,” says Doller.