Pippa Small Launches Next Generation Program to Promote Kabul-based Jewelers

LONDON — Fine jewelry designer Pippa Small has launched a platform to promote the work of up-and-coming jewelry designers based in Kabul, Afghanistan.

New Generation will debut with 20 artisans chosen by the British designer herself. Each designer has produced three styles to make up a 60-piece collection that will be released over the course of three months on pippasmall.com starting this month, with prices ranging from 70 pounds to 1,030 pounds.

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The pieces are made up of rings, stud and drop earrings, pendant and link necklaces, charm bracelets and bangles in different finishes and stones, including 18-karat gold vermeil, turquoise, lapis, agate, ruby and garnet.

Inspirations for the collection took cues from native plants, flowers and trees, the stars in the night sky, traditional Afghan textiles and a geometric print found in a mosque in Turkey.

“Since 2008 we have been working with men and women artisans in Kabul, who have continued to produce a high standard of work through all the challenges and changes that have unfolded in their country over the last decade,” Small said.

“For young women today in Kabul there are many restrictions on their freedoms, so to be able to go to a communal workshop, share a space with other women, exchange experiences and draw support from each other is invaluable. To have a voice through their designs that will go out into the world and give them visibility in a world that is trying to make them disappear is priceless,” she added.

The artisans hail from Arts Charity Turquoise Mountain and Zindagi Now, the initiative that Small founded to support 100 female jewelry-makers in Kabul, as well as helping them with literacy, basic business skills and English.

“My family and I went through the darkest of days until we returned to Afghanistan, our country, and found out about Zindagi Now. Zindagi Now has allowed women in Kabul to be trained by experienced goldsmiths and produce handmade products for national and international markets,” said Zulaikha, a Zindagi Now and Next Generation artisan.

Small has been working with King Charles III, Hamid Karzai and Rory Stewart on The Turquoise Mountain Foundation for more than a decade. The foundation nurtures Afghanistan’s craft industry and helps to restore historical buildings and traditional craftsmanship in Myanmar and the Middle East.

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