Telephone wire weaving originated among Zulu night watchmen working as migrant labor on the Reef gold mines during the apartheid years. To pass the long hours they would recall their distinctive tribal designs to weave scraps of telephone wire into colorful decorations for knobkerries (traditional night-sticks) and izimbenges (beer pot lids). These Zulu craftsmen, huddled around the night fire, pioneered the art of telephone wire weaving. Today both men and women skillfully weave bowls and platters in an explosion of color and intricate design – each one a unique work of art and a vibrant new take on the age-old tradition of beading and grass-weaving.

Our artists are a community group, and they pass on their skills and stories from generation to generation. Weaving is done at home, allowing the women to care for their families while earning a sustainable income; many are the sole breadwinners.

Several artists within the group have received international recognition for their weaving. Their work can be found in collections and
exhibitions worldwide.