WHO WE ARE & HOW WE'RE HANDMADE
Safaria is a small, handmade jewellery business started by a childhood hobby and a love for creation.
I make each original piece myself by hand, through carving wax, and casting the pieces into silver.
I've poured molten metal into ceramic molds, burnt my fingers, hammered my thumb (countless times), electrocuted myself (often), studied hours of YouTube, and learned all the frustrations and fascinations that come with the art of 'smithing
(which has given me a newfound respect for anyone in the metalworking industry!)
I've been surrounded by art and metalwork ever since I was a child -
my father, Denis, is a Kenyan artist who makes bronze wildlife sculptures and created Kenya's first bronze foundry - Matbronze - back in 1987. I've grown up with the love of art, the hustle and bustle of grinding metal, and the beauty of Kenya's wildlife from the day I was born. I never went to 'silversmith school', but learned by observation and patience.
After I finished uni in England, I moved back to Kenya - still holding onto a childhood dream of creating my own line of silver jewellery. I learned how to carve, cast and solder sitting in a room, poring over YouTube - though, I quickly realized that Matbronze's bronze sculptures used a much more crude casting method than what was needed for small, intricate, silver jewellery.
After sourcing the required machinery and materials, I began casting Safaria's first series of silver pendants - I had an exhibition a few months later in Dec 2019 - but not long after, COVID hit.
COVID was a struggle of course, and I was very close to giving up - but after relaunching as Safaria in June 2022, when things started to get back to normal, things took off and Summer 22 turned out to be amazing.
And now I have some help!
Safaria's small production team has grown - it now consists of:
our chasing helper, John,
our wax helper, David,
and our gift-box maker, Steve.
I work closely with these three, and I'm so grateful for their hard work.
Everything is handmade by us, from the original piece I make and design - to the waxes that David copies - to the silver pouring I do- to the chasing and polishing John does - to the gift packaging Steve makes - to the display stands and display boards we make - to even the price tags I often hand write.
It's a lot of hard work, but I love it.
So that's a little bit about our story (so far) and how we're handmade. Thank you to anyone who's continued to follow my little jewellery-making journey - I'm so grateful for the support and love.
I look forward to showing you more of what Safaria is up to!
(founder of Safaria)
- written Oct. 2022 -
Me, a toddler, carving wax
Me, age 23, polishing silver jewellery