Showcase for talent

2010-11-23 00:00

YOUNG people imprisoned at New Prison’s G Section are being given the chance to learn new skills thanks to an art programme run by Trisch Manderson.

The Pietermaritzburg resident holds art classes at the prison on Monday mornings and it was during these sessions that she noticed that two of her pupils had real talent.

“The first student showed an aptitude for stitching, and the second has a gift in beading — his gogo taught him well. They both wanted to keep themselves busy and wanted to do something useful with these skills,” she added.

Keen to help them do just that, Manderson started a felt project at the end of last year. They produced a few items for last year’s Echo Craft Bazaar but this time will be bringing a greater variety of products to the annual craft bonanza in Pietermaritzburg. Products include felted tree ornaments ranging from hearts to crosses and sheep, and beautiful handmade beaded bags and pencil holders.

Manderson is hoping the work made by her young charges will go down well with shoppers at the Echo Craft Bazaar, which this year takes place at the Edgars court in the Liberty Midlands Mall from Thursday to Sunday.

A regular contributor to the annual craft exhibition, Manderson says the Echo Craft Bazaar is a wonderful way to “showcase the talent we have in our country, and to give crafters the opportunity to present their work to the public”.

Also taking part in this year’s event is Gabisile Cele (55), from Sweetwaters, who has been doing beadwork for 35 years. She said the bazaar is a great opportunity for crafters to sell their designs to different people, as they usually only sell at flea markets and arts festivals.

“I do beadwork for a living and I have passed on my skill to six family members who will also be participating this year. As crafters, we struggle a lot and we have to wait for opportunities like these to be able to sell our art work to people from other cities,” Cele added.

Adding another dimension to this year’s bazaar is Thami Ngubane from Cinderella Park, who will be showcasing his beautiful metal art at the event. Ngubane learnt to make his pieces in Germany after being sent there by the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Christian Social Awareness (Pacsa).

They are among the 45 crafters who will be participating in this year’s Echo Craft Bazaar. Shoppers can once again expect to see a wide range of collectable beer pots from the Empangeni district, beautiful beadwork, scoobie-wire items, clothing, handbags and Christmas decorations of every shape and form. Prices range from R15 to R500.

The Echo Craft Bazaar is open from 9 am to 6 pm from Thursday to Sunday. Inquiries: Gail Cornhill at 031 785 1874 or 082 445 2577.

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