N

No news this month as I have been away on holiday – greetings from sunny Palawan in the Philippines!

….and from Cambodia, where I was fortunate enough to visit the jewellers’ market in Kampot on the southern coast. This bustling and vibrant workplace sits right alongside the fruit, meat and fish markets, and the jewellers work at their benches amongst the cabinets where their incredibly intricate gold and silver work is displayed for sale.

The photos below give a few tasters; the familiar tools and machinery were all in use, with a few alternatives – flat tables were favoured over bench-pegs and skins and many of the blowtorches were fuelled by siphoned gasoline. Elsewhere, rolling mills and polishing motors whirred away and scrap was melted down in crucibles of broken pottery. All this in the 30 degree heat – and to think I struggle with my blowtorch in the feeble British summertime! It was fascinating to see this work being produced first hand, and see a mirror image of Hatton Garden half way round the world…

The jewellers’ hall at Central Market, Kampot

A rolling mill waiting for use

Crucibles of broken pottery

Crucibles of broken pottery

Jewellers at the bench

Jewellers at the bench

Melting down scrap metal

Melting down scrap metal

Polishing up

Polishing up

The finished pieces for sale

The finished pieces for sale