Jewellery inspired by the sea

Self-taught jewellery designer Gisele Human started her brand, WAIF in 2012 while working as a copy-writer. No pieces are ever the same.

Designer and founder of WAIF, Gisele Human studied film at the University of Cape Town and then went on to do a diploma in copywriting at the AAA School of Advertising. After working in advertising agencies as a copy writer for five years, in 2015, Human descided to commit her time and energy to her brand WAIF fulltime.

“I am in the process of reinventing my life. I want to pursue something that has always been more akin to my personality,” says Human.

Waif started in 2012 as a hobby over weekends to channel her natural creative drive. She is a self-taught jeweller with no formal design education, except for watching her mother make jewellery at home during the 90’s.

Waif’s hairpieces, earrings, pendants and collar bands all have a gentle, flowing form ­– free of sharp corners and points. They almost mimic pebbles, smoothed out by the ebb and flow of the sea.

Human uses brushed brass and silver, which she hand-cuts in her home studio in Cape Town. With minimal design and asymmetrical aesthetics, Human credits the ocean's natural debris as her main sources of inspiration.

Her ambition, when her brand grows enough, is to employ and upskill local artisans and expand to supply more stores around South Africa by 2017. In the meantime, she is collaborating with local fashion designers on jewellery and adornment for catwalks.

Gisele Human is one of Design Indaba’s Emerging Creatives 2016