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Monday, October 26, 2009


KZN jewellery designers do well in national competition.

The winners of the Thuthuka Jewellery Competition 2009 were announced at a glittering exhibition at the University of Johannesburg Art Gallery on October 21.

The exhibition display, which showcases the entrants’ jewellery pieces, is as innovative as the jewellery itself. The individual pieces of jewellery have been carefully hung in the centre of three-litre glass jars, which are then suspended from the ceiling with steel cables. Beautiful lighting completes this highly original installation, which was designed by Nicholas de Klerk of Design & Display.

Now in its 2nd year and previously part of the Sasol Wax Art Award, the Thuthuka Jewellery Competition bears testimony to the success of the Jewellery Programme as a whole. In this short space of time, the competition has gained a reputation amongst jewellery design students, and the public, as the benchmark for innovation and excellence in this industry.

The Thuthuka Jewellery Development Programme, which is a partnership between The Department of Arts & Culture and Carola Ross & Associates, focuses on intensive workshops and mentoring by well-known jeweller Marchand van Tonder. It combines creative and technical skills development with a strong entrepreneurial emphasis. It also facilitates rapid learning exchange, and empowers learners by giving them the practical tools to eventually begin their own micro-enterprises.

For this year’s competition, the challenge for the students was to create an object that could stand alone as a 3-dimensional sculpture as well as forming part of a piece of jewellery. The judges commented that the standard of this year’s entries were high with extraordinarily innovative entries being received - as is apparent in the exhibition.

KZN jewellery designers from the Durban University of Technology did well in the competition with first prize in the Brooch Category going to Siyabonga Cele for his small, silver golf bag with golf sticks as brooch pins.

Receiving a Highly Commended in the Ring category was Scott Munn for his wooden pyramid with detachable silver dome as a ring while Lungelo Dlamini received a Commended in the Brooch category for the grand piano as a small object with the detachable keyboard as a brooch. A Certificate of Originality went to Phumlani Mngoma in the Ring Category for a toothbrush ring with detachable bristle ring.

The Jewellery Exhibition remains on view until October 29 at the University of Johannesburg Art Gallery, Kingsway Campus, Auckland Park.