I trained as a jeweller in Jerusalem and London - Sir John Cass under the enameler Sarah Letts.
I was recently given the honorary appointment by ArtJewelryForum, USA to be the ambassador for contemporary jewellery in South Africa in assisting to grow the discourse for this art form
In Israel and the UK I discovered contemporary jewellery audiences who are educated towards preferencing features such as innovative design, object execution and labour, over the intrinsic value determined by precious minerals.For example, silver and enamel jewellery over the conditioning of Gold.
On my return to South Africa, I lived for 3 years in rural South Africa amongst Zulu people (at Ixopo). Encompassed by their cultural practices, I invented a method of making jewellery by foiling small images. These continue to serve me as visual units of information, or “ photemes”.
My new jewellery did challenge the colonial commodification and value systems of Jewellery in that they have a broad socio-economic appeal and financial access.
I completed post graduate fine arts studies at the Witwatersrand University under the guidance of South Africa's preeminent visual artists, including Karel Nel, Clive Van den Berg, Wlater Oltmann, and the late Alan Crump, Colin Richards.
Using my system of “photemes” , I developed large-scale adornment artworks and sculptures which reference the venerated and the centuries-old Southern African pre-colonial adornment-practises and fabrication methods, including the work at Mapungubwe ± 900-1300 AD.
My work seeks an hybridity between the indigenous and so-called western jewellery practices, techniques, scale, forms, content and to conceptualise new tracks for attributing value to jewellery objects.
In South Africa it is viable to exhibit jewellery objects with fine-artists of diverse media such as painters, sculptors, and video and installation artists. The end of apartheid brought with it this flux and postmodern possibility to interface.
I exhibit in South Africa and abroad ( US, Australia, Germany) with fine artists as well and designers and in retail shops, but also in specifically jewellery-art contexts such as Schmuck, MAD, New York and the Design Museum London.
I have published articles and speak about South Africa’s rich but painful history of mining and jewellery, and its future impact upon the national identity of South African people and on the making of 21st Century contemporary jewellery.