Ethical Jewellery Range - KAIRO


ARTESANA i TRIBU Launches Ethical Range, KAIRO

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Sana López Abellán is an anthropologist and jewellery maker from La Bisbal, Spain who has recently launched her new exlusive range of Jewellery. KAIRO is a collection of bold and colourful jewellery, based on West African textiles set in metal.

This exclusive collection of jewellery is a true color explosion, expressive and fun!
Each piece is centered around the prints of West African textiles, recovered from a tailor in Gambia, his leftovers now feature in these works of art.

“Jewellery is a feature which all societies have in common. Even though its expression may be quite different, adornment is used in all cultures", says Sana.

Playing with the limits of what is ´beautiful´ and what is ´waste´, Sana works with found materials, especially those from nature, and transforms them into ´gems´ giving them value through their use.

Combining her diverse backgrounds is a feature of Sana’s work; Spanish or Dutch, anthropologist or jeweller, historical or avant-garde, a work of the mind or of the hand? The end result is silver mixed with other materials - often wild, always wearable.

This time last year marked the very start of the KAIRO jewellery collection that by now has grown to be one of the most popular collections. So much so Sana presented her KAIRO collection at PULSE London at the Olympia, from 14 to 16th of May with great success.

When asked how the inspiration for the KAIRO collection began Sana explained, 

"My friend was visiting his home country, Gambia, when I asked him to bring back the cuttings of textiles left over at the floor of local tailorshops. And so he did. He brought back leftovers from several Gambian towns, Jambur, Brusubi and Serakunda.

At first when I had the pieces of cloth I was not sure how to transform them into jewels- but I was sure an idea would someday pop up in my head. Incorporating textile in metal jewellery is a challenge both technically as well as estetically. So I put them in a box and sometimes took them out just to look at them...they are so inspiring!

Slowly I started to think of a way to present the prints as mini paintings set in brass using very simple metalworking techniques." 

She further explains her reasons behind implementing textiles throughout her designs,

"The expression of 'self' and 'community' through clothing, fabrics and adornment, has always fascinated me. For me these expressions are a clear gateway from the inner body to the outside world, the intimate made public. The name KAIRO means 'peace' in Mandinka, one of the languages spoken in Gambia. I decided to name the collection after this local proverb: 

"Kairo sill man jan faa" : Mandinka proverb"The road to peace is never (too) long".

Making a unity between "there" and "here", using the scrap from Africa in a reinvented jewel, appeals to me. As a jewellery maker I am always looking for ways to give value to the wothless, transforming and recycling. This KAIRO collection allowed me to 'marry' my two passions, anthropology and jewellery making! The name KAIRO means 'peace' in Mandinka, one of the languages spoken in Gambia. Wearing a KAIRO is not only good for you, but also for others....for every jewel sold, a donation is made to support a human rights cause in The Gambia. So the project is beneficial to the planet ánd us humans too!"


Sarah Salmon


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