26 Oct

Attitudes Towards Precious Metals Need to Change

A day-long jewellery class with a friend turned Sanna-Maria Ojanen’s life to a whole new direction. To her amazement, she found a creative side from her self and soon, became the founder of the bold and rock MOSH Jewelry.

Through Sanna-Maria’s whole life, music has been the biggest influencer in everything she does. She doesn’t play any instrument nor sings but enjoys, even more, listening to rock and heavy metal, finds it empowering. Photo by Marissa Tammisalo.

– In this profession works mainly men who have been goldsmiths for decades and they don’t care of the mining’s ethicality. Therefore, in my opinion, our alliance should take more actions in boosting the topic of precious metals ethicality and mining.

According to Sanna-Maria, news on the problems of mining precious metals should be steadily written about otherwise it’s forgotten. The problems in the jewellery business are the same as in the clothing industry – who mines and makes the jewellery and in what conditions. The news is handling, now, mostly on how mining destroys the nature but forgets the people. Years back blood diamonds rose to the headlines, and now, certificates on diamonds are a common practice.

– At the moment, no one buys ethically mined silver since it would cost too much. If ethically mined precious metals are wanted to be a common practice both goldsmiths’ and people need to change their way of thinking and purchasing.

In MOSH Jewelry Cookson’s 100 % recycled sterling silver and Rasmussen’s 70-80 % recycled silver is used.

Sanna-Maria’s interest for precious metals woke in 2010 when she attended a day-long jewellery class with her friend. There, to her amazement, she found a creative side from her self while making her first ring from a thin piece of metal.

– It felt great to see the piece of metal melting, taking a whole new shape. I realised that I could crystallise my thoughts and values in my own designs. And that was the wau-factor for me.

Her life turned into a whole new direction as she decided to hop off from her career in mathematics, a hamster’s wheel she had been running in for years. In 2014, she graduated as an artisan goldsmith and in 2016, MOSH Jewelry, jewellery with bold, clean shapes and an attitude inspired by rock and heavy metal, was founded.

The smooth, silver plate from which Sanna-Maria makes her designs by hand. The geometrical shape of the One necklace and earrings can be seen in the background. The final One-earring below.

In the beginning, Sanna-Maria used to saw and finish all her jewellery pieces, both folded and flat, from smooth, silver plates. However, as certain MOSH designs need folding, it quickly became clear that it slowed down the process a lot. As orders kept growing, Sanna-Maria made a mould for those jewellery pieces and uses now a Finnish company for the casting, a process in which the jewellery pieces involve pouring a liquid metal alloy into a mould. By this Sanna-Maria not only makes the production quicker but also ensures the uniformity of the specific designs.

For all the jewellery pieces Sanna-Maria makes by hand, she uses Cookson’s 100 % recycled sterling silver and for all those pieces that are made through a casting process, she uses Rasmussen’s 70-80 % recycled silver. However, it’s really rare that someone finds the material’s origin interesting as metal mining is so far from the everyday life.

Nevertheless, people are interested in who makes the jewellery and are usually happy to see the goldsmith and hear the story behind the product. For Sanna-Maria, that is a step in the right direction.

– I believe that small things matter. The perfect combo cannot be found, so you have to decide what you value the most. For me, it is 100% recycled sterling silver and that the production happens as near as possible when it comes to, for instance, jewellery boxes or business cards and shopping bags.

According to Sanna-Maria, news on the problems of mining precious metals should be steadily written about otherwise it’s forgotten.

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