Nelson Mandela's sculpture features eyes set with black diamonds.

Wirework to be unveiled tomorrow in Cape Town.

By Deepa Narwani

Jeweller Tom Rucker has created a sculpture of former South African leader Nelson Mandela from platinum wire.


Rucker used his trademark laser-welding technique to weave the platinum wires together to create the precious metal statue that has been made to celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day.

The sculpture is due to be revealed by Helen Zille, premier of the Western Cape at the International Conference Centre at the Waterfront in Cape Town tomorrow.

Rucker commented: “Mandela has inspired millions of people in the world to live together in peace and freedom. He has dedicated his life through his active involvement in resolving conflicts, promoting human rights and addressing racial issues.”

Working under a microscope Rucker was able to work without any computer programme to create the face of Mandela and 1.9 million laser spots were used to create the piece.

The back of the head is made from white biscuit porcelain and the sculpture features eyes set with black diamonds. The artist explains his choice of black and white as symbolising the absence of any one colour.