The jewellery designer – Meet Zai
Brenna Halse, 29, is married to her favourite person, Thomas. She grew up in Zimbabwe as a farm kid and has now made a home in the lovely Lowveld where the adventure with Zai handcrafted Jewellery has begun. Brenna is a graphic designer and photographer by profession and a creative artist in her spare time. “I enjoy expressing myself through visual art in various mediums, from photography and painting to graphic design/illustration and now sterling silver!”
What is Zai? Jewellery can make you feel great, on an average day. Zai Handcrafted Jewellery is a unique, wearable, everyday, skin loving kind of jewellery.
Where does the name come from? The name Zai, comes from a dear and cherished childhood friend. She looked after me as a kid and was not only a minder but a teacher and guardian, my best friend and companion. A strong, yet kind spirited Shona woman by the name of Taridzai. This jewellery is inspired by her memory and influence.
Do you have a studio? I have a small home studio on the farm. It’s more like a cave of organised chaos.
How did you learn the trade? I have a very particular style sense and idea of what I like – I couldn’t find the kind of silver jewellery that I really wanted to wear and soon my curiosity got the better of me. I did a jewellery course in Pretoria and learned the fundamentals. That, combined with intuition, hours of experimentation, online video tutorials and reading on jewellery principles, I managed to get to where I am.
What’s a favourite item that you make? I enjoy the process of making the hammered stacking rings… Hammering metal is strangely therapeutic.
Where will we find Zai? You can buy Zai online and at Africa Joy and Prey Boutique in Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre.
Do you keep up with trends? Pintrest and fashion blogs are the places I like to seek inspiration and then express my own personal style.
What makes Zai stand out? Every single piece is made by only one single pair of happy hands (mine) and so it is not something you will find everywhere.
What materials do you use? I use sterling and fine silver, but my focus is growing towards sterling silver and mixed materials such as leather, semi precious stones, pottery and wood.www.facebook.com/zaijewellery & instagram: @Zai Handcrafted Jewellery