Designing silver jewellery in Hoi An
When I travel I am constantly picking up bits and pieces of ephemera all the little bits no-one else wants. This could be receipts, scraps of paper or fabric, packaging, left over money or bits of plants to press anything that evokes that place for me. When I was in Hue I was conscious of its ancient history and its importance as the old capital of Vietnam. With this in mind whilst walking just outside the old palace I spotted some broken fragments of tiles on the floor. I picked a couple of pieces up that particularly drew my attention and popped them in my pocket as a memory.
When I arrived in Hoi An I was excited to discover it had a thriving silversmithing community and began to think about something to buy as a momentum of Vietnam. Then I came across these fragments of ceramics and had a brain wave…using them as a base for some jewellery. In Hue quite a lot of the buildings I had seen used fragments of ceramics in their ornamentation so it seemed a fitting thing to do.
I went to a silversmith with my little pieces of treasure (as I see it) and explained what I would like making only to get a very strange look and some very sharp questioning about why I wanted to surround a piece of rubbish with silver! It took quite some convincing to get them to do it but I suppose in the end the customer is always right.
The next day I went back to collect my new jewellery wondering a little bit what I would get back. I had asked them to create a ring and a pendant and I was thrilled with the results. Even the people in the shop who had been extremely sceptical of my plan where amazed at the results and agreed with me that they had turned out beautifully. I wouldn’t be surprised if I go back one day and there is a new line of jewellery in Hoi An based on ceramic fragments.
The silversmiths were called Water Lily just in case you go and would like to use their services, they did a superb job for me.