N2M bracelets support the employment of local artisans, preserve traditional craftsmanship and encourage recycling
- N2M bracelets are manufactured from scratch in Ghana and support the employment of local artisans.
- We use glass beads as the primary element of N2M bracelets as they have always been an integral part of local culture and been used over the centuries in various rituals including for the purposes of healing and protection.
- Our gold plated N2M pendants and brass beads are also made locally using traditional methods.
- Every N2M bracelet furthermore preserves the art of Ewe-Kente cloth weaving. We hope you re-use the colourful pouches, perhaps for loose change, and love them as much as your bracelets!
Read on below or watch our video to see how N2M bracelets are made.
1. Collecting & recycling glass for N2M beads
N2M bracelets are made from recycled glass using traditional bead making techniques. This craftsmanship is an extremely time-consuming process and considered a unique skill that has been passed on from one generation to another.
The beads are all made from 100% recycled glass including discarded bottles and any other glass bearing objects. Beads that have been misfired or deformed, and any other old scrap beads, are also re-recycled and made into new beads so that nothing goes to waste.
- The raw glass is first washed and sorted according to the various hues and colours.
- In making the final opaque and translucent beads, the scraps are first broken down into smaller fragments and then sieved into a clay mould for the next step in the process.
2. Shaping, firing, piercing and polishing the glass beads
- Using wooden tools in various shapes and sizes, craftsmen mould and shape clay into a form for the desired type of bead.
- The mould has to rest and dry before it can be filled with glass for firing.
- Once the glass has been fired the newly minted bead will be pierced whilst still extremely hot.
- Once cooled, the beads are then placed on a stone slab together with sand and water for the final stage of polishing to achieve a smooth surface for painting.
3. Painting, stringing and bringing every N2M bracelet to completion.
- Now that the glass beads have been fired to completion, some are further polished to their final finish whilst some go on to be hand painted by local artists.
- Once the final set of glass beads are ready for the individual bracelet, we string them together with the brass beads, the glass spacing beads and the gold plated pendants of various motifs.
Although portraying recurring themes and designs, every N2M bracelet has its own unique final shape and design.
4. The final N2M bracelet is born (and wrapped up quite beautifully too!)
- After each bracelet has been strung, it is individually quality checked and placed in the hand-woven kente pouch for protection and onward delivery to you.
- Every pouch comes with bead/brass accessories on the zipper end to make opening easier.
- A compact yet informative colourful leaflet is included with every bracelet explaining the craftsmanship process and the N2M cause in a nutshell, especially made for friends and family receiving the bracelet as a gift but perhaps not yet familiar with N2M.