Sunday, 22 June 2008

Kazuri

Kazuri, which means small and beautiful in Swahili, is Fair Trade Jewellery.

Kazuri's hand-painted ceramic jewellery is made in Kenya. Every bead which makes up a necklace or bracelet is shaped by hand by one of the 300 local women employed by Kazuri. The beads are then kiln fired once, glazed and fired again before being strung. Founded by the late Lady Susan Wood, Kazuri is still located where she first started creating employment for struggling single mothers back in 1975. The workshop is in Karen, named after Karen Blixen of 'Out Of Africa' fame, on part of the farm once owned by her. Karen, a beautiful area just a few miles outside Nairobi, lies under the Ngong Hills between Kenya's bustling capital and the spectacular Rift valley.

In an age of mass-produced goods, Kazuri jewellery stands out as a little bit different. As every piece of jewellery is handmade, every one is unique. Indeed, many pieces take on the quirks and trademarks of the individual people who shape the beads, paint them or string them, giving them soul as well as beauty. Many Kazuri styles are named after areas, tribes and other features of the Kenyan landscape; evocative names that resonate with the organic nature of the clay that comes from its earth. So a Kazuri piece is more than an item of jewellery, it's a piece of Kenya.

For a look that is part of Kenya and looks great for summer, try the Shale necklace in White Mother of Pearl. The mother of pearl catches the light to give a subtle shimmer. If you want to inject a little colour then the Shale necklace in Antigua Blue brings together four colours of beads in royal blue, duck egg blue, a dove grey/blue and cream. If you want a fashionable look to take you from a bright summers day to a balmy summers evening then the Ting Ting necklace in Oyster adds warm and goes with any outfit.

Kazuri jewellery is high quality jewellery, affordably priced and created in an ethical way.

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