Zulu telephone wire basket in rainbow colours from the Africa Collection. *Each basket will vary slightly from the photo, as each basket is handwoven.
10cm diameter x 5cm height
These colourful baskets will brighten up any room. Made from recycled telephone wire, the baskets are made mostly by women in the subsistence farming area of KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa where unemployment is up to 80%.
The project was established in 1996 to utilise the traditional skills in basketwork, sewing and beading. New skills and techniques have since been introduced through training workshops and now 650 people are receiving an income through this project.
The artisans can make the baskets in their own home and at a time that best suits, balancing their home duties. Almost half the weavers are aged between 16 - 28 years of age, and employment is increasingly difficult to find. This work not only provides them an income, but also a sense of hope for the future.
How are they made?
Bundles of telephone or electricty cable wire are cut and prepared for the weavers to take home. The artisans take home as may bundles as they wish and use it to weave a bowl from the outside inwards.
Depending on the skill of a weaver, a small 12cm bowl can take from 3 to 5 hours to complete, whilst a large 40cm basket can take anywhere up to 40 hours to complete. No two baskets will be identical as each artisan draws on their own creative knowledge base to produce unique designs and patterns for each product.
Once completed, the finished baskets are then returned, and the artisans are paid per basket. They then select new bundles of wire in the quantities they decide upon to take home to transform into another beautiful product.
About the Africa Collection
The stunning and colourful products available in our Africa Collection are all sourced from our suppliers at Kalahari, who work with local communities in several countries to assist individuals and group to gain empowerment through employment.