Turquoise Mountain has spent the last twelve years specialising in bringing high-end artisan products to international markets. Founded at the request of HRH Prince Charles and Hamid Karzai, The Turquoise Mountain foundation was originally set up in 2006 with the aim to revive traditional crafts in conflict-torn countries.
As the Syrian conflict enters its seventh year, over half of all Syrians have been forced to leave their homes, and some six million are refugees outside the country’s borders. Traditions which provide meaning and pride for local people have also become endangered. Recent events have led to the complete displacement and fragmentation of communities, leaving a new generation of Syrian and Jordanian artisans without support.
Turquoise Mountain have begun their incredible work in Jordan with the aim of training a new generation artisans to maintain important cultural traditions, which will create jobs, income, and support local artisan businesses. Work is taking place in refugee camps and in local communities to connect young people and families to their heritage, past and identity, through education and outreach.
Pippa has worked with Turquoise Mountain since 2008, producing over 30 collections of jewellery with artisans. The latest venture and new collaboration with the incredible artisans of Jordan sees Pippa working with master craftsman Issa and Muufaqu, Palestinian and Jordanian goldsmiths, who are a part of a training programme providing livelihood training to young Syrian, Palestinian and Iraqi refugees in Jordan. Aya is also working for Turquoise Mountain Jordan in the workshop having given up teaching physics to follow her dream of making jewellery. She did a vocational course in Amman before joining the workshop.
Taking inspiration from the gold work of the ancient civilisations of the region, the Nabatean of Petra, medieval Islamic ceramics and ottoman textiles by working with Silver and Gold.
” I have found the Middle East completely fascinating, the mix of histories, cultures, religions and people.
Creating collections drawn from this region is very exciting, and as always, working with Turquoise Mountain is so inspiring. I really believe the act of creating is an act of hope and these valuable livelihood skills can bring security and an income as well as pride and a sense of achievement. ”
Filmed by Art Simondetti