It was my Birthday last week, so I bought myself a present. A new black Cardigan!
In 2017, I am committing to change my fashion habits. I plan to document my hopefully interesting journey through the ethical fashion wilderness and share my discoveries with you all. I am making four commitments to get me started.
So I promised to serve you up a tasty cutlery post, but I’m afraid it won’t be on a silver platter. I learned long ago that working with sterling silver is still a little out of our production capacity and design scope (that’s me euphemistically saying it’s out of our budget). This got me to thinking about using non-precious metals to create new designs. Of course, it’s not quite that simple. These metals had to be available in Cambodia; strong, but malleable enough to use with simple hand tools; affordable; and resistant to tarnishing in the humid environment. Although it seemed like a somewhat fanciful wish-list, just like Derek Zoolander, everything became clear to me while staring at a spoon.
A humble metal washer you say?
My revelation in the humid corridors of a bustling market in downtown Phnom Penh marked the beginning of a big change in my design style. I started looking at everything in a new way – (you’ll need to read this next part with a menacing voice) nothing was safe, everything was a jewellery element (you’ll need to stop the menacing voice now otherwise the rest of this post is going to give off a really weird vibe).
A designer in Phnom Penh
To begin with a profound understatement; designing in Cambodia is a challenge. It is a world away from the air-conditioned jewellery studios and abundantly stocked bead shops that I so unthinkingly took for granted in Australia. The reality of this hit home in June 2008 during my second series of jewellery making classes.