The Artisan Series: Charles Blair Ouma


By then, he already acquired the skills he needed to run the business. It was no trouble as structures were already in place. His workshop is located in Kibra.

 

While recycling bone, horn and wood, various tools and materials are used. Bone and horn in their raw state, still contains oils and enzymes that may facilitate rotting. Soaking in Hydrogen peroxide ensures that all the oils and enzymes are extracted. For cutting the raw materials into appropriate sizes, a grinder is used. It is also used to make carvings and dents on the material being reclaimed. At times, they can be dyed and stained. For this, Potassium permanganate is used. A polishing machine is used in the final stage. It is then that they are buffed in to fine horn, wood and bone jewellery.


 

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Some of the biggest advantages of using these raw materials are that they’re readily available and that they are environmental friendly.

 

Ouma is married and has one child. His wife is supportive of his business as he grows personally as well as his network and clientele.

 

He has currently employed one young man on permanent terms. Those that he calls upon to help them at the workshop vary depending on the amount of work there is to be done.

Alongside running the business, he is also a student at the technical university of Kenya, pursuing a diploma course in Industrial chemistry. Again, the business has aided him in paying his tuition.

 

He started working with BawaHope in the year 2010, and ever since, he has seen his market grow. This growth has seen his workshop flood with prospective customers from all over the world. He says the future is very promising because BawaHope believed in him.

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