The traditional craft of weaving takes on a whole new meaning (and look) with Songezo Baleni’s range of fine woven jellewery.
Baleni describes his experience as an Emerging Creative as “amazing”, adding that it was an honour to showcase his work at national level. “For me this was a great opportunity to interact with customers, because the galleries selling my pieces usually do that, so I have little opportunity to talk to the people buying my pieces.”
For the most part Baleni found that visitors were amazed by his work and particularly impressed by the weaving techniques that characterise his pieces. From the few corners that Baleni did get criticism he says it was very constructive.
Baleni draws inspiration from his traditional background, specifically weaving with grass. But more than that, Baleni believes inspiration can be found anywhere and everywhere – in buildings, in stones, in contrasts and in the work of other jewellers.
Stud earrings and rings tend to be Baleni’s bestsellers. People are often impressed by how Baleni takes a traditional crafting technique, like weaving, and makes it work in fine jewellery. The use of flow and movement is another feature of Baleni’s work, as he tries to move away from straight lines to add shapes and curves to his pieces.
Looking to the future, Baleni hopes to keep producing good work and wants to help other designers “find their own design elements and help them start their own businesses”.