Another package of tools gratefully received.
A few of the tools that arrive in mid-November.
These tools will make a huge difference in the lives of jewelers in West Africa.
These hammers were passed down to Ousmane Mahmoud by his grandfather. They are the only hammers he owns.
Most gravers in the region are made from screwdrivers like these.
Flux is made as needed by boiling borax in water like this.
Sékouba Salo of Guinea is weaving a bracelet around a balsa wood core. The tools used for this piece consist of pliers, a borrowed hand vise and a torch.
Here is the finished bracelet.
A typical jewelers bench in West Africa. The handmade torch uses butane and a rubber bladder made from an old soccer ball.
Nothing goes to waste — here a broken flipflop becomes a polishing surface.
Ingenious hand-powered buffing wheel.
Another typical bench. Notice the toolbox, which the jeweler will take home at the end of the workday
Engraving against a Toureg anvil.
Engraving on metal set onto a piece of wood resting against a Toureg anvil.
A jeweler discussing design options with a customer. Catalogs are often used as a starting place for custom work.
Tools and chemicals at a jewelry supply shop.
Phone numbers are quickly written on the walls with a piece of charcoal.
Modibo Ballo stamping on a forged bracelet. He holds the next punch, handy in his mouth. Note the modified hammer.
Ousmane Mahmoud with his son outside his shop in Saint Louis, Senegal.
In most metalsmithing families, the trade is passed along from father to son.
But for now, he rides!
Copper and silver bracelets by Mahmoud.