Kazuri, which means small and beautiful in Swahili, is a collection of hand-painted ceramic jewellery hand made in Kenya. Every bead which makes up a necklace or bracelet is shaped by hand by one of the 300 local women employed by Kazuri. The beads are then kiln fired once, glazed and fired again before being strung.
Founded by the late Lady Susan Wood, Kazuri is still located where she first started creating employment for struggling single mothers back in 1975. The workshop is in Karen, named after Karen Blixen of ‘Out Of Africa’ fame, on part of the farm once owned by her. Karen, a beautiful area just a few miles outside Nairobi, lies under the Ngong Hills between Kenya’s bustling capital and the spectacular Rift valley.
In an age of mass-produced goods, Kazuri jewellery stands out as a little bit different. As every piece of jewellery is handmade, each piece is unique. Indeed, many pieces take on the quirks and trademarks of the individual people who shape the beads, paint them or string them, giving them soul as well as beauty. Many Kazuri styles are named after areas, tribes and other features of the Kenyan landscape; evocative names that resonate with the organic nature of the clay that comes from its earth. So a Kazuri piece is more than an item of jewellery, it’s a piece of Kenya!
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