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Saturday, October 18, 2008


KZN designers shine at Gala Event

The Sasol Wax Art Award and Department of Arts and Culture Jewellery Outreach Initiative (SWAA DAC JOI) is an exciting public private partnership which has injected new vigour into the jewellery design industry in South Africa. Developed by Sasol Wax Art Award, in partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture, this programme identifies skills development and technical excellence in jewellery design as a priority.

Bringing together students from tertiary facilities (University of Johannesburg and Durban University of Technology) with students from community organizations (Imfundiso Jewellery School in Soweto and Cullinan and Velobala in Durban), the programme acts as a catalyst for exchange of ideas and expertise, and fast tracks skills development.

This programme provides skills training, and encourages creative exchange between the two parties in each centre and had been implemented as part of the curriculum in each institution. The programme also forms a competition whereby the students compete with each other in categories for prizes, bursaries and valuable equipment which will assist them in realizing their dreams of becoming practicing jewellery design professionals.

Finalists’ innovative designs were on display at the Sanlam South Africa Fashion Week in August. Reviews about the display were pouring in as thousands of people visiting the expo expressed their excitement of creativity from the students.

“The interface between more and less privileged individuals, working within the same industry is exciting and challenging”, says Carola Ross.

This year’s students participants were asked to create jewellery along the theme of ‘minerals’. “Given the short space of time, the quality of concept and design demonstrated by the students of the community based organization was exceptional” Marchand van Tonder comments enthusiastically. “The principles of design applied by the students from all groups is far superior to what was anticipated”.

The Ring piece category was won by Nhlanhla Khuzwayo of the Velobala community group in KZN which included R15,000 in equipment and materials. Grace Potelwa, from the same group, won the Merit Prize in this category (R1,250)

The Neck Piece category was won by Taryn Coleman of the Durban University of Technology (R15,000 Bursary) with the design of fellow DUT student, Siphelele Manqele, receiving a Highly Commended (R5,000 Bursary)

The Open Category was won by Tessa Hume (a 3rd year student at the Durban University of Technology), a prize which offers a R15,000 Bursary. A further 3rd year student DUT student, Romela Mudlay received a Highly Commended (R5,000 Bursary)

The winning works from the SWAA DAC JOI will be exhibited at the Sasol wax art award Finalists Exhibition at the University of Johannesburg from October 14 to November 5, 2008.