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Artist Profile: Songezo Baleni

Songezo grew up in rural KwaZulu Natal in Umzinkhulu, where it is tradition for young boys to look after the cattle. While looking of the cattle as a child, he started grass weaving. Later, in 1993, he learnt how to make rings out of prima stone and pressure pipes, cutting rings into heart and diamond shapes.

He went on to study his B-Tech in Jewellery Design and Manufacture at the Durban University of Technology where he developed his personal design style combining the two worlds he has lived in: traditional tribal craftsmanship and modern, Western style aesthetics. Ths is is done by combining basket weave-like elements with slick clean lines and forms in precious metals.

Songezo makes his own fine wire out of precious metals and hand weaves them in intricate patterns, a process that is very time consuming and tough on the hands.

In 2012 Songezo the Department of Arts and Culture selected Songezo as their annual ’emerging creative’ to be sponsored a stand at the Design Indaba to showcase his work.
In 2013 he was the first Jewellery Design student to be awarded 100% for his final practical exam, and as a result he received the Emma Smith Scholorship which is an award given to one student in the Art & Design field across all spectrums of art.

Artisan Gallery is very proud to be associated with Songezo Baleni.