About Kurt Donau


Kurt Donau was born in Chur,Switzerland. Here he completed his apprenticeship with distinction. After working in Geneva and Zurich for three years, he immigrated to South Africa.

Initially he combined his talents with Egon Günther, before working for Jack Friedman in one of the most reputable workshops in Johannesburg. In 1969 he branched out on his own to establish himself independently. He has since achieved acclaim in every prestigious South African jewellery competition, including the “Intergold” competitions.

Over the years, he has stamped his own individualistic mark on the South African jewellery scene. His work combines the use of ivory and leather, natural woods such as Ebony,Red Ivory, Stinkwood and petrified Pine with precious metals. His classic technique and feeling for shape, line and form has greatly enhanced the standard for South African goldsmiths. Kurt Donau has collaborated with many major South african artists: Eduardo Villa, Hannes Harrs and Cecil Skotnes. He is a founder member of the South African Goldsmiths Guild.

He returned to Switzerland in 2008 where he currently resides and continues to create in canton St. Gallen.



1951 - 1955       Apprenticeship with Th. Joos in Chur , Switzerland

1955 - 1957       Ponti Genary, Geneva, Switzerland

1957 - 1958       F. Sutter, Zurich,Switzerland

1958 - 1961       Egon Günther, Johannesburg, South Africa

1961 - 1968      Jack Friedman, Johannesburg, South Africa

1969                Started own workshop

1974                Founding member of the Goldsmiths Guild of South Africa

1997                Judge: American Swiss Jewellery Competition

1999                Judge: Anglo Gold Jewellery Competition

2001                Judge: De Beers Shining Light Competition

2005                Judge: Anglo Ashanti Riches of Africa Competition

2005                Judge: Gold Coin Jewellery for the South African Mint

Prizes won: Chamber of mines Jewellery Competition

Jewellery designed and made for the Intergold International Fashion Shows