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A love affair with jewellery



ROMA – FIRST an idea will run through Lebohang Morena-Motšo’s mind. Then she will put it down in drawing—with her own hands.

She will then transfer the paper model into a computer, using a specialised software. A machine will then be used to reproduce her jewellery or craft.

The results are objects that you can’t help but admire, and seek to buy. She can use wood, leather and plastic to make her objects. Her love affair with the arts started as early as when she was in kindergarten.

“You won’t believe it but I still have carefully kept pictures of my drawings from kindergarten,” Morena-Motšo said.

She can still remember that when she was young, maybe still in primary school, she would not only occupy herself with art, she would actually gather other children around her and teach them how to draw.

In high school, she found herself around a number of friends who loved drawing and making toys. Her fate became clearer and clearer.

She later found herself at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology. Many courses were presented to her.

She could have chosen anyone she wanted. But she chose Graphic Design.

As Graphic Design got explained to her, her heart jumped. It could be that this was the course just made for her.

After all, she had volunteered to get into drawings and crafts all her life. Here was something that seemed to come close to what she had liked all along, at least as it was being explained to her.

“I never regretted the choice I made,” she said.

“I found the course interesting. My teachers were friendly and easy to listen to. I got to love the course.”

When she was in her third year, she was in a shop where she saw a number of waste wooden materials. She asked if she could be given permission to use some of them.

She was granted that permission. She took them away and that was the beginning of her career in jewellery.

“I got a machine, learned how use it and started recycling the wood by shaping it up. That was the beginning.”

Once she finished school, she found that she spent a lot of her time making all kinds of objects.

“I found that I could spend whole days on the work. I began to realise here was something I loved and was passionate about, after all.”

If that was the case, she might as well make it a means of living.

“I started posting some of my designs on social media and I was in for a surprise. People actually liked these things.”

She was motivated. One local newspaper approached her for a story and that gave her work some much needed publicity.

“I began to feel I could do more.”

Although she started with earrings, she went on to try a dozen other things. Now she has quite a catalogue, including earrings, key holders, frames, buttons, you name it. A few challenges include lack of material customers are mad about.

“There is one kind of wood which is hard to get. Customers are mad about that wood. It is so good.”

She said she would move mountains to see how she could get hold of such material. A few remarks for young people like her?

“If you are going to get into a business of production, make sure you do what you like. Have discipline especially in how you handle money.”

Words of wisdom.
But you might as well be asking: why on earth are we, as humans, attracted to jewellery and crafts?

There is something appealing about crafts and jewellery. For thousands of years, millions of people worldwide have admired jewellery and used it.

In fact, many people are prepared to pay a fortune just to get a piece of beautifully crafted jewellery.

Consider a few things: Jewellery beautifies us and our surroundings. Who has ever escaped the beauty of a carefully crafted ring?

Most men do not recognise why but women look prettier on their earrings and necklaces. Jewellery can also bring back good memories, the wedding day when you both exchanged rings, the gift from a caring friend which was to show a message of love, the list goes on.

Most importantly, well designed jewellery, the great work of art, just makes you feel good. It is that simple!

Own Correspondent

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