Archive for the ‘News’ Category
For years I avoided using gemstones in my work because I have been suspicious of the exploitative nature of the industry, but recently I have discovered companies such as RubyFair, Fairtrade Gemstones and Nineteen48 and I am keen to learn more.
Last year I met with Stuart Pool. Stuart co – owns Nineteen48 and RubyFair; two mining companies in Sri Lanka and Tanzania respectively. Alongside trading gemstones, Stuart is working to set a new working standard for miners.
I met with Stuart to talk more about his work and his mines. The first thing that sets Nineteen48 apart is that they pay their workers the living wage plus commission, unlike mines across the world that solely pay commission.
They also contribute a percentage of their profits to community projects surrounding the mine.
Stuart is also very active in co organising annual Flux (Fair Luxury) conferences. The conferences are a coming together of jewellery industry professionals interested in ‘Fair Luxury’.
After chatting for a while Stuart invited me to visit the mine in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, the dates that I could travel didn’t match with Stuarts, so I liaised with his Sri Lankan business partner Janaka and arranged a time. I set out to visit the Nineteen48 mine with my tour guide Amara. I had gotten to know Amara over the course of a 10 day tour with Toucan Travel prior to the mine visit. Amara was coincidentally from Rapnapura, the same mining town.
Amara offered to accompany me, which was ideal, as I could ask him lots of questions and I felt extra safe.
It is important to mention that mines can be very dangerous places and nobody should ever visit a mine on heir own unless they are an expert.
Unfortunately due to a completely understandable miscommunication with Janaka, he thought I wanted to visit the HQ in the capital city rather than the mine site.
All was not lost, and in actual fact what happened instead was equally valuable…
Amara called a family friend who also owned a mine in Rapnapura. Within five minutes, the mine owner appeared on his motorbike and we followed him to his mine.
As we were approaching the site, before the men were aware of our presence, there was something quite magical about the scene. It was a riverbed mine. The men were working peacefully at a distance and I could hear them laughing and chatting as they worked.
The riverbed mine – men using shovels on extra long sticks to find rough gemstones on from riverbed.
I was told that our timing could not have been better, as they were washing the gemstones they had found in the riverbed. I got to see them picking out rough gems fresh from amongst the riverbed pebbles.
Sorting out rough gemstones from riverbed pebbles
Right to left: A rough garnet, a rough yellow sapphire and a handful of rough sapphires
One thing that became apparent was that there was no use of chemicals in this mining process. I found this surprising, as in gold mining they use a lot of mercury and cyanide to extract the raw material and children are often the ones using these chemicals with their bare hands.
As I peered into the pit I could see two men at the bottom completely covered in mud. They were collecting gemstones from the pit and sending them up in a basket on a pulley.
Unlike the Nineteen48 mine, these miners are not paid a living wage. My understanding is that they are not even paid a base wage, which is reflective of the wider mining industry. They are just paid commission, which can vary from the equivalent of as little as £2.50 a week for them and their family, up to thousands of pounds.
The justification for this is that if the miners were paid a base wage, there would be no incentive not to pocket and smuggle their findings and sell them on the black market.
After visiting the mine I was invited back to the mine owner’s house and offered tea with his wife. She didn’t speak a word of English, but I showed her photos of my day.
I enquired about buying gem or two as a thank you, but this mine owner sells his rough gems in job lots to Thai dealers for a minimum of £5000. The fact that they never had any intention of selling anything to me was testament to their unwavering hospitality and readiness to show me around. I will always remember that.
Visiting this mine was such an incredible experience. I got to see a world that tourists never see, completely off the cuff.
Since returning I have been speaking to Stuart and he revealed that riverbed mining is usually illegal in Sri Lanka because it destroys natural habitats on the surface of the riverbed that are essential for the food chain.
The Gem Authority does issue liscences for riverbed mining, so I assume that this one must be legal, otherwise I’m sure they would have discouraged me taking photos.
It has inspired me to organize more visits so that I can keep learning about the mining industry and report back to my customers. I would love to try again to visit the Nineteen48 mine. Next year maybe!
I’d like to introduce you to BOB. * Hi BOB ?? * BOB is a brand new collection of silver and Perspex interchangeable jewellery. * Read on for info on where to try and buy BOB. Some dates for your diaries. * Introducing 100% recycled silver. * 20% Discount code for ? Rainbow Sunday ?
It is a reflection of a longing to work with vibrant heart-warming colour.
I have chosen light reflective manufactured Perspex to contrast with the natural earthy patterns
Each item of jewellery comes complete with interchangeable Perspex colour options, you are free to choose colour combinations that are complimentary to your outfits. These designs are available as individual gifts or altogether as a set. They are all in stock and ready to wear.Where to try and buy our BOB Collection…
Online If you would like to try anything from our new collection for size, you are welcome to order through our website and return within two weeks if it is not quite right. Visit Us If you prefer you are always welcome to visit us at our studio in Hackney Wick, East London. Please drop us a lineto arrange an appointment.
We are also delighted to invite you to visit us at one of the following dates at various locations across London…
* Saturday the 26th November (This Sat) between 12noon and 6pm at Havelock Walk Open Studios Winter Weekend in Forest Hill.
* Saturday the 3rd of December (Next Sat) in our studio at Stour Space Hackney Wick.
* Thursday the 8th of December between 12 noon and 3pm at WeWork Paddington.
We will be showcasing our new BOB collection along with other collections and updates as well as some samples at discounted prices!
Introducing 100% Recycled Silver You can now rest assured that our shiny new BOB collection is made using 100% recycled silver as standard.
You may be pleased to hear that we now offer all of our jewellery in recycled precious metals upon request including silver, gold, palladium and platinum. ? ? ? Rainbow Sunday ? ? ? You’ve been good to us and we would like to say thank you with a friends and family discount code for Rainbow Sunday. Please enter code ‘Rainbow’ when checking out until midnight this Sunday. We will be in touch again soon with seasonal updates; more gemstones, colour-ways and styles, so keep a lookout for our next email. Until then… Bye for now x Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest Website Email
Fairtrade Gold At the end of 2015 FrillyByLily officially became licenced to sell Fairtrade gold. All of our jewellery can be made in Fairtrade gold upon request at no extra cost to you the customer and we are working towards phasing all of our designs to be made in Fairtrade gold and silver. If you chose to use Fairtrade gold, your jewellery will be stamped with the Fairtrade logo. To learn more about what this means, please click here.
FrillyByLily is 10! Come and celebrate with us at the Stour Space May Bank Holiday Weekender * Try your hand at silver necklace making. * Learn about how we work at our ‘Live Studio’ event. * Bag a limited edition treat at our second Frilly Sample Sale of the Spring. * AND more!
10 years old! It has crept up on us, but FrillyByLily was born 10 years ago this May when Lily started selling her wares at Portobello Road market. Since then A LOT has changed, but our ethos stays the same and we’d like to say thanks for your continued loyalty with a series of happenings over the May bank holiday weekend…
I can do that … Come and make yourself a silver necklace.
On bank holiday Monday the 30th at 3.30pm we will be hosting a discounted silver necklace making workshop. Book your place here. If you can’t make 3.30pm drop us a line as we may have time in the morning or later on.Live Studios
Before and after the necklace making workshops we will be working on ongoing jobs at the jewellery bench in the main gallery at Stour Space alongside some other studio holders. Come and have a nosy, see how things are made and try some of our latest designs as well as some of our ideas in development.
Another Frilly Sample Sale! After such a warm response at our sample sale in Peckham at the beginning of May we have decided to host another on Sunday the 29th of May at Stour Space in collaboration with Hackney WickED, Creative Wick and Portraits of Hackney Wick. We will be selling limited edition samples alongside lots of other local artists, designers and makers.
Other happenings Over the May bank holiday the Stour Space will be launching the new upstairs bar, hosting sound engineering workshops, ping pong, yoga by the canal, spoken word, Afrobeat and more. For more info and tickets, please click hereWe will be in touch again soon with some updates to our collections; some new gemstones, colourways and styles, so keep a lookout for our next email. Until then… Bye for now x Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest Website
We are kicking things off in Peckham, South London at The buzzy Crafty Fox Market. We will be there between 11am and 5pm on the first floor of the Bussey Building on Rye Lane.
Expect some seriously unique one off treats!
Following this we invite you to make an appointment to visit our studio in Hackney Wick. We will be posting any remaining sale items on social media while stocks last so be sure to follow @frillybylily on your favorite social platform.
We will be in touch again soon with some updates to our collections; some new gemstones, colourways and styles, so keep a lookout for our next email. Until then…
Bye for now x