Ronel Jordaan

Ronel Jordaan and her team

South Africa

Ronel Jordaan is an internationally recognized award-winning felt artist who lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. After 26 years as a textile designer, Jordaan began exploring the possibilities of using felt as a creative medium. Entirely self-taught and following her own creative instincts, she began to turn fine gossamer thread into robust felted forms. By patiently rubbing and coaxing threads of pure wool into shapes in nature, she found her direction and started a small home industry.

All of Jordaan's felt pieces are made with an eye to environmental and social responsibility. The wool is treated by hand, the soap used is biodegradable, the dyes are lead free, and they grey wastewater is used to grow a vegetable garden. Job creation is at the forefront of the company's planning. At present, 40 previously unemployed women have been trained under Jordaan and are now felters of international standing. A small group of men in Sebokeng, outside Johannesburg are supplying her with wire sculptures which form the sculptural support for the exotic felted lamps.