Small Agadez Pendant
Small silver pendant with traditional Tuareg engravings, a beautiful piece of art, approximately 5 centimetres long and 2,5 centimetres wide at its largest extension.
To make a complex piece like this Agadez cross, the smiths have to employ several different techniques. Most of them are many centuries old. The ingots of pure silver are hammered and then filed into the desired shape. This requires a lot of strength, as 999 silver is softer than silver alloys, but a solid metal regardless. No sketch or drawing is used, the smiths' eyes have to be sharp, their imagination vivid, and their memory bright with many designs elaborated before.
Any sharp edges and irregularities have to be smoothed over before starting the engravings. Finally, this is where our smiths' true expertise becomes apparent: The repurpose tools such as screwdrivers by sharpening the top, turning it into a fine chisel. Meandering lines are achieved by a swift, wiggling movement of the wrist, triangles and squares are carved out, and straight lines are achieved by a sharp and decisive strike of the hammer.
The surface has to be flat to carry out any chiseling, engraving round surfaces is impossible, as the tools might slip and the desired pattern be destroyed. The pendant's lower part with three projections is slightly convex, impossible to engrave for most smiths. Yet, our smiths accomplished engravings even on this curved surface, adding another detail of outstanding craftmanship to this elaborate piece.