• April 24th, 2019
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Every empty bottle Seoke touches turns into craft


Donna Collins Discarded bottles are everywhere, and often result in unsightly piles of litter and broken pieces of glass, which in turn become a burden on the environment and society. But not so for Swakopmund resident, Lukas Seoke, whose innovative methods of recycling glass bottles into hand-made mantelpiece ornaments or bar decorations, is well worth supporting for all the right reasons. Displaying dozens of his glass pieces at a local market, he chatted about his resourceful craft that is catching on with locals, tourists and curio shops alike. Seoke explains that he brought the “tricks of his trade” with him to Namibia two years ago after learning the craft from his brother in Cape Town. In short, it’s how to convert an otherwise tossed out beer bottle into an attractive glass by cutting the bottle into two pieces. The appealing part is that all his glasses bear the logos of your favourite brand of beer or ‘hard tack’, ranging from Windhoek Lager, Tafel, Castle and even Red Heart Rum or Amarula. Working from a small workshop in his Mondesa “shack”, he is really passionate about what he does. Two of the most important things he has to ensure before his glasses are sold to the public, is that the glasses must be spotlessly clean and well polished around the edges to avoid hurting anyone. “I normally collect the empty bottles from shebeens or around the bins where they are dumped, and can work on and finish up to 180 glasses in a week,” he says. In his own devices he cut and polish the bottles, and use a special glue to stick the two pieces together. “Working with glass is a special type of craftwork, and my products are more for decoration purposes but can be used to drink out of, providing they are washed carefully and not thrown into a dishwasher because of the glue,” he adds pointing out that the top nozzle portion of the bottle is cut off then stuck back onto the bottles base to create a unique shaped glass that stands upright. Having processed a large enough batch of glasses through his washing station, he is around town selling his assortment to the passing public or shops. “I really take pride in what I do, and so far haven’t met anyone else who is making glasses like mine, and believe that one day I will get a big order from customers in Europe or even from our Namibian lodges. “I also feel good about the fact that I am recycling old bottles that would otherwise be left to pile up as litter, and through my humble way of earning a living, I am also contributing towards the cleanliness of Namibia.”
New Era Reporter
2018-06-01 12:08:16 10 months ago

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