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Worcester crafters learn in CT

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Leather accessories crafter Burnette Johannes seen rapid-prototyping her ideas for a table design.
Leather accessories crafter Burnette Johannes seen rapid-prototyping her ideas for a table design.

A group of talented Worcester and Zwelethemba crafters and designers were invited to Cape Town by the Craft and Design Institute for a one-day inspirational and motivational workshop held especially for talented entrepreneurs from the Breede Valley region.

Supported by the Department of Sport, Arts & Culture, the workshop co-facilitated by Caragh Barwise and Jane Solomon, focused not only on creativity and the refining of product development, but also on the stimulation of innovation through research and exploration of one’s cultural heritage and lived experience.

Participants included some of the region’s more established crafters and jewellery designers as well as some previously undiscovered talent that has come to light from Zwelethemba which left the coordinators astounded!

Lulama Captain
Lulama Captain is prototyping a cushion in colours inspired by the Breede Valley region’s natural environment. In turn, Lulama teaches crafting tips to youth with special needs..
Motlatsi Mbhejana
Motlatsi Mbhejana works on an art piece aimed at creating awareness of child abuse.

Delegates for the workshop were facilitated by the region’s skills incubator project, with the identification of newcomers being thanks to Cllr Nik Wullschleger who dedicates his time to community empowerment and boosting the local economy.

The CDI’s level-2 product development workshop, held at their Waterfront studios, comprised an interactive information session in the morning, while the afternoon’s creative and innovation session enabled participants to use their equipment to further their design concepts to market level.

Those who attended will also be given one-on-one follow-up consultations during this week where they can report their progress and ask further questions on sales and marketing.

With more than 20 years of success in encouraging and empowering individuals and small businesses in the creative sector, the non-profit CDI provides sponsored training and coaching to creative entrepreneurs across the board to prepare them for entry into the broader market.

Membership of the Craft & Design Institute is free to all aspiring crafters and designers, and enables their work to be seen not only through their popular tourist sales outlet on the Waterfront, but also by opening doors to the national and international market through design indabas and via the institute’s website, which displays some of the country’s best examples of handicrafts, art and design.

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