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Green America
African fair trade bead and wire art

WIREWORX Beaded animals & Beaded key chains

We offer an exclusive range of handcrafted, fair trade beaded animals and key chains from Africa’s most talented bead and wire artisans! Whether you want a beaded animal key chain for a gift or to attach to your purse, schoolbag or backpack, a mini animal figurine to add to your animal figurine collection or to decorate your child’s room or larger beaded animal figurines for indoor or garden décor then WIREWORX is what you are looking for!

WIREWORX Animal figurines beaded to perfection

Each beaded animal is created with our guidance by one of our master designers. A single design may take a few weeks and considerable tweaking until it meets our approval. We study images and research details of an animal then provide pictures, sketches and suggestions to our designers. They begin by shaping heavy gauge galvanized steel wire into a frame in the shape of an animal. Next, the artisans bead numerous shimmering glass seed beads onto finer, more flexible wire and wrap and secure the beaded wire over the animal frame. A single WIREWORX beaded animal can take hours to create!

Authentic African beaded animal figurines

Bead and wire crafting is an original African art form. African men would spend spare time, partially due to high unemployment, creating recycled crafts from scrap wire, tin and other materials. This has become known as township art. The wire framing is mostly done by men, as it requires considerable strength in addition to skill. Various individuals and organizations discovered this talent and assist these budding artisans with materials and training to enable them to develop marketable skills and crafts.

Many artisans, mostly amateurs, can be found selling their beaded animals and key chains on African street corners and at craft markets and the more talented artisans are selling their work at more upscale venues and for export. We are confident that WIREWORX African beaded animals and key chains are the finest quality available.

Support the rightful owners of African bead and wire art

Unfortunately this original African art form is being copied in China to take advantage of cheaper labor and materials. Some consider this cultural theft and at the very least it shows disregard for the African artisans livelihood and culture. Much deserved and needed revenue has been taken away from the original African artisans. Purchasing WIREWORX African beaded animals helps the artisans, mostly Zimbabwean economic refugees living in South Africa, enjoy a rewarding career and to honorably support themselves and their families back home, giving them the opportunity for a better life and education.


WIREWORX’s commitment to socially responsible and fair labor practices

Our African bead and wire artisans set their own prices, enabling them to receive fair and decent wages. They work from the convenience and comfort of their homes and choose their own hours and pace. We assist our artisans with the purchase of materials, pay them in a timely fashion and provide them with reasonable deadlines. We provide guidance and feedback to help them maximize their artistic potential and to improve their time management and quality control. We show utmost respect for their culture and share an open and honest relationship. Our artisans know that they can depend on us, giving them financial security and opportunity for growth.


WIREWORX’s commitment to environmental responsibility

The wire in our handmade beaded critters is mostly recycled and nothing but pliers are used in their creation, causing minimal impact on the environment. We are also committed to limiting our impact on the environment in the running of our business. We repurpose boxes and newspaper for packing materials, do minimal printing, use energy efficient lighting, run our business from home and keep transportation to a minimum.