Zulu bowl with copper wire


pencil pot

Diameter: 9.5 cm
Height: 11 cm

large circular pot

Diameter: 16 cm
Height: 11 cm

flared pot

Diameter: 16 cm
Height: 12 cm

Fine, intricate and individual designed bowls made using plastic telephone coated wire and enamelled Copper wire.

Made in the remote and rural region in the north of KwaZulu Natal (South Africa), particularly poor and with high unemployment.Part of a project employing 600 men and women since 2002 and teaching them this incredible skill.

These pieces are made in the tradition of Zulu weaving originating in the weaving of palm leaves and dried herbs. Traditional materials were replaced by these telephone wire as urbanisation developed.

They have used their skills and designs used to craft natural fibre baskets to make a more modern and brightly coloured version. The origins of this weaving is in South African mines where Zulu workers started to plait telephone wire scraps round their traditional sticks to banish boredom on night shifts.

Originally they used recycled telephone wire but now lead free materials are used. Families support themselves by weaving theses baskets. There are more than 500 families who make a fair living wage, it gives them the opportunity to send their children to school and also exercise their creativity. The wire baskets are functional, strong and durable, can be used to hold food. Can be cleaned with warm soapy water and dried.

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