World beader in the art of football

2010-05-21 00:00

BARBARA Magrath is a shining example of how the Fifa World Cup is providing small, local businesses with a platform to excel.

Magrath (67) works out of her Howick home as an artisan lampworker.

Lampworking is a type of glasswork that uses a gas-fuelled torch to melt rods and tubes of clear and coloured glass into artistic designs.

In December last year, Magrath began working on what she calls her “soccer bracelets”. Through melting many different coloured glass rods, Magrath has been designing and creating bracelets that represent the participating nations in next month’s Fifa World Cup.

“My husband actually fuelled the idea by saying that a black and white necklace I had made looked like a ‘Sharks’ necklace, which got me thinking,” she said.

“It’s extremely addictive and I get a new idea every time I work on something.”

Magrath has been a lampworker for only two years and began her soccer writstbands by designing an Argentinean bracelet, she says, because she liked the pale blue colour.

She has made bracelets for almost every World Cup country.

The bracelets, which are made from Italian glass, are sold for R250. Word of mouth is currently Magrath’s preferred method of advertising and writes a blog dedicated to her craft.

The former school teacher says she is satisfied with sales so far, and is hoping for more orders as the World Cup draws nearer.

Magrath also uses her skill to make other unique jewellery, bookmarks and key rings. She occasionally hosts lampworking classes at her home.

Originally from Zimbabwe, Magrath is adamant she will keep enjoying her lampworking well after the World Cup has passed.

Log on to Barbara Magrath’s blog at to view her soccer bracelets.

It’s extremely addictive and I get a new idea every time. Barbara Magrath

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