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In Kenya forks become bracelets, teaspoons rings

If there is one thing which always gets money out of my bank account, and gets me setting off every metal detector in every airport – its jewellery! I just can’t get enough of it! I thought I had to write about this as I have just had a very cool arm bracelet made for me out of forks. Yep that’s right forks! And it’s probably one of the nicest pieces of jewellery I own – I can’t wait to wear it (and once I put it on – I defy anyone to try and take it away from me!). All you Kenyan girls out there will know exactly what I’m talking about.

While waiting for the bracelet to be made, I got chatting to the artist, a local Kenyan who has made his living out of this. The artist welds silver plated cutlery into designs and manages to make necklaces, bracelets, rings you name it! He started by getting the old silver plated jewellery from the infamous ‘Lunatic Express’ (the passenger train which takes you from Nairobi to Mombasa – I have only taken it once and it was quite an adventure, but more of that later) and has been doing it ever since. I don’t know if I am the best critic here anyway as I am obviously completely biased towards his work but honestly if I was only allowed to wear jewellery from one designer for the rest of my life it would be him. Every time I wear his stuff anywhere other than Kenya someone comments on it and can never quite believe that I am wearing cutlery as accessories – but hey I think it’s pretty cool to have something that no one else has.
Fork bracelet
Ok I’ll admit – I feel completely naked without my various bracelets and rings, and on more than one occasion my dad has counted the piercings in my ears, raised his eyes to the heavens and sighed dramatically. I have realised over the years that I have a particular tendency to buy out of the ordinary stuff (I hardly own any small delicate accessories – I am more of a big, bright and bold kind of girl). Every time I attempt to go jewellery shopping in Europe I am always struck by how similar everything is and if I am honest I find it all a little bit boring. Probably 99.9% of the jewellery I own is from out here and I can’t really imagine wearing anything else. I love wondering around the Masai Market (big market in Nairobi, Kenya) bargaining with the locals for their handmade stuff and my family has long since realised that it is incredibly dangerous to let me anywhere near it when I have money. So if anyone out there is wondering what to get me for Christmas this is a clear hint as any!

More by this author on her very excellent blog the Expat Diaries. Or follow her on twitter.

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