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Doron Shaltiel is the founder, designer and managing director of Quazi Design in Eswatini. Quazi creates sustainable, innovative jewellery, creating earrings, necklaces, rings and bangles from waste magazines, recycled brass and glass, and even paper.
After studying Theatre Design in the UK, Doron headed to Eswatini for a one-year internship at a company that created homeware using grasses. She saw such craftsmanship, an abundance of local resources and unemployment in Swaziland that she decided to stay and set up her own business there. Quazi Design was created in 2009.
The Quazi workshop is situated in Sidwashini in Mbabane, Eswatini’s capital. Doron employs local women to make the jewellery by hand. Full-time permanent contracts, job security and a living wage to support their families give these women economic freedom. None of the artisans have a background in handicrafts, but Doron trains them personally and they learn on the job, quickly mastering techniques and surprising Doron with how creative they can be. They are proud of their work. In the words of Sibongile, one of Doron’s artisans, “Products should be made with love.”
The availability of materials and resources inspires Doron, and this alone informs her jewellery design, resulting in a truly sustainable approach.
All materials used in the workshop are recycled. Quazi has a partnership with a local magazine distributor and uses their unwanted issues, together with brass offcuts and recycled crushed glass to make jewellery. “We like to say we are turning paper into gold,” Doron says.
Resources are limited in Eswatini, so the team rely on basic handmade approaches and sunlight. Energy use is also kept to a minimum. This sustainable method is experimental, but Doron says that her designs come to life through “getting our hands dirty and trying out different techniques.” The boundaries and possibilities of paper are constantly pushed to the limit.
Some pieces are created by making paper ‘clay’ and adding colour; others are made using a layering technique - paper strips are coiled and glued, layer upon layer. This is laid out in the sun to dry and then sculpted and sanded, which is a two day process. Metal findings are cut, soldered, polished and finished.
Quazi’s approach to jewellery design is responsible, thoughtful, and ingenious. These pieces made from paper are truly original, and wearing them is like wearing a story crafted into an object.