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Arts / Karlin’s new jewellery collection brings hope to victims of modern slavery

Karlin Anderson at work in her Hoswick workshop. Photo: Dave Donaldson

A SHETLAND based jeweller has launched a new contemporary collection in partnership with Hope For Justice, a UK based charity that aims to end modern slavery and human trafficking.

Karlin Anderson said she first found out about human trafficking and modern slavery in 2008 when working in London.

Karlin Anderson.

“It was something which affected me to such a degree that I considered giving up jewellery in order to find a way to make a difference,” she said.

“However, the more I thought about what I could do with the skills I had, I decided that I could make a difference with what I have in my hand – and that is making jewellery.

“So, I made contact with a charity and created rings with the hammered finish, stamped LOVED on them and set a diamond in the O. I sent these to girls who were rescued from slavery and in a shelter trying to rebuild their lives.

“I believe the freedom and worth of people is absolutely core to society, and to use and abuse people and sell them for monetary gain is abhorrent to me.”

Thirteen years later, and following some difficult years personally, the issue of human trafficking has not gone away. “It feels like people are more vulnerable than ever,” the 44-year old said when speaking to Shetland News last week.

“There is so much unrest and inequality in the world which has left people desperate and vulnerable to the false promises of traffickers,” she said.

Product shots by Doreen Oddy.

“Modern slavery takes many forms such as sexual exploitation, forced labour and domestic servitude, which are more common than many people may realise.”

Having moved back home in 2019 after a career spanning more than 20 years that saw her working mainly in Glasgow and London, including at Wint & Kidd creating jewellery for Kate Moss and Claudia Schiffer, Anderson said she feels ready to take up the cause again.

Ten per cent of the price paid for each piece of her Freedom Collection, launched this weekend, will be donated to Hope for Justice to help their work in preventing exploitation, rescuing victims, restoring lives, and reforming society.

“It was important that the materials were ethically sourced and free from exploitation, so I worked with Hope for Justice to certify my supply chain,” she continued.

“The combination of metals is inspired by a Bible passage where God says ‘the silver is mine, and the gold is mine’ – a gift to his people as a reminder of his promise to care for them.

“I believe we are given life and freedom from a higher power and that cannot be taken away by another person.

“I use the ‘hammered finish’ technique to create an undulating surface on the metal.

“The piece ‘suffers blows’ which makes it harder, it reflects light differently, yet it doesn’t lose its value – an analogy to the blows we all suffer in life.

“Ultimately, the Freedom Collection is a declaration of human dignity, and I want the wearer of these pieces to be reminded of their own value.

“Culturally and socially, jewellery is often used to say something about who we are, and these pieces declare that we are precious, free, and have intrinsic value no matter what.”

The Freedom Collection can be viewed and purchased either at her workshop in Hoswick or online at https://www.karlinanderson.com/freedom