Johan Slabbert is a Bloemfontein based jewellery artist. Slabbert exploits skills acquired though the jewellery manufacturing trade to serve as his medium and express his creativity. Hence his work moves beyond just jewellery design and manufacturing but also traverses into contemporary and fine art pieces.
Slabbert embarked on a complete career change at the age of 27, in 1995. As a conscientious objector, Slabbert rejected fighting in the South African Border War. Therefore after matriculating in 1986 he randomly decided to study Personnel Management. It was only after a few years of working in a career in management that Slabbert was fully able to satisfy his unstoppable urge to be creative - primarily through activities that had been sidelined, mostly in the medium of metal work.
Slabbert completed his N6 in Jewellery Design and Manufacturing at Bloemfontein Technical College in 1996 and then worked in the industry for the following eight years honing and applying his jewellery manufacturing and design skills. In 2002 his works were selected for the FNB VITA Craft Now Awards Exhibition at the Museum Africa in Johannesburg.
In 2005 Slabbert was appointed as a lecturer at the Motheo TVET College. Since his appointment he has developed a very positive reputation in the jewellery industry with the students whom he trains. His students are often success stories and have themselves received several awards.
In September 2007 Slabbert exhibited in the Motheo FET Lecturer Exhibition in Bloemfontein and in August 2009 at the Lecturer Exhibition at the William Humphreys Art Gallery in Kimberley. His work is also included in The War Museum (Universal Suffering) permanent collection (2013) as part of the 100 years' commemoration of the National Women's Memorial.
In February 2017, Slabbert won the award for the most talented trainer in the national Thuthuka Jewellery Awards Exhibition (hosted by the University of Johannesburg) at the Fada Gallery.