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DUT STUDENTS AT SA FASHION WEEK (article first published : 2008-08-29)

The Sasol Wax Art Award Jewellery Outreach Initiative (SWAA JOI), funded by the Department of Arts and Culture has been unveiled at SA Fashion Week, offering a major milestone for a group of aspirant young jewellery designers.

Stated in 2006, the SWAA JOI programme, funded by the Department of Arts and Culture is the outreach arm of the highly regarded Sasol wax art award, the countries only award for senior professional visual artists. Launched in 2007 the SWAA JOI draws on the Jewellery designís relationship to wax as part of many traditional processes of making jewellery. This programme has since grown to become a significant opportunity for aspirant Jewellery designers.

In a country which produces approximately 25% of all raw materials for worldwide jewellery production; but contributes less than 0.5% to the worldís fabricated jewellery market, opportunities like this are vital to the growth of South Africaís economy.

The outreach project, with the support of the Department of Arts and Culture has thus created opportunities to act as catalysts for aspirant jewellery designers to explore creative concepts, and develop technical excellence.

Bringing together students from the University of Johannesburg Jewellery Department and Imfundiso Skills Development project, and the Durban University of Technology with Velobala Community Project this programme provides skills training, and encourages creative exchange between the two parties in each centre. Each student selected for the project is required to design a piece under the mentorship of top contemporary jewellery designer Marchand Van Tonder. The students will compete in categories for bursary prizes, which will be awarded following the final judging process in October this year. The winning works from the SWAA JOI will be exhibited at the Sasol wax art award Finalists Exhibition at the University of Johannesburg from October 14 to November 7, 2008.




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