Current global reporting on Afghanistan is dominated by conflict and crisis, underrepresenting the cultural diversity and richness of the country, especially in relation to its century-old craftmanship. The history of the goldsmith tradition reaches back thousands of years and up until today jewellery is handmade by artisans with tremendous skills using a variety of traditional techniques such as sand casting, lost wax, stamping, engraving and enamel inlays as well as the careful twisting and anodizing of wire. Because these techniques are very demanding, they require a thorough training and a special talent among goldsmiths. Due to these high standards, their work is well respected in Afghan society.
For the production of the FOLKDAYS x SEVAR by Hila & Wana Limar earrings, Hila and Wana Limar work together with the goldsmith Milad Zamani, who runs a small workshop in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Within Afghan craftmanship, a distinction is made between a hakak (gemstone cutter) and a goldsmith. A hakak transforms the gemstones into high-quality jewellery. Before a gemstone is embedded into silver or gold jewellery, further steps such as cutting, setting and faceting need to be conducted – activities which require a great deal of skillset and practical experience. Milad Zamani employs a hakak as well as goldsmiths in his workshop.
Based on sketches provided by Hila and Wana Limar, Milad Zamani and his team create the earrings for the FOLKDAYS x SEVAR by Hila & Wana Limar collection. They use high-quality 925 silver and rich dark blue lapis lazuli in meticulous handwork. First, the raw material is shaped with steel scissors or a saw and further contoured with files. Then wire parts are cut precisely, bent and soldered to the silver pieces. Then, the hakak also works on the stone, which is cut into shape and polished. Afterwards the stones and silver ornaments are connected by silver threads. Finally, the finished silver jewellery is polished and stamped with the alloy quality (925). In a last step the earrings are plated with recycled gold in Germany.