‘FOR A LONG TIME, jewellery WAS EITHER cheap and nasty OR ENCRUSTED IN diamonds and a TOTAL EYESORE.’
Born in Pretoria, raised in Joburg and now based in Cape Town, self-taught jeweller Gisele Human grew up ‘making things’, an influence she attributes to her mother, who is also a jeweller. So it was only natural when, in 2012, she quit her job as an advertising copywriter to pursue a career in sculptural jewellery with her brand Waif. ‘I make all of my creative decisions myself, and my work and brand are inextricably linked to my advertising background because the photography of the jewellery is something that I consider from design stage,’ she says.
Gisele first got excited about the local design scene when she began collaborating with creatives in Cape Town, and showcased her work – which some describe as wearable art – last year alongside notable local fashion labels Rich Mnisi and AKJP at South African Menswear Week, and Selfi at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg. ‘Creating editorial jewellery is always the aim for me,’ she says. ‘I want to produce something bold that inspires people to present themselves as anything but ordinary. It’s all about the creation of the pieces and seeing them on other people.’
See her collection of bespoke jewellery created for The GUILD Group at the GUILD concept store in Cape Town’s Silo district. I’d love to work with South African art foundry Bronze Age to make enormous Waif sculptures. waif.co.za
We visit Gisele’s studio and see her in action at houseandleisure.co.za.