2018 - Everything Comes from Somewhere: Tracing Antecedents of Contemporary Jewelry Technology

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paper2018.jpg

2018 - Everything Comes from Somewhere: Tracing Antecedents of Contemporary Jewelry Technology

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The innovations and research being shared at the Santa Fe Symposium®were built upon prior innovations. Those, in turn, were built on the work of preceding generations and so on and so on, back into earlier times. In the modern era, traditional techniques many hundreds of years old have been augmented by interaction with European colonial powers. In some cases, traditional methods are all but lost to contemporary craftspeople in Europe and North America but, fortunately, they are preserved in Africa. By observing the work of independent jewelers in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and neighboring countries, we can develop a richer understanding of the fundamental aspects of casting, forming and wirework.

This paper will show the complete processes of casting a silver pendant, forging a silver ring and creating a woven wire bracelet by our counterparts in Africa. In addition to photos, videos and commentary, examples of the work shown and the tools used will be available for Symposium participants to handle and examine.

Authors: Tim McCreight and Matthieu Cheminée

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