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JEWELLERY FINALIST 2016/SONJA ZYTKOW

I have always been drawn to the colossal shapes of the dolosse. Their inter-locking design reminds me of a childhood game called Jacks.

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Coming from a sculpture background, I have always been drawn to the colossal shapes of the dolosse.

Their inter-locking design reminds me of a childhood game called Jacks, to which I was addicted. And it is a truly South African invention, engineered in collaboration by Eric Mowbray Merrifield and Aubrey Kruger.

Although there is some dispute as to who the actual designer was, the shape was never copyrighted and consequently, the dolos can be found in harbours all over the world, benefiting everyone. I seem to constantly shift between all the disciplines and my current involvement with designing jewellery has motivated me to create a range of jewellery inspired by the dolos.

The juxtaposition between the huge size and weight of a 20-ton dolos and a piece of jewellery (whether a cluster or single strand around the neck or arm) appeals to my sense of contradiction. It was very important to explore the full potential of cement to enable me to realise this concept.

I had to find a cement formula that would allow me to cast the dolos as lightly as possible while also retaining the inherent strength of cement so that it can be worn as jewellery. Perhaps a feat as great as the dolos itself? The range can be expanded to include rings, earrings, cufflinks and single pendants, as well as precious metals such as silver.

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