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Nepal


#1

I will be going to Nepal in December. Any suggested places of
interest?

Alan


#2

Dear Alan, The Tibetans who had escaped over the mountains used to
sell all sorts of items on blankets one side streets or in town
squares. They used to have wonderful strange things, like old
turquoise and pieces of jewelry but my favorite item were two small
fossils of a sea clam/snail which is found in the mountains dating
from when they were not mountains but under the sea. They used to
hit them at just the right angle and one side of the sort of ball
shaped fossil would pop off revealing the perfect specimen inside.
A wonder to see. The whole country is wonderful but keep on the
lookout for those blankets! Lucky you, have a wonderful trip.

Sharron in Sandy and now cold Bahrain, with cold winds from north
Iran sweeping across the island.


#3
Any suggested places of interest?  

alan - the temple walls in katmandu are probably THE loci of interest

  • but wear dark glasses so no one can tell just how closely you’re
    examining the rather graphic friezes.

ive


#4

lots of jewelry work to be seen in Nepal… I was last there in 2000
for a couple of months… Are you interested more in contemporary
work or e thnic designs of a more historical nature??? my interest
is mostly in et hnic designs and I love to prowl the bazaars for
those old earrings/plugs with 4 gauge earwires. Opie Untracht’s
book on Indian jewelry is a gre at resource in addition to the
chapter on Tibetan/ sub-Himalayan jewelry I like the generic intro
chapter called the Indian goldsmith because of t he explanations of
weights+measurements used over there. Another couple of books full
of great photos are ‘The Jewelry of Nepal’ by Hannelore Ga briel and
’Gold Jewelry from Tibet and Nepal’ by Singer. In addition to the
general guide book stuff of the national museum in Katmandu ect. I
re ally like the Patan museum and enjoy to stop in the jewelry shop
diagonal ly across the courtyard from the main entrance. I recommend
staying in Bh aktapur over Katmandu
because of all the c rowds, noise and pollution there. Its an easy
commute when you want to g o into the capitol city. If I can be of
any specific help please feel fre e to contact me off list.
Mark Kaplan
@mark_kaplan


#5

lots of jewelry work to be seen in Nepal… I was last there in 2000
for a couple of months… Are you interested more in contemporary
work or e thnic designs of a more historical nature??? my interest
is mostly in et hnic designs and I love to prowl the bazaars for
those old earrings/plugs with 4 gauge earwires. Opie Untracht’s
book on Indian jewelry is a gre at resource in addition to the
chapter on Tibetan/ sub-Himalayan jewelry I like the generic intro
chapter called the Indian goldsmith because of t he explanations of
weights+measurements used over there. Another couple of books full
of great photos are ‘The Jewelry of Nepal’ by Hannelore Ga briel and
’Gold Jewelry from Tibet and Nepal’ by Singer. In addition to the
general guide book stuff of the national museum in Katmandu ect. I
re ally like the Patan museum and enjoy to stop in the jewelry shop
diagonal ly across the courtyard from the main entrance. I recommend
staying in Bh aktapur over Katmandu
because of all the c rowds, noise and pollution there. Its an easy
commute when you want to g o into the capitol city. If I can be of
any specific help please feel fre e to contact me off list.
Mark Kaplan
@mark_kaplan


#6

Dear Alan, could you possibily think of going next time with a
SMALL group who want to go to places like Nepal or etc. to see the
country and get gem stones or etc. I would love to travel etc but
my husband is not interested in etc…etc… Think about it i could
probably even get jean stark to go and a couple other people…
please think about it… Please and thanks How did your Haloween
costume work out at WA… Sorry I could n’t go… Finishing up some
Dr. dates… Saw Rhonda in NYC but too short of a time… hope to get
out there some time next yr if possible… still would like to know
how to make that funky bracelet… like Rubics cube you
said...calgang@aol.com


#7

Nepal- I lived in Nepal for more than two years… it was where I
first began to explore silversmithing. Most craftspeople (typically
men) reach a high level of mastery with just a few simple tools and
and often use no torches at all. For you, as a man and with a far
greater understanding of metalsmithing than I, I can make a few
suggestions that should help you to meet and befriend craftspeople
in Nepal. First I would always suggest that you bring some old tools.
While the weight may seem a burden to carry, craftspeople in Nepal
don’t have access to good files or quality (used) hand tools. Very
few jewlers use flex shafts, so burs are of little value. Tools are
excellent gestures as a gift, (or as a barter) and Nepali’s will
enjoy knowing you as a fellow craftsman rather than simply a
customer. Most metalsmiths (in any area of Nepal) work in very
small workshops. sometimes they are on small side streets, or back
alleys. Other times they are in back rooms and you may never see them
at all. But you can hear them. If you hear that familiar tap tap tap
sound, it is almost always ok to respectfully duck into a workshop
uninvited. I speak Nepali and that no doubt makes a difference, but
even in the event that you don’t, you are almost always going to be
warmly welcomed. For that reason it is important to allow some time
for this type of exploration. Time, for chat, time for chia (tea),
and time to share something with them. Certainly it is more
interesting and valuable as an experience than sitting in “a store”.
Having said that I could make some recommendations about where (and
how) to shop and see metal craft in Kathmandu Valley. Please feel
free to contact me directly at @suzi_adams I
am sure you will have an excellent trip.


#8

One of these wonderful Nepalese metalsmiths shows up at my flea
market booth from time to time… Generally, he stays and smokes a
cigarette or two and offers me one while he’s at it.

Unfortunately (for him, but not for us), he doesn’t have much of a
concept on new york mark-up prices… A lot of times he says to me,
‘you can sell this for x amount of dollars and make money!’ -
generally, he quotes me a markup price that’s about half of what I
will usually turn around and sell it for. Then again, that’s just
me, because I am a charming and aggressive salesgirl. Getting to
know this man, and listening to his stories about Nepal, gives me
lots of good tidbits to pass on to customers, who then walk away
happy, feel they have something unique, and don’t feel bad at all
about paying my markup price.

His shop does this beautiful filigree-style work, and usually he
manages to sucker me into buying at least a few of his pieces every
time he shows up (at least twice a week when he’s here). Every once
in a while, I take a few of his pendant pieces, deconstruct and
reconstruct them a bit (removing bails and then turning them into
earrings, five-pendant chokers and such). He periodically threatens
to steal my ideas, although as of yet, he has been kind enough not
to, or at least kind enough not to try and sell those to me. :wink:

The one thing that annoys me that I see in a lot of these sellers’
pieces are dyed beryls - an attempt to make them into shades akin to
topaz, peridot, or deep purple amethysts - this annoys me almost as
much as foiled stones. He does this too, periodically, although
sometimes they are so bright and unnatural it actually DOES make for
an interesting piece, as long as people don’t mind buying a dyed
stone. I made a necklace with one of these pieces, using blue onyx
beads, and it actually looks really good.

Regardless, I have an awful lot of vendors - indian, nepalese,
tibetan, african, morroccan, etc. come by my booth wanting me to buy
jewelry, and I have to say that the stuff I see from Nepal,
especially this man’s, is so, so pretty - definitely some of my
favorite - the filigree-type work is usually nearly perfectly
symmetrical. I really enjoy seeing the ‘peoples’ metalwork from
around the world, too. It makes me really want to go to nepal,
myself.

He comes to new york three or four months out of the year, and then
returns to Nepal. Now that I know they need workshop items, perhaps
I will send him back with a few tools for his shop.

I have a few pictures online of some of his pieces, if anyone’s
interested in seeing them.

dori