Zani Marais was born in Paarl, South Africa in 1971.
From 1992 she studied at Ruth Prowse School of Art, under lecturers Erik Laubscher and John Skotnes, majoring in Jewellery Design and Manufacture and completed with merit in 1995. During the course of her studies, she entered and won several design competitions and merit awards and participated in numerous exhibitions around Cape Town.
In 1996 she established her own studio workshop in Cape Town, accepting commissions and supplying retail outlets and Galleries in Cape Town and Gardenroute.
In 2005 she won the Carrol Boyes Functional Art METAL 2005 New Designer Search competition, for her prototype design of salt and pepper shakers titled “Crystal and Corn.” This gave her the opportunity to explore new materials and work on a bigger scale.
She currently lives in the Garden Route where she continue to custom make her own jewellery designs in precious metals and stones, as well as other materials such as wood and resin. She also enjoys making prototypes as freelance product developer.
She draws her inspiration from the beauty in nature, people, art and the material at hand. All jewellery pieces are handmade, from smelting the metal, preparing the plate, to finish piece.