All of Artisans & Adventurers jewellery is hand-crafted in east Africa by a handful of small enterprises. Some are run exclusively by women, some employ physically disabled artisans who get to learn a craft and provide for their families as a result. What they all have in common is the production of unique pieces using their own ancient traditional craftsmanship and the natural resources available to them.
All these talented artisans work under the guide of Irene, our main woman on the ground. Irene has been an invaluable link in our production chain since day one, working closely to the artisans and helping the team in the UK to translate ideas to them. We caught up with Irene to unveil the process behind one of our newest pieces, the Solar Drop earrings, and share the step by step of the making, from mould to exhibiting.
Our Solar Drop earrings are hand made by Benta and her team of artisans in Nairobi, Kenya, taking one and a half hour to produce one single pair.
The process begins by making a sand mould which is dried in the sun. After this, the mould is heated in the fire to transform it into brass. The makers then cut the material into the shapes of the solar style, using different dimensions and as per the guidelines on the specs sheet. The next steps involve the careful grinding of the product, which is done in four stages. On each stage, the material acquires a more refined and polished finishing that leaves the piece ready for assembly.
The two loops are then linked together using gas and the earring hook is finally connected. Lastly, a gentle sanding is done to the end product, followed by buffing later be thoroughly wiped to remove any marks or dust.
A LABOUR OF TIME
If it's a pair, the whole process will take around one and a half hour. Usually, our orders will be in the range of 15 pairs, meaning the production time for these will be 3 days in total.
Once the items are finished, Irene picks them up, previously performing a thorough quality check. She ensures the correct dimensions have been used, the shapes are correct and the quality is faultless.
Once this is done, Irene will carefully pack the orders and post them out to us in the UK, using the traditional local post. This usually takes around a month to arrive.