RECYCLED PAPERS – Transforming the world’s broken headlines into something beautiful and useful is what makes our jewelry special. Indeed, the hands that make our jewelry know the world’s brokenness in a deeply personal way. Due to these headlines, the artists’ past lives have been discarded like old newspapers. Still, they persist, crafting new lives here in Italy despite hardship. Each piece is a symbol of the beauty, innovation & the persistence that we find alive & well within the refugee community.
HEMATITE – Our jewelry contains beads of hematite in reference to the Roman warriors who would crush this stone with its gunmetal glow and spread it on their bodies. They believed it made them invincible in battle. Today, many believe hematite aids in balance and clarity, helps to maintain inner calm and peace, & dissolves negativity. By working with this stone in this place & time in history—we hope to increase protection for refugees in this city. It is our hope that whoever wears these necklaces will also feel protected and experience all the other attributes associated with hematite.
JADE – Green jade symbolizes healing & hope. It is thought to bring serenity to the mind by alleviating anxiety, fear-based emotions & the negative thoughts. The artists’ stories are harrowing & heartbreaking. They have been shot. They have survived torture. They were born into conflict & have seen their homes transformed into war zones. They were stranded at sea for 10 days while escaping persecution. By working with jade—we hope to imbue the artists’ lives with the healing & hope this stone symbolizes. By wearing this necklace you show commitment to healing & hope for refugees.
In the prophetically simple words of one the men involved in the JNRC’s Artisans Together project, “we are tired of fighting.” If you are also “tired of fighting” or have a prayer to offer in the name of peace—regardless of your faith tradition, hang these flags from every balcony, from “tutti i balconi.” This is our own version of the peace or “pace” flags that have long been flown in Italy in times of conflict and war. We also borrow from the ubiquitous prayer flag tradition that has become popular across the world, but originates from the colorful rectangular cloths strung across the mountain peaks and ridges of the Himalayan Mountains, where they are used to bless the surrounding countryside. Wherever you hang your peace flag, let it be a symbol of our solidarity with the struggle of refugees in this city and beyond. These flags, made from fabric scraps, symbolize refugees around the world who are working to piece together their new lives—from finding a warm meal, to a secure place to sleep, to work and a path to self-sufficiency. By supporting this project, you become part of a community that is working to choose unity over division, peace over violence, and hope over despair.
Transforming the world’s broken headlines into something beautiful and useful is what makes our baskets special. Indeed, the hands that make our baskets know the world’s brokenness in a deeply personal way. Due to these headlines, the artists’ past lives have been discarded like old newspapers. Still, they persist, crafting new lives here in Italy despite hardship. Each basket is a symbol of the beauty, innovation & the persistence that we find alive & well within the refugee community.