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July 16, 2009

Mind-blowing kelp vuvuzelas

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Wahabi and Christopher – trained and proficient craft painters

The vuvuzela, a favourite at South African soccer matches, seems to be constantly criticised. Yet, despite complaints and requests to ban it, the vuvuzela is likely to be a feature at soccer matches during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

A way for soccer fans to support and encourage their favourite teams – and to create a dramatic atmosphere in the stadium – the instrument is considered an essential part of the South African soccer experience.

Bored with the mass-produced plastic variety, local artist Adam Carnegie decided to launch KELP, a project specialising in custom-crafted, eco-friendly vuvuzelas made from an abundant natural resource: kelp.

“Strandlopers” participating in the project will patrol a stretch of coast, moving kelp to sunny spots to dry. Once the kelp is sufficiently dry, painters and crafters at the PLEK (the KELP studio) will decorate the unique instruments.

A wide variety of vuvuzelas will be created according to the skill level of painters and to fit the budgets of different consumers.

The “Football” range, painted by beginner painters, will feature simple vuvuzelas with team colours painted in bands around their circumference. Beginner painters will also create “Sea Creatures” –kelp vuvuzelas inspired by marine life.

Once painters have gained some experience, they will create “Tribal” and “Animal” vuvuzelas. Tribal vuvuzelas will celebrate global cultures, while vuvuzelas in the “Animal” range will be painted to resemble animals, with a special focus on endangered species.

The top-range vuvuzelas will be inspired by people and “rainbow warriors”. Unique works of art, each of these vuvuzelas will require time and dedication from skilled crafters.

Carnegie hopes the KELP project will “create sustainable employment”. Painters will be encouraged to improve their skills to be able to decorate the most ornate vuvuzelas, which will help beginners to develop their talents.

The environmentally friendly initiative minimises waste and will be actively involved in protecting the marine eco-system. Unlike plastic vuvuzelas, the KELP products are made from a sustainable resource and do not harm the environment.

“Kelpvuvus” are sure to be a feature at soccer matches in 2010. The stunning instruments are expected to be sold at stadiums and are sure to be blown by both local and international soccer fanatics.

For more info on KELP, download a PDF here.

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