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Item of the day: Beloved beadwork

Beloved Beadwork is a relative newcomer to the creative scene, but it's nonetheless already making waves both at home and abroad. Founded with the intention to capsize obsolete notions of the craft industry in South Africa, in particular to avoid the term ‘project’ (a tagline usually given to a predominately black team of crafters with white ownership) the concept is the brain child of British Anna Richerby, and has become an ethically minded art initiative. The enterprise has released some spectacular works, such as a line of exquisite jewellery, seeped in pride that pushes the boundaries of beadwork to dizzying heights. Drawing inspiration from nature, mathematical concepts, ancient revised beading trends, childhood haunts and age-old techniques from Ndebele clans, Beloved Beadwork has crafted a complex anthology that is as classic as it is contemporary, with unparalleled attention to detail. Its success is evident in its giant commissioned works which have been exhibited in Miami, Paris and The National Gallery, as well as collaborations with South African Fashion Week and showcases at Design Indaba. Our favourite is The Thousand Hills Range which, as Anna explains, 'is named after that glorious area of KZN.' She goes on to say that, 'The peaks, troughs and undulation of these pieces reminds us of those beautiful hills and valleys (so reminiscent of Alan Paton's writing, from whose book, Cry, The Beloved Country, our business takes its name). It is also an area of South Africa where a lot of people still practise bead weaving. We often listen to Simphiwe Dana in our studio, and her line from Tribe, "You make me feel like I'm on top of a Thousand Hills" sends shivers down our spines.' For more information visit their website or email anna@belovedbeadwork.co.za