The bead and metalwork artist based in Kyalami needs little introduction for those within Joburg’s equestrian circles. His horseshoe and scrap metal sculptures are as brilliant as his bright and cheerful personality, making the sky the limit for his creativity and success.
Ignatious Chinyani, originally from Zimbabwe, moved to South Africa in 2002 in search of better opportunities for himself and his family. He worked as a labourer on arrival as times were tough and, as a foreigner, he accepted any work he was offered in order to make a living. Excelling at art at school, which included metal work as part of the curriculum, his heart lay in handcrafting sculptures however, and on seeing metal and beaded sculptures on a commute through Pretoria one day, he was inspired to follow a completely different life path.
From 2005 onwards, Ignatious, along with his wife and two brothers, could be found selling their bead and wire artworks on the corner of William Nicol and Main Road in Bryanston, Johannesburg. Using mostly scrap metals and any ‘found’ objects, Ignatious proudly explains that he loves the thrill of a challenge so repurposing scrap and unwanted objects into something prized and beautiful is right up his alley. Much has changed since then however – his artworks on now on display at the Equifox Park in Kyalami, he produces large life-size animals from re-purposed oil drums (some of which have travelled as far as New Zealand and the USA) and has a metal workshop in Doringfontein. His wife does majority of the beadwork currently while he focuses on sculpting and metal work.
Whilst his metalwork skills and artistic talents have led to the creation of kudus, rhinos, elephants and more – many which can be seen from Kyalami Main Road at Sawasdee Nursery - his passion lies with producing equine sculptures. He recently moved from Tembisa to Glenferness, to which he attributes the improvement in his horse sculpting – “it helps seeing horses every day. I sometimes take a walk just to look at the horses in the area as it helps me to perfect the dimensions and proportions.”
Apart from the display at Equifox Park, he was also given the opportunity to display his sculptures at Kyalami Equestrian Park on show days – a mutually beneficial agreement that both provided the venue with tasteful equine décor and gave Ignatious well-deserved exposure of his showpieces. “I’m very grateful to Gail Foxcroft as well as Heather, Madeleine and Jeanette from KPC for supporting me and providing the opportunity to grow my business. Sometimes it just takes one person’s belief to change your world” says a grateful Ignatious.
With that in mind and a desire to pay it forward where he can, Ignatious is happy to offer anyone who could use the knowledge and skills to better their futures, lessons in wiring and beading. He also encourages clients who have specific ideas in mind to please contact him or visit his Pinterest or social media pages as he is open to challenges and the creation of bespoke, custom pieces.
Mobile: 083 596 1388