How Vietnam Bombs Became Bracelets (Video)
Peace bomb bracelets have a story to tell: each one has been made with repurposed Vietnam War scrap metal. And Article 22 founder and designer Elizabeth Suda has a story to tell about the people of Laos and the Secret War that effects their lives to this day.
Last October, I wrote about how Suda and her team were traveling to Laos to shoot a short documentary on the process of turning bombs into bracelets. Well, the video is here. Plus, two more bracelets, which are conveniently available online at Peace-Bomb.com.
A Lao metal smith makes spoons from war scrap metal. Photo: Article 22
Called "Buying Back the Bombs," the documentary looks at not only the process of making the bracelets but also how so much exploded bomb material came to exist in Laos. The 10-minute film weaves personal stories with historical events and shows the positive effect that making the bracelets has on the artisans who make them.
"Project peaceBOMB is our way of not only entering the conversation, but also inviting consumers to take action through their every day activities, Suda says. She continues:
Each bracelet purchase supports Laotian artisan livelihoods, raises money for their village development fund, increases awareness about cluster munitions and funds the removal of unexploded bombs from farms and fields. Each bracelet sale equals about 3 square meters of cleared land.
A Peace Bomb bracelet mold. Photo: Article 22
Coinciding with the launch of the documentary is the new Heart Peace collection, comprised of two bracelets made by Laotian artisans from upcycled Vietnam War era bomb and scrap metal.
Like the original bracelet, they are hand-cast in molds made from local wood and ash. The engravings are done in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and read I Heart Peace and NY hearts Peace; they retail for $40 each.
Hand-cast in New York, the pieces have a sterling silver finish that is oxidized then wrapped around the Peace Bomb bangle. A good move on Suda's part, the resulting bracelet with its new style and material can appeal to a broader audience.
The original Peace Bomb bangle design has a new engraving that reads, "Dropped + Made in Laos." The engraving adds sentimental value to the piece, reminding its wearer what it's made out of and also the effect the purchase has on the people of Lao: each bracelet sale equals about 3 square meters of land cleared from unexploded bombs.
Like this post? Follow Emma Grady, an award-winning fashion writer and the founder and editor of Past Fashion Future, on Facebook and Twitter.
More on Peace Bomb Bracelets
Beautiful Bracelets Born from Vietnam War Scrap Metal and Repurposed by Lao Artisans
Peace Bomb Bracelets - The Story Behind The Vietnam War Scrap Metal Jewelry (Video)