Making the cards
Each Kipepeo card is completely made by hand in a multi-stage process, mostly using waste materials. The card makers work in teams, each undertaking a different aspect of the process.
Cards start as shredded office paper. This is pounded into a pulp and then weighed so that the right quantity is used for each sheet of paper. Wooden frames are used to collect the pulp.
Then, using a variety of techniques, the newly made paper is transferred to canvas on which it dries. Once dry the paper is carefully peeled off, folded and trimmed ready for a design to be added. This activity takes place outside, so that paper can be spread on the ground.
The designs vary but are carefully mounted on an embossed area within the card. Motifs include beadwork, the use of recycled metal, fabric, wire and wood, mostly using traditional Kenyan craft techniques and designs.
A smooth paper insert is carefully sewn in to finish off the production of a beautiful card. Each card includes a label on the back signed by the maker.
As a result of this process, all Kipepeo cards are completely unique: no two are ever the same.