Artisan Stories

        

My jewelry is designed by my own inspiration through travels and experiences in domestic and international locations. First, he concepts are dreamt and technical design sketches drafted. The meaningful designs are then handcrafted through a thoughtful production process whereby each artisan is treated with respect through ethical labor and sustainability practices.

Meet some of the team of artisans from the Unity and Diversity collection under the auspices of Turquoise Mountain, a non profit NGO with a location in Kabul, Afghanistan. Since we began working together I am proud Turquoise Mountain received an award from the United Nations and was featured in an exhibition at the Smithsonian in Washington DC.

Photos above with Saeeda, an artisan of Turquoise Mountain in Afghanistan, who visited me before she and the team accepted an award from the United Nations in New York for sustainability.

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Shazia is an artisan who works for a female-founded small jewelry business in Kabul that employs four women. The majority of women in this organization are graduates of Turquoise Mountain Institute and their jewellery features different indigenous materials including lapis lazuli, tourmaline and semi-precious stones mined in the provinces of Afghanistan.

Javid Noori was forced to flee to Pakistan during the time of the Taliban. He returned to Afghanistan in 2002 to set up one of the best-equipped workshops in the country. Javid is committed to mentoring Afghanistan's next generation of artisans, offering apprenticeships in his own workshop for the most promising emerging talents.

            

These two artisans, Abdul Salim and Samir are graduates of the Turquoise Mountain Institute. Both grew up in refugee camps, one in Pakistan and the other in Iran, during the 1990s while there was a civil war in Afghanistan.  Both Salim and Samir come from creative families, which sparked their interest in the arts. Having explored a few other crafts, they decided to specialize in jewelry as they found it to be the most fulfilling discipline.