Central Asia: Jewelry-making traditions

Art in every facet, craft in every design, soulfulness in every piece of work. Jewelcrafting at all times preserved its traditions. Judging by the artifacts made of precious metals and rare gems it is possible to trace the establishment of this type of applied art in Kazakhstan and its interaction with the cultures of other nations. The distinctive feature of Central Asian jewelers is primarily working with silver. This metal has a capacity of protecting from negative impact. Earrings, bracelets, pendants, tumars were made of silver.

BAKHTIYAR ARTYKBAYEV, JEWELRY DESIGNER:

- It comes from the ancient times when silver products served as protective charms and when a girl was wearing bells, they were hitting each other and ringing and it was considered that the ringing warded off the evil spirits. That’s why the ringing jewelry is found everywhere in Central Asia.

Bakhtiyar Artykbayev has dedicated his whole life to jewelcrafting. The jeweler honors the ancient craft – he performs all his works in a special filigree technique. The jeweler is proud that by doing the work he loves he contributes to the revival and development of the ancient traditions. Because Kazakh national jewelry is a significant part of the nation’s culture.

BAKHTIYAR ARTYKBAYEV, JEWELRY DESIGNER:

- My national style jewelry are performed in a filigree technique, generally speaking, it is not interesting for me to make other types of jewelry, in general, I like making Kazakh national style jewelry. Foreigners from all over the world buy our products, popular products in Central Asia, because they are hand-made, but they are beautiful, interesting. When you wear them it is visible because now handwork is rare in the world. People called from New York, London and Moldova. They saw my works on the Internet and wanted to order them.

The craftsman admits that making only one jewelry element can take a whole day. Some orders are performed in up to 2 months. That’s why special qualities are required to perform this meticulous work – diligence, patience and carefulness. Despite the difficulties in his profession, the craftsman loves his work and is ready to teach the skills needed for the decorative and applied arts to the young generation.