As a child, I would sit entranced watching my mother get dressed and adorn herself with various pieces of jewelry. Later as a teen and young adult, I came to appreciate the allure, magic, but also the process of making the various decorative baubles.
In 2012, I launched RiRi Jewellry amidst the chaos in Kenya with the mission to preserve Kenyan and African culture. Wanting to help the artisans who created the jewelry, I wanted to mesh peace with beauty where “people of different backgrounds could work in harmony. Artisans could interact freely and learn more about our rich culture; collaborating in creative and innovative ways, making a living, and creating new opportunities of employment for other creatives. Currently, Riri Jewellery works with a network of artisans, young men and women, from various backgrounds and communities from across Kenya,” she explained.
The creative process begins with discovering clients’ needs. The design team is headed by our Head Designer Ivy Chege. We discuss what materials to use for the pieces, and then make drawings in order to visualize the jewellery. Once the materials have been sourced, work is delegated to our masterful artisans who specialize in different areas such as welding, panel beating, bead work, chiselling bone, and so on. One piece of jewellery could be lovingly made by two or three different artisans, which lends to the Riri Jewellery charm.
Riri Jewellry with be attending Artisan Resource @NY NOW from August 16-19. We will exhibit handmade jewelry made from brass, recycled aluminum, leather (cow and camel) jewelry made from cow and camel bone, and wide variety of beads from East and West Africa. Proceeds from sales @NY NOW will go into funding and supporting young artisans.
For more information, visit, www.ririjewellry.com.