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From war to peace: Cambodian goldsmith turns bullet casings into jewellery

From war to peace: Cambodian goldsmith turns bullet casings into jewellery

Friday, March 31, 2023, 17:46 GMT+7
From war to peace: Cambodian goldsmith turns bullet casings into jewellery
Jewelry made from bullet shells are displayed at Angkor Bullet Jewelry in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 29, 2023. Photo: Reuters

PHNOM PENH -- Every week, Cambodian goldsmith Thoeun Chantha turns about five kg of brass casings of AK-47 and M-16 bullets into jewellery.

For more than two decades, the 42-year-old, whose father was killed during Cambodia's years of war, has run a workshop to turn symbols of violence into what he calls wearable pieces of art.

Thoeun Chantha poses at Angkor Bullet Jewelry workshop in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 29, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Thoeun Chantha poses at Angkor Bullet Jewelry workshop in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 29, 2023. Photo: Reuters

"I'm a victim of the war as a Cambodian who lost family members in it and now the world is at war too," he said.

"I make this to show that the world doesn't want war ... we all want peace."

An artist melts bullet shells at the Angkor Bullet Jewelry workshop in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 29, 2023. Photo: Reuters

An artist melts bullet shells at the Angkor Bullet Jewelry workshop in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 29, 2023. Photo: Reuters

The bullets are collected from shooting ranges and military training grounds around the capital, Phnom Penh.

Those deemed safe are melted and poured into a cylindrical mould before being cooled in a bucket of water.

The metal is then shaped by hand into intricate bracelets, necklaces, rings and earrings to be sold for $5 to $20 a piece at markets popular with tourists.

Jewelry made from bullet shells are displayed at Angkor Bullet Jewelry in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 29, 2023.Photo: Reuters

Jewelry made from bullet shells are displayed at Angkor Bullet Jewelry in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 29, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Melted bullet shells are cast into rods at the Angkor Bullet Jewelry workshop in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 29, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Melted bullet shells are cast into rods at the Angkor Bullet Jewelry workshop in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 29, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Reuters

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