Profile: Charles Haupt

PHOTOS: Greg Cox | PRODUCTION: Cornelia Badenhorst | WORDS: Mirelle Leyden

As a member of the team at the Bronze Age foundry and gallery in Simon’s Town, Charles Haupt puts an interesting spin on bronze functional art.

Being at the right place at the right time is an adage that certainly rings true in Charles’s life. In his third year of studying industrial design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, a lecturer took the students to the Bronze Age foundry for a lesson in bronze casting. It was here that Charles met Otto du Plessis – now the owner of Bronze Age.

Soon afterwards, Otto asked him to help out on a project for a few months after finishing his studies. It was during this time that a new and fairly unexplored world opened up for Charles. ‘I’ve always been intrigued by the process of casting, but thought it was a rather old-fashioned form of design,’ he says. ‘Once I got started, however, I realised that its creative potential – especially when combined with a strong and durable material such as bronze – is infinite.’

Now, four years later, Charles has the exciting job of running the functional art department for Bronze Age. ‘I’m a great lover of functional design, yet also have a lot of respect for sculptural art. So, I decided to combine the two.’

The result: beautifully crafted bowls (in the photograph) boasting an array of different textures and decorative elements, and a coffee table in the form of a sheep (see page 38), to highlight only a few. ‘

South Africans have preconceived ideas when it comes to bronze sculpture – I used to be one of them. But at Bronze Age we want our designs to showcase this art form in a different light. By being relevant, innovative and up-to-date with international design trends, we are attracting a younger market and educating it on the dynamics and viable potential of bronze as a preferred material.’

With so many avenues still waiting to be explored, Charles is adamant that his road as functional artist is paved in… bronze.

• Charles Haupt: 021 786 1816,

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