SA jewellery students shine in Shanghai

2010-09-25 00:00

SOME of the best young artists in South Africa will be showcasing their work at the Shanghai 2010 World Expo in China’s most populous city until Thursday, thanks to the efforts of Thuthuka.

All the pieces on show at the Brands South Africa Pavilion were made by the winners of the 2009 Thuthuka jewellery development programme competition, which attracted entries from community jewellery schools, technikons and universities around South Africa.

Among those being represented at SA’s Young Talent at the Thuthuka stand are Siyabonga Cele and Lungelo Dhlamini, both of whom are students at the Durban University of Technology jewellery design department.

The Shanghai World Expo is the largest in the world, with 70 million visitors expected to attend the fair, which runs between May and October 2010.

Commenting on the jewellery on show, Carola Ross and Busi Ntuli, directors of Thuthuka, said that each piece is unique, with an innovative design that would appeal to lovers of contemporary Jewellery.

Ross added that the jewellery is unconventional.

“Some of the pieces on display are small objects that double up and can be worn as a piece of jewellery. Other beautiful pieces include a miniature black grand piano. The keyboard, made of black and white Perspex, can be lifted off and worn as a lapel brooch.”

Ross and Ntuli are hoping to stimulate international interest in the jewellery and attract funders interested in developing young talent in South Africa.

“Our development programme enables us to realise our passion for the development of the design skills of aspirant young jewellers. We provide one-on-one mentoring to radically up-skill their design abilities,” says Ross. “The design workshops and mentoring are incredibly intense and by the end of the process each student or participant has produced something that is authentic and unequivocally South African.”

Subject to funding, the two women say, they would like to roll out the Thuthuka skills process to rural women who are desperately in need of design and marketing mentorship to enhance their income-generation opportunities.

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