How It's Made
Gourd & Eggshell Jewelry
Gourd & Eggshell jewelry is uniquely crafted from dried natural gourds and crushed eggshells. To create these beautiful pieces, the artisans gather gourds grown in the nearby forest. They cut the gourds open and scrape the insides clean of seeds and pulp. After the gourds are dry, they carve out desired shapes from the hardened shells, smoothing and shaping them by hand. They then hand drill holes into each individual piece and attach small rings that allow them to link the gourd pieces together.
The artisans decorate the gourd pieces with cleaned and crushed eggshells. Once the pieces are dried and assembled, the artisans cover them with a clear coating to give them a polished finish. Our artisans continue to hone their skills and improve their designs, which now include dying and etching the gourd pieces. An artisan usually takes two to three days to make a completed Gourd and Eggshell Jewelry piece. See more of their beautiful work in our Gourd Collection.
Raffia & Banana Leaf Jewelry
Palm and banana trees both grow in abundance in Uganda and our artisans creatively make use of these indigenous plants. The women strip the palm leaves from the trees to make raffia, long pieces of palm leaves. These can be dyed in a myriad of colors and woven together to create beautiful designs on the bracelets. Our artisans also twist the raffia to form our signature raffia rope, which they use in fashioning both bracelets and earrings. The banana leaf is stiffer than the raffia and cannot be woven as easily as the raffia. However, the natural colors of the banana leaves have a beauty and simplicity all their own.
They can be crafted together in different shades or added to woven raffia for a naturally distinctive look. The banana leaf and raffia are wrapped and woven around recycled cardboard centers to form bracelets and earrings. An experienced artisan can design and assemble a piece of jewelry in only a few hours. See more of these beautiful pieces in our Raffia Collection.
More coming soon!