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Changing lives one stitch at a time

Taunina Telegraph

Beaming with pride


‘2013 has been a year of magic. Look at the artistry and you’ll see that there’s fresh inspiration in each piece. I’m having fun! I’m inspired by everything I see in my life and by being part of a team that encourages me to produce excellent work. This year I’ve learnt to embroider freehand, without using applique, and the magic just seems to happen while you’re doing it. I’ve learnt that art is all about coming up with something out of anything.’



‘It’s been a good year. Recently I’ve been embroidering more inventively, using less applique and more freehand stitches. I’ve learnt that a few stitches can have huge impact and that being an artist is about sometimes knowing when to stop. Coming to work and being creative makes me feel young. And I’m grateful that I can take a shopping basket and buy whatever I like to eat and I can put food on the table for my family.’



‘Everything has changed! We’ve been introduced to new ideas and our minds have just opened up. For so long I was struggling to come up with inspiration. Now I feel I am free. We look at design and embroidery books, share ideas and try new things. If I compare my previous bears with those I’ve done recently, the change is amazing. Another good development is that this year my husband and I bought a house. Now we have to work hard to pay it off, but I am so glad to have this for my family.’



‘My work has come a long way in the last year. My embroidery is looking more beautiful and each time I leave work, I know I have done better than the day before, so this is very satisfying. I’ve started using more freehand embroidery with applique and I enjoy this. I’m having fun and am very proud of what I am doing now.’



‘It’s been a smooth year. My work has improved and the last bear I did was so fantastic that I couldn’t believe I had actually made it! I really loved the way I made it. The designs just came together and the look is quite different to that of my previous bears. I will end this year by visiting my country to see my children and my mother in Zimbabwe. As soon as we close the studio, I will take a train to Johannesburg and then a bus to Harare. I’m feeling hopeful that life continues to improve.’



‘I’m grateful that Taunina was able to take me to a specialist doctor to help me with my condition. I have TB, but now that I take medicine every day, I am getting better.
I’ve enjoyed embroidering more freely, and using applique in a different way so that there is more open canvas to embroider my own shapes. And I am happy there is enough saving so that I can go home to Zimbabwe for Christmas to see my daughter.’



‘What is interesting is that regardless of the sadness in my private life this year, I am shining brighter and brighter at work. I have a sense that more good things are coming. 2013 has been a shifting year. I’ve decided to focus on my work and just go forward. I’m able to help myself and I’m proud of that. Taunina has believed in me, given me challenges, and pushed me to embroider my own designs freehand. It’s wonderful to see what I’m capable of.’



‘This year my mother will come to visit me in Cape Town because finally, she has her own and first passport, which I applied for. She called today to say she’s just collected it and so can now travel and be with me at Christmas. Next year I will apply for passports for my kids, who live in Zimbabwe. I’m trying my best to make things work and I know that because of the quality of my embroidery, the future is bright for me.’



‘2013 is a milestone year for me. In January I joined Taunina as a cleaner and by June, I was embroidering bears and earning more money, which has made my life beter. Making my own bear and looking at it finished was a big moment in my life. My first bear is still my favourite one because I couldn’t believe I had made it. It just gives me power when I see it. I also love that we are one here. The ladies at Taunina are like sisters and mothers. We work peacefully together and that beauty comes out in our work.’



‘I think 2013 has been fair. The quality of my work is improving all the time and this pleases me. On a personal level, this year has been interesting because I think I’m changing to be a better person. I’ve learnt not to talk so much and it’s been good for me. I’ve managed to calm down a little. Maybe I’m getting old, or maybe I am just maturing. My relationships are good and I’m feeling content with my life.’



‘It’s been a year of saving money because next year my husband and I plan to start building our own house. I’m really excited about this. And at Taunina, we’ve also started something very exciting. As a seamstress I get to see every bear that is made here and it is clear that each day the bears become more and more exquisite. I find this exciting… Who knows what our bears will look like this time next year?’


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