Have you ever fingered the beautiful paper beads on display all over Uganda and wondered just how they are made – or wanted to try your hand at making them yourself? Well, wonder no more. The answer lies at the Taloso Workshop on Tank Hill.
Tucked just off the corner of Muyenga Road and Tank Hill Road – up the hill from the busy bars of Kabalagala and nearly adjacent to the Italian supermarket the bright orange sign heralds a new day in the life of beads and jewellery making in Kampala. Beads of all sorts, shapes, colours line the walls and are sorted on tables. Ceramic beads. Painted beads. Paper beads. Glass beads. Straw beads. You name it and they probably either have it or know all about it.
Taloso gives customers space and encourages them to take the time to investigate, learn about, and create their own jewellery from a selection of beads either made themselves, or those made by artisans in Uganda and East Africa. While there is some pre-made bead jewellery for sale the real treasure is spending time looking, feeling and creating a unique, one-of-a-kind piece or gift.
A large round table occupies one corner by the window where a couch and stools are available for classes and bead making – which, incidentally, is not as easy as it looks. Rolling identical paper beads with the precision and colour similarities required to make the necklaces, bracelets and earrings usually for sale throughout Uganda is definitely an art to be mastered. However, the beginner will have a good laugh getting their hands ‘dirty’ trying rolling paper beads of different sizes and shapes. It’s also pretty much guaranteed that after an hour even a beading novice will have enough beads to make a piece of jewellery.
You’re also sure to learn something as the staff are happy to instruct, enlighten and share their knowledge. (Did you know that paper bead making so prominent in Uganda is thought to have its origins in Latin America?) There are beautiful books and pictures of beads throughout the world on display.
Taloso encourages and can accommodate walk-ins but larger groups, or those wishing to learn to make paper beads, should book in advance. A range of classes is available including ‘learning to bead’ and jewellery design but the paper beading class is a must. Classes are in the range of 20,000 UGX per person depending on the materials required.
Groups of up to 12 are welcome, as are children who certainly enjoy the hands-on crafting experience. A beading/jewellery making class would be a great event for a women’s group, for a girl’s birthday party, or for an afternoon/evening out with friends.
Taloso is open Monday-Friday from 10am-8pm; Saturdays 9am-8pm; and Sundays 9am-5pm.
For more information, or to follow activities, events and deals find Taloso on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TalosoWorkshop and Twitter: @TalosoWorkshop. Their website is: http://www.talosoworkshop.com