On the 16th we celebrate 25 years of glass production, quite an achievement. When we bought the company out of liquidation in June 25 years, it had been closed for a number of years and was really derelict. At that stage we had no visions longer than getting the furnace up and running again and seeing whether we could make this project into a viable business. 25 years seem to have just zipped past, and the only regret we have is that one of our founding fathers, Richard Prettejohn, did not quite live long enough to see the milestone being reached.
We are proud to be a part of the Southern Guild collection being put together by Trevyn and Julian McGowan. The collection is being exhibited at the Everard Reed Gallery in Johannesburg. Sibusiso and James have made a great collection of vessels with a floral theme. At the Gala evening it snowed, which was an amazing experience for johannesburg, and Rueben Riffel had to braai out in the falling snow, a first for him.
On 7 July 2012 we hosted our second MTB challenge, read more about it by clicking on the MTB tab. We used the event to raise awareness for SWIFT (Swaziland fair Trade) 4 of the 65km riders were asked to "Ride for SWIFT" and the sponsorship they received (R7000.00) has been handed over to SWIFT for use in their capacity building program. We also partnered with Pep Stores Swaziland who donated 1 blanket for each one we were ablr to raise funds for. This amounted to 75 from each of us (150 in total) and these have been distributed to the needy who live in the area that our bike race traverses.
It is with sadness that we have to announce the passing of one of our founding fathers, Richard Prettejohn. he was the driving force and visionary behind the re-opening of Ngwenya Glass back in 1987, and although he was retired, he still had a pivotal role in the success of the business. he was often found strolling around the factory chatting to the staff, or on his sit on lawn mower making sure that our gardens were kept spick and span. RIP Richie, you will be sorely missed.
We have been commissioned to manufacture some large wonky orb type light fittings for the new Tasha's restuarant in Nicolway Johannesburg. We worked together with Green Craft, who did the electrics and the installation and it looks absolutely superb. we are proud of our involvement.
Our 2011 workshop was held during the week of 11 July,·this year Peter and Tim returned together with Richard Jolley from the USA.· What an inspirational week we had with Richard teaching us some new techniques, and Tim being his ever busy self.· Trevyn and Julian McGowan also returned and Julian spent a few days designing and producing a few new ranges of tableware with Sifiso and his team. James Magagula and Daniel Masuku spent a lot of time working with Richard and learned how to drill holes, and to "carve" hot glass.·Swazi's have traditionally carved heads and faces out of soap stone, but Richard showed us how to do this in glass. Watch out for some new pieces by James Magagula, he will be spending some time over the next few weeks working on this technique and it is hoped that he will add a new dimension to this old art form. Tim and his team of Isaac and Nathi created some amazing "circus" rhino's and elephants, and Richard inspired a massive chandelier made from hundreds of glass leaves.· We were only able to finish the first 4 layers of the eventual 8 layer structure, but this will be shown soon in our showroom to its full extent.· Peter worked with everyone on a new range of vases that is hoped will sell into the European market in particular. Eugenie Drakes spent the week revamping our showroom, which now has a much cleaner and open feel.
It's all systems go for our inaugral mountain bike challenge. The i's have been dotted and the t's crossed, the route has been mared and is looking good. Registration is from 2pm to 6.30pm on 1 July at Ngwenya Glass, and then from 6am to 7.30am on race day (2 July). 60km race starts at 8am, 35km at 8.20, 22km at 8.30 and 10km at 8.45
Ngwenya Glass is exhibiting at HOSTEX, South Africas premier hotel and catering expo, held at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg from 13 to 16 March 2011, see us in Hall 2 under the Swazi flag. We will be showcasing our ever popular growing range of hospitality tableware.
Ngwenya Glass master blower Sibusiso Mhlanga teams up with top South African ceramicist, Andile Dyalvane to create some spectacular work at the Design Indaba in Cape Town from 25 to 27 February 2011, watch this space!
1 DECEMBER 2010
1 December is recognised as World Aids Day, and at Ngwenya Glass we always commemorate the day with a gathering to light candles and remember those that we have lost to this dreaded disease. The theme for this year is "Keep the Promise, Know Your Status", and the management and staff have once again pledged to abide by this.
26 NOVEMBER 2010
On Friday 26 November 2010 the Reuben Ngwenya Glass collection was launched to the public on the Boardmans stand at Food Wine Design on the roof of The Hyde Park Shopping Centre. The collection was well received as a fresh, new look at tableware.
FRIDAY 5 NOVEMBER 2010
On Friday 5 November we launched our new and exclusive Reuben / Ngwenya Glass collection. This is a collection of tableware that we have been working on with top SA chef Reuben Riffel, the inspiration, Source SA, the design team and Boardmans, the marketing arm. We have been working on the collection since our workshop in July, when Reuben, Trevyn and Julian joined us for 3 days to design the range. A lot of tweeking of the designs has happened since then, and so we held a launch to SA press on the factory floor. The evening did not go quite as planned due to a heavy storm, but it started with sparkling wine, kindly donated by Pongracz and snacks prepared by Reuben and his team of Camil and Johan, around the furnace whilst Sifiso and James' teams produced some of the items from the range.
Wow, what an amazing evening it was. It seems apt that it was Guy Fawkes night as well. Once the production pieces had been observed, Sibusiso, James and Sifiso created a fantastic coloured bowl art piece, which amazed most of those looking on.
Then it was through the packing area, where a banquet type table had been setup for he 50 guests. The table was adorned with glassware from the collection and soon the AA Badenhorst wines (kindly donated) flowed freely. We were served with an amazing 4 course meal by Reuben and his team which they cooked in our very inadequite coffee shop kitchen. The three men are so professional and everything was done with such calmness and big smiles.
Reuben and Johan in our very inadequate kitchen spinning their magic
We were fortunate enough to have some of SA's top magazine journalists as well as the CEO of Boardmans as our guests and they really enjoyed the evening. Once the sumptuous meal had been consumed the music was turned up and the people hit the dance floor. Amazing to think that this all took place in a glass factory
We have had so many emails and calls from guests saying how they had a wonderful time and congratulations on a superb range of special glassware! Here is what some of them said:
Chas, Thank you and Cathy and all your staff so much for having us. We had a glorious time. it was hard work but I think the most fun assignment I've had in decades. I can't wait to come back to Swaziland on holiday and truly relax. Sibusiso is a great guy. Diane - CNN
Thank you Chas and Cathy! It was excellent! I'm planning a trip back with my family - see you soon. Chris - Boardmans
Thank you so much for a fabulous evening! I had a great time and enjoyed meeting so many interesting people - not to mention the delicious food - a first for me in Swaziland!!! I wish you a huge success with your new range - great concept and fab product - well done. Phil - Gone rural
Many thanks for a superb experience! Out with the Reidel in with the Riffel this Xmas - Niel
Thank you so much for being such wonderful hosts, I have no doubt on my mind that I would love to visit Ngwenya Glass again. Thank you very much for your unforgettable hospitality. Mzo - Destiny Man
Thank you for your kind hospitality. It was an absolutely wonderful experience and I was proud to share it with you. Well done to you and your team. Chris - Eden Adventures
Wow, I'm still talking about this trip to all and sindry 4 days later........ I'm so pleased that you decided to host he launch at your premises in Swaziland (when you could've opted to have it closer to Johannesburg, for one). It was certainly worth the trouble - I think I speak for everyone when I say we had a most memorable and FANTASTIC time at Ngwenya!!! It was (by far) the best so called "press trip/event" of the year, enhanced by a great bunch of Journos who share an equal appreciation for the finer things in life. And what can we say about the man himself, Reuben, other than that the 4-course dinner surpassed expectation. Wow! the whole thing can best be described as "WOW" Noni
Thank you, thank you and thank you again for being the most gracious hosts.
As always, you have inspired and enchanted me and I know that the Country Life readers will feel the same. Thanks for all your efforts to ensure that we had a magical evening. I hope the range does exceptionally well because you deserve every success. Lisa - Country Life
Thank you so much for hosting a truly spectacular event! You guys rule... you really do. the night was flawless and everyone was completely blown away. What is so fantastic is that the word has started to spread in exactly the way we want it to and the ripples will just keep going. Trevyn - Source SA
Thank you so much for having us there, it was really an amazing evening! I love Swaziland so I will definitely be back. Roelene - Food and Home
Dear Team Ngwenya, Team Reuben and Team Source, A VERY BIG CONGRATULATIONS to all of you for an amazing launch for what promises to be an incredible journey. Team Ngwenya (especially Chas and Cathy) - for opening the doors and working with such dedication and passion. Thanks too for the transformation for the evening - it was beautiful and needed many hands, hard work and team work. Team Source (Trevyn and Julian and Co) - for the vision, direction, creativity and faith in the journey. Thanks too for the planning of the launch and for the carefully thought out seating plan. you pulled together an amazing group - and they had a ball. Team Reuben - what a team! The delight of being treated to such a spectacular meal in such extraordinary setting with such limited equipment - it was delicious and memorable. Reuben - a special thanks for adding a spark of your soul to the collection. It was a wonderful journey which started with an idea, which got crystalised in July and life breatherd into it on Friday - and I have no doubt that the journey will be significant and rewarding. Well done to each and everyone who made their contribution on this amazing journey and long may it continue. Eugenie - Piece
Just a quick note of thanks for your hospitality on Friday night. I thoroughly enjoyed the launch as well as the product range. I wish you every success with the project. Dion - Flux
Thank you so much for including us in your event. It was a wonderful evening and a truly spectacular collection. Neville - Technoserve