THE HISTORY BEHIND ANGKOR BULLET JEWELLERY
Mr. Chantha Thoeun, an artisan jeweler, founded Angkor Bullet Jewellery in 2011. He tells himself:
I was born in Pursat province, I don’t have any siblings, my mother died when I was 4 years old, and my father was killed when I was 8 years old by a notorious Khmer Rouge soldier. It was a terrible time for me. I was only a young child and did not realize my father was dead. I begged him to wake up.
Chantha then went to live with his grandparents, and he was helped and supported by the Skip Organization and this allowed him to continue his studies in Phnom Penh. He started learning jewelry making from the age of 14 years at the Skip Organization. He learned for nearly 4 years in the jewelry section.
I got married in 2009 to my wife Thearny Kol. My wife can make jewellery and sews as well eco-friendly bags. We have a daughter, her name is Rozannara Chantha. She goes to school Monday till Friday. We just had the chance to have a second child, a son, Nyrithiya Chantha (Amos).
ANGKOR BULLET JEWELLERY’S COMMITMENT
Angkor Bullet Jewellery is a group of home-based artisans who reside in a small community around 30 minutes from Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
At the centre of the group there is a special man, M. Chantha Theoun, who produces unique jewellery pieces that have been fashioned from recycled brass meltdown from empty bullet cartridges or bomb shell fragments.
This Social Enterprise is committed to the personal development of their home-based workers as individuals in an economic, social, and spiritual sense. The artisans are given employment with fair wages, a safe work environment and education for their families.
ANGKOR BULLET JEWELLERY’S UPCYCLED MATERIAL
What inspired Chantha Thoeun to use bullet cartridges brass metal and bomb shell fragments in its work?
I use bullet cartridges and bomb shells as I want to showcase the plight of Khmer people and what they have had to endure in our recent past.
Chantha believes it is a strong statement about his country and what the Khmer people can do. Turning something negative that was used to kill millions of Khmer people including his dad, into something of beauty, hope, strength, and endurance! From war to peace! Chantha also loves that he can recycled and upcycle brass metal from a bullet cartridge or a bomb shell that would otherwise not be reused and give it a new life. Furthermore, his designs are inspired by Cambodia millennium rich history and culture.
Angkor Bullet Jewellery is a member of Artisans Association of Cambodia (AAC) which is member of World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO):