Peter Bremers, the Dutch master-blower who co-ordinated the workshop, first came to Swaziland 13 years ago to work with Chas.
"Back then I designed a range for Ngwenya as a volunteer. I returned the next year and told Chas it's ridiculous to bring out a Dutch designer to create African designs. I really felt we needed to use local talent."
That's how the idea for the workshop was born, and with designers such as Laurie Wiid, Dokter and Misses, Joe Paine and Ceramic Matters, among others, on board, and a transfer of skills from top international talents, the ancient art form is experiencing an African revival. The factory's hot, fiery ballet continues, but now to a different tune.
GREEN GLASS FACTS
• All Ngwenya products are made from recycled glass.
• The glass is collected by the local community, who are paid for it.
• Ngwenya only uses clear glass in their production, but they also collect coloured glass, which they recycle and use to make bricks for the local community.
• The furnaces at Ngwenya are fuelled using old oil from Swaziland's KFC outlets.
• Only the wood of invasive exotic trees is used to create moulds in the factory.
• Ngwenya uses old newspapers as protectors in the production process and for wrapping glass products.
Thatcher was a guest of Woolworths. Ngwenya glassware is available at Woolworths as part of the Studio.W range.