Ngwenya Glass Factory, Muldersdrift
Shades of Ngwenya is a glass factory situated at the Ngwenya Glass Village, where you can watch a group of local glass blowers creating an enchanting array of glassware, and a range of animals and birds of Africa. And all of this in the pretty area of Muldersdrift, about 20 minutes drive from Johannesburg in Gauteng.
The time-old tradition of glassblowing is incredible to watch firsthand. What makes this glass works even more attractive is that everything is made from recycled glassware. The products include a range of tableware, drinking glasses, vases, jugs and ornamental African animals, and the glass used has been recycled from soft drink bottles.
The Shades of Ngwenya glassworks in Muldersdrift is actually a sister factory to the original Ngwenya Glass, which originated in Swaziland. Outside the factory there are mountains of recycled glass - around 1000 kilograms of glass is crushed daily and melted down in a hot furnace overnight. By the following morning, the glass is manageable for the glass-masters to begin blowing and turning and twisting it into various shapes.
But the Ngwenya Glass Village is more than the glass works alone, although this is without doubt the major attraction. Shades of Ngwenya has its own showroom, whilst other shops in the village include Lulu Ceramics, which has a wide range of functional and decorative art, Africotta, which offers a range of wall and floor tiles that are manufactured by hand and use ingredients from the Earth, an understated shop called Rosewood, filled with little delights, and Gillian Bickell Ceramics, where you can decorate a ready-made piece of pottery yourself.
Address: Shady Lane, Off Diepsloot R114, (200m East of Beyers Naude and Diepsloot R114 Corner), Mulderdrift, Gauteng
Telephone: +27 (0)11 796-3000
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