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Patrick Mavros Zimbabwe Silver Sculptor and Artist

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.

Mavros is an incurable storyteller and a full-blooded bon vivant as well as a master sculptor. That’s partly why his creations communicate so well. The gift of storytelling is perhaps inherited from his Mediterranean ancestors, but as a fourth-generation Zimbabwean, Patrick Mavros is most at home in the African bush.

Patrick Mavros

Born and raised in Matabeleland (the wild, western province of Zimbabwe), the young Patrick developed a deep affinity for its wildlife, particularly the birds of prey. Like many an artist before him, he strove to capture the form and essence of the birds and animals on paper – as evidenced by his boyhood sketchpads.

Adulthood, however, laid out a more prosaic career for Patrick, and he became first a baker, then a soldier. Fortunately fate, in the classic tradition, smiled upon the young man and he met, wooed and won his wife, Catja Halsted. The petite, warm-hearted Catja became the pivotal influence that was to set Mavros on his path to becoming one of the world’s most accomplished sculptors.

Patrick, newly-wed and wanting to give Catja an original and personal gift, carved a pair of earrings in the form of roses, her favourite flower. Catja was not the only one delighted with the earrings – soon Patrick was inundated with requests from friends for similar pairs to be created. And so it all began.

Mavros developed his own unique sculpting technique, using innate artistic skills and his acute eye for detail and essence. The more he worked, the more he was inspired to try more ambitious subjects. He experimented with various tools and materials, and, with the encouragement of his wife and family, was soon involved in his own full-time business.

Most of his early pieces were one-offs. However, to meet growing demand he studied and adopted the age-old art of lost-wax casting, whereby a mould is used only once. This method ensures that every detail of the original is present in the casting, and that each resulting piece is individually hand-made. He decided on silver as a material in order to express both the precious nature and essential purity of his subject – wildlife.

http://www.patrickmavros.com/products/crocodile-drop-pendant-chain/#

As the Mavros reputation grew, so did his range; after twenty five years it comprises over 450 individual items from – literally – ants to elephants. Each of these creations has its own unique story, adding considerably to its charm and ultimately, value.Patrick Mavros, Duchess of Cambridge, Zimbabwe, Kate Middleton

Today, with Catja and his four sons, a slightly eccentric collection of pointers, spaniels, African Grey parrots, horses and friends – not to mention a state-of-the-art silvers mithing workshop on a tree-clad estate in the hills, Patrick Mavros is an artist at the height of his creative maturity.

 

Although he commands considerable respect from collectors worldwide, Patrick Mavros continues to keep a close personal involvement with the sale of his creations and the people who purchase them. For the mogul or mechanic, the artist is a genuinely approachable, gregarious, interesting man who enjoys nothing more than welcoming you himself, while showing off his collection and the wonderful environment he has created to house it.

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.

Patrick’s office on Mpata Farm.

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.

Patrick examines a Wild Turkey

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 Mavros Family: Nyakasanga, Zimbabwe

 

The Patrick Mavros London Store

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.

Baobab and Bushmen: the Bushmen that shelter under the tree’s branches are cast in solid 18 Carat yellow gold and the tree itself in sterling silver.

 

Large Walking Pangolin

Check out the full collection at www.patrickmavros.com.

 

6 gems you might not know about the man himself:

        1. Before he began carving, Mavros trained as a baker and then a soldier.
        2. One of Mavros’ biggest fans, Duchess Kate Middleton, is frequently spotted wearing his crocodile stud earrings!
        3. 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.
        4. 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!
        5. Mavros’ range boasts nearly 500 pieces of work, spanning his 27-year career as a carver and sculptor.
        6. 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

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