Patrick Mavros has not only created some of the most extraordinary silver sculptures in Africa, he has created around them an environment just as extraordinary, in which he lives and works. The workshops, the family homestead, the wildlife sanctuary, the offices and reception, together with his wonderful sales studio, are all built so as to form a small village on his estate in the wild hills outside Harare in Zimbabwe.
How does one bring a piece of African bushveld to the life of a Londoner?
Patrick Mavros has found his own way; and today his precious silver sculptures, inspired by a curious ‘family’ of African animals, dot the homes of wildlife lovers all over the world.
This must be quite a thought for the 4th-generation Zimbabwean artist, whose home-run sculpture business in Harare began almost by chance.
Patrick Mavros grew up in the Matabeleland province of Zimbabwe, where he developed his love for nature’s wild creatures. Starting with a particular interest in birds of prey, Mavros spent much of his time sketching different plants and animals, understanding their forms.
Much later, when he married his wife Catja Halsted, Mavros carved for her a pair of elegant earrings that took the form of a rose, Catja’s favourite flower.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Captivated by his impressive craftsmanship, Mavros’ friends and family began to request pieces of their own – and, slowly, like the gradual threading and molding of a weaver’s nest, the Mavros business at Umwinsidale, Harare, began to take shape.
Today, there exists a buzzing cluster of workshops, offices, a reception, the family homestead, a wildlife sanctuary and sales studio. Mavros and his four sons ship special silver fragments of Africa to enthusiasts all over the planet – from jewellery to table accessories, signature sculptures and collectibles.
The wildest part about it? And the bit that we love the most? Each of his creations is an honest celebration of African wildlife – from the tiniest pangolin napkin ring to the majestic tree of lights candelabra. And though they may be making their way to sophisticated stores on the High Street, they will always be grounded in a shared love for all things natural.
Owners of Patrick Mavros goods might tell you that, short of an air-ticket and a safari expedition, you won’t get much closer to the feel of Africa than that authentic little piece of the wild contained in the Mavros masterpiece that they own.
Check out the full collection at www.patrickmavros.com.
6 gems you might not know about the man himself:
- Before he began carving, Mavros trained as a baker and then a soldier.
- One of Mavros’ biggest fans, Duchess Kate Middleton, is frequently spotted wearing his crocodile stud earrings!
- Mavros can most easily be identified by his untamed hair, wooly beard and broad-brimmed hat, adorned with a large guinea fowl feather which his wife found and pushed into the brim.
- He simply can’t do without his cigars, whisky and loyal staff. And Coimbra’s chicken peri-peri and chips – one of Harare’s best-kept secrets!
- Mavros’ range boasts nearly 500 pieces of work, spanning his 27-year career as a carver and sculptor.
- In July this year, Patrick Mavros launched a London taxi and delivery service called the #Elemobile to raise awareness for The Elephant Family Foundation, the UK’s largest fund for the endangered Asian elephant HighTeaWithTheElephants