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painting piggy banks

painting piggy banks at Zoggs

Zoggs

Zoggs in Swaziland supplies us with their amazing range of colourful paper mache products.

It is a small company set up in 2000, and employs 8 women, who in turn support on average 8 people with their income.

Zoggs is a member of SWIFT (Swaziland Fair Trade), which is a member of The World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO). Founder Zoe says: "We have always worked within Fair Trade guidelines. We are a family".

 

rolling incense conesOver the years, Zoggs has perfected the technique of paper mache. No scrap of paper is safe. They use whatever they can find, and in a country where recycling is in its infancy, that makes a welcome change. The paper is shredded, soaked and pulped. After that, a secret mix of herbs and spices is added and the result is awesome clay-like medium. Different paper will give different effects, and Zoe says: "We have come along way with our pulp and our adventure is by no means over".

 

 

 

 

The mache pulp is then manipulated into various shapes, sometimes using balloons as a mould ( for the bowls and the piggy banks).

The drying process is lengthy and tricky, and it is important that the pulp does not dry too quickly.

 

 

 

 

After the drying process the finishing touches are added. Tails and feet for the piggy banks, bottoms for the bowls and a lot of sanding to the hearts. The dedicated team of Swazi women have mastered this rather curious art with pride and flair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then the fun begins.... each creature and item is individually "Zoggs-ed" with a bright and colourful design.

The different layers of paint have to be applied in between drying times. All paints used are waterbased and non-toxic and lead-free.

The picture on the right shows Bongiwe applying the final touches to one of our bowls. She is responsible for much of the designing and you will find her name gracing the bottom of many of our bowls.

 

Zoe says: "The satisfaction of starting off with a couple of pieces of paper an ending up with a completely unique functional item still gives me goose bumps!"

 


Greater Goods Ltd, 44 Rock Road, Midsomer Norton, BA3 2AQ
tel/fax: 01761 417040 email: info@greatergoods.co.uk