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Pretty in porcelain

Nina Bosch comes from a long line of creatives. Apart from her parents, Anton and Hanlie, and aunt, Esra, her grandfather, Esias, was well known and loved in the area, and an artist par excellence, renowned for his beautiful tile murals and porcelain ware.

Nina’s grandparents, Esias and Valerie Bosch, made the Lowveld their home in 1960, where he started his studio in Plaston on the outskirts of White River. Growing up, clay was second nature to the young Nina, who, along with her siblings, loved to experiment in her father’s studio. “We painted on tiles, made little figurines and rolled and painted clay beads. It was always extremely exciting to see what would come out of the kilns,” she smiles. “My grandmother was a porcelain jewellery maker, and I have always been interested in fine porcelain. I also always knew I wanted to do something creative as a career, but I never imagined I would have my own porcelain jewellery design business, which only came after studying in a completely different creative direction!”

While Nina never realised that her hobby would end up being her career, she started receiving more and more attention for her pieces, appearing in various publications, including VISI magazine. The public’s interest in her work escalated. Before she knew what was happening, Nina Bosch Porcelain Jewellery was born, to great acclaim. “I started exhibiting my work at various markets countrywide and also took part in international exhibitions. Soon I was stocking stores both locally and internationally. I’ve even had Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, wear my earrings!” she says proudly.

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Nina, like her grandmother before her, has always loved fashion and accessories. She enjoys working with and making fine and delicate jewellery, so designing and creating statement pieces was a natural path to follow. “I’m proud of each piece I create and believe individuality is key. Each one is handmade by me, and because kiln firing may cause variations in the glaze colours, no two are ever the same. I love what I do, creating so freely is definitely not ‘just a job’. I have a passion for my work and find it both exciting and challenging. If you are happy in your work, then you can surely be happy in your life. There’s nothing more therapeutic for me than rolling out clay and creating designs with my hands.” Inspired by nature and being passionate about the environment, Nina actively encourages people to take responsibility for their actions, especially regarding recycling and waste. She is also highly motivated by people with a strong work ethic, and is devoted to friends and family. She is quick to say that coffee and red wine come a close second!

Photographer: MIA LOUW

Growing up in the Lowveld meant a carefree existence outdoors, and she loves spending time in the garden and growing anything edible. While no longer a local resident – she recently moved to the fairest Cape to join her partner, Nick – she does miss home. “The Lowveld has the perfect climate, and of course, I miss my family. However, it is very exciting to be in the Cape. The winter weather is a challenge…” she laughs. For now, she is having a wonderful time exploring all the beautiful places the region has to offer and is loving every moment. Lockdown and Covid-19 have not left Nina untouched, but her optimism is inspiring and infectious. “It has been a greatly challenging time for everyone, for the whole world, and like every other company I have felt the impact. However, now that restrictions are lifting, business is picking up again. This period has taught me the importance of patience, gratitude for small things and kindness – always kindness.”

Photographer: SAVANNAH GREEF

There is still plenty that this young artist wants to achieve. Expanding the business and attending more international markets are just two things on her list. A never-ending dream of hers is to have a large studio, in which she would be able to train and empower local women. “I’d also love my own store – now that would be so exciting!” she laughs. Watch this space. We think the Duchess of Sussex is just the beginning, and we cannot wait for this local entrepreneur to take the world by storm.

Details www.ninabosch.co.za

Nina’s beautiful porcelain jewellery is also available at Africa Joy at the Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre.

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