“True beauty is certainly more than skin deep. What’s inside you must be beautiful too. You’ve got to be warm, enthusiastic, passionate about life.”
So says Ingrid de Haast of Kloof, whose natural beauty made her one of the first Miss South Africa’s. She was crowned in 1953 and today, at the age of 74, she exudes a zest for life that radiates from within.
Ingrid says she has a “passion for glass”. “I’m a member of the International society of Glass Bead Artists and one of a handful of South African glass artists. For me, it is one of the most creative and personally fulfilling art forms. I love colour and am inspired by the beauty of flowers and the combination of colours in Nature. To re-create that in glass is my purpose and my challenge.”
For over 20 years Ingrid made her name as a potter before turning to glass work.
Ingrid demonstrates the intricate process involved in creating the beautiful translucent beads. All the glass rods are imported from America. She wears special glasses when working with the gas-fired torch, making the glass as soft as honey, deftly twisting the strands of colour together, adding layer upon layer.
Special tools are used to make decorative effects and before one’s very eyes the rods of glass become miniature gardens, delicate hearts, exotic leaves. The beads are placed in a kiln at a temperature of 590 degrees Celcius and then allowed to cool. Ingrid’s enthusiasm for her work is infectious. “I can’t wait to come into my studio every morning to open up the kiln to see each unique bead I made the day before.” They are then carefully cleaned and inspected for flaws and then assembled into beautiful necklaces and bracelets or made into letter openers, wine bottle stoppers or essential oil vessels.
To visit Ingrid’s studio, please call ahead to make an appointment.
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