Born in Jaipur Sushil and I have worked together for about 15 years, Sushil learned his skill from his family, his uncle Khen Raj who was a master goldsmith and has been a goldsmith for 25 years. He specialises in hand work and is very proud and loves his work. Sushil and I have spent many hours studying seeds, leaves and flowers to replicate these minute miracles of nature in gold. He has a wonderful instinctive sense of beauty, proportion, balance and harmony in design.
Like many of the most renowned goldsmiths in Myanmar, Tin Win comes from Ramree Island, Rakhine State. He grew up immersed in the goldsmith life, with a thin line between the workshop and the playground. It was the wish of his parents that he became a goldsmith, and he moved to Yangon in 1996 to study under the master U Kyaw Than.
Born as a refugee into the poor conditions of a Peshwari camp, Saeeda became seriously ill during the first few weeks of her life. Struck down with cerebral meningitis, she was unable to walk and lost her hearing. Fortunately, over the years she regained mobility, but sadly her hearing never returned.
Born in Kabul, but exiled during the Taliban government, Javid learnt the craft of goldmithing in Pakistan as a young man. In 2001, he and his family returned to Kabul. Happy to be home he married, had two children and started a new life.
An Aymara Indian from Bolivia, Javier is the son of a Gold miner who began working in the mines of Tipuwani himself, at a very young age. He later moved onto goldsmithing and now has a tiny workshop in Miraflores near the coca market. From this little space, he makes beautiful creations for the indigenous Chola ladies of La Paz who invest heavily in the precious metal.
Aman is a Lua from Kenya, who first began selling hand-carved wooden spoons at the market in Nairobi. At the time he and his family lived in Kibera, a huge slum in the city, surrounded by garbage. It was often a violent and hazardous place to live, but he and his brothers continued to develop their craft from a small mud hut.
The son of a farmer, Om learnt stone cutting when young. He first specialized in carving crystal Gods for the temples, but now runs a small workshop in Sanganer, just outside jaipur. He has a wonderful sensitivity to stones and has worked with us for over twenty years.
Tomuco is a San Bushman from Ghanzi in Botswana, and like all in her community her life is going through many changes. From being independent hunter gatherers, the Bushmen have slowly been pushed off their land, banned from hunting and given no rights, or jobs.
Juan is a quiet man whose primary business is selling fresh fruit and vegetables in Santiago de Chile. His quiet passion, however, is for the jewellery of his people, the Mapuche Indians. Juan spent his youth working as an apprentice with old master Mapuche silversmiths in different parts of Chile, learning the stories of their designs and the symbolism of their protective amulets.
Rubellino a Kuna Indian goldsmith from Kunayala, lives on a tiny island in the Caribbean Sea, just off the coast of Panama. His community are fiercely independent, yet deeply traditional and take great pride in defending their rich culture and values.