About us

"Welcome to the first online database of Senufo sculptures, that is structured by the names of the Senufo carvers. My mentor Karl-Heinz Krieg, who lived with the Senufo people for more than 50 years awaked my enthusiasm for Kpelié masks in particular. My friend Karl-Heinz died in 2012 and it was his wish, that the carvers speak directly to us. That was my motivation to write my book about Senufo art and to dedicate this first publication to him." Markus Ehrhard.

 

Markus Ehrhard, born 1971 in Birkenfeld, Germany, is a passionate designer for jewelry and also a fierce collector of Senufo sculpture.

"Many master carvings from Ivory Coast remind me on my work I did for the Haute Couture in Paris. You bring stylization to the edge. As a creator you have elegance in your hand, or you do not. The Senufo sculpture can be very elegant, they have an own word for that: gnôn."

Ehrhard learned his profession from scratch. After a three year apprenticeship at the sample studio of Escada, he studied fashion design in Trier and already designed shoe collections for Birkenstock. His diploma collection "The Seven Deadly Sins" got honored  with the most important German awards like the Lorchpreis.

"When he worked for Escada and Birkenstocks, he certainly can work for Philip Treacy," so the recommandation of Isabella Blow, Editor in Chief of Tatler Magazine.  So Markus Ehrhard became design consultant of hat designer Philip Treacy in London. With Treacy Ehrhard created bags and headpieces also for other brands like Marks & Spencers, Valentino Couture or Alexander McQueen.

Back home in Germany Markus Ehrhard started his own label Ornito and originated precise casting techniques to create jewelry. In addition the designer creates unique jewelry collections for museum shops, like for the treasure chamber in Aachen, the Pergamon Museum in Berlin or for the Botticelli Exhibition in Frankfurt's Städel Museum.

In 2012 Ehrhard was about setting up an exhibition, how he generates creativity and he ended in writing his first book about the esthetication of African art with the title "Wenn Brauch Gebrauch beeinflusst". Also he writes as a freelance author for the German "Kunst & Kontext" Magazine.

In 2016 he finished his montage with his publications "Wenn Neuordnung Ordnung schafft" and "Wenn Urform Form bestimmt" in German and French language.