Colorful, plastic-coated copper telephone wire becomes Zulu wire art when hand-woven by South African Zulu artists into beautiful lamp shade finials and baskets. The typical intricate swirling patterns have been adapted from traditional tribal grass weaving techniques to create designs with bold and unusual patterns.
Originally sold here in an L.A. boutique which has now closed, the baskets and other objects have gained wider prominence in an effort to sustain the wire artisans in South Africa and to help them support themselves and their families. A video talk by South African product designer Marisa Fick-Jordan to a TED audience explains how and why the designs have been modernized. Baskets of Africa provides additional information about African Fair Trade Baskets for sale and helps support African artisans.
(Source: Hillary Thomas Design)
For more on the baskets also see our posts on Museum Store Christmas and Displaying Large Collections.
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