ZenZulu – Using Traditional Craft in Contemporary Designs

ZenZuluZenzulu was established by the designer Marisa Fick-Jordaan in 1995. Her interest in transitional craft forms led her to start a weaving project with telephone wire in an informal settlement outside Durban.

AIM
Her aim was to create a fusion of transitional techniques and modern materials to create cutting edge modern designs of African accessories and home products with global appeal.
The works are original, innovative, handcrafted, Eco-friendly and sustainable.

They are traded fairly to sustain community development.

PRODUCTS
They are of high quality and are designed for corporate and private interiors locally and internationally. They are aimed at the high end of the market.
Designs are regularly updated and manufactured to very high standards to meet the demands of an ever growing market. Their clients include other well-known designers such as Oscar de la Renta and the design store of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris.
They produce speciality ranges and custom designed
products. Designs also include fashion accessories and holiday ornaments in which they combine beads with telephone wire.
TRADITIONAL TECHNIQUES
The traditional basket weaving techniques of the Zulu people can be seen in the ZenZulu hand woven bowls and vessels in various shapes and colours.  Like Zulu baskets their bowls/vessels are hand woven, but they are intended as decorative art works rather than as functional objects.
They use wire instead of the traditional materials of the area, traditionally used by Zulu weavers. The wire is either PVC coated copper or mild steel wire.
There designs are therefore a blend of modern materials and traditional techniques because they use the coiled basket technique in the Zulu tradition.

The products are all Eco-friendly.

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
They began small but today they provide skills training and employment for more than 350 home based craft producers in four different communities.

To ensure sustainability their products are constantly updated and fair trade is always adhered to.

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