Adding to my many talents, I went on a jewellery workshop at Ammo. Their USP is that they make beauty out of something ugly, and at the same time give training to young Cambodians in jewellery design.
I went with Alyce, another volunteer, and we spent a morning making a necklace out of a bullet.
First you choose your bullet, and then it is softened using heat.
We weren’t allowed to do that bit, as the process seems to be rather dangerous. The contraption is made from an old fire extinguisher, a pair of bellows and a bottle of petrol.
You put the tube into the petrol, and then pump the bellows up and down with your foot while the jet of heat shoots out from the burner at the top, and everyone prays that there won’t be an explosion.
Meanwhile, we were practising our designs on a piece of metal to get the hang of the tools.
Alyce decided to go for a miniature design of the Cambodian countryside, while I went for something a tad more abstract.
Once the bullets were soft, we put them through a kind of mangle to flatten them out.
This is Maddy, out tutor, showing us how to mangle a bullet.
Once it was flat we were away with our designs, hammering and chiselling like real professionals. The next stage is sanding the whole thing to make it smooth and shiny.
After that, it’s pringled – a technical term I’ve just invented meaning cooked in salt and vinegar in a slow cooker.
Then they were ready for us to take home.
This is Alyce modelling ‘Cambodian Countryside’.
And this is ‘Harmony of Nail Clippings’
I may not give up the day job just yet.