Sámi Duodji was traditionally made directly to the recipient, personally. Necessary materials were often obtained from nearby and the work was tailored to fit the recipient. In harsh conditions, the durability and practicality of clothes and tools is important. The craftsperson wanted to ensure that the work serves as well as possible. After all, the recipient was family, a relative or at least from the same region. Word of mouth is powerful.
This is the starting point of the work by Samekki. Word goes around and the work speaks for itself. I want customers to receive a personal, honest service regardless of their issue. A satisfied customer is the best advertisement.
When you purchase a Samekki product, you can be sure of the following:
The product is designed with a big heart
For us, every Samekki product is a showcase for Samekki philosophy. This is also symbolized by the wooden Samekki jewelry boxes that have become familiar over the decades. They function as miniature display cases when the jewelry is not in use. Central principles of Samekki's operations are:
- traditional understanding of people as a part of nature and living under its conditions
- responsible and economical use of natural materials
- responsibility for the effects of one's own activities on the community and society
- providing genuine, high-quality service
I oppose the disposable culture and the planned obsolescence of products. These phenomena increase waste of resources, destruction of natural habitats and the acceleration of climate change. Moreover, the latter is cheating the customer. We don't push out new models just to have something new and easy to sell. Each idea is incubated slowly and those produced into items are not necessarily made into more than a prototype. Each product is evaluated through following aspects:
- ethics and sustainable development
- beauty and practicality
- longevity and maintainability
- material consumption and economy of production
- impact in terms of Sámi culture and local development
Samekki's products are high-quality craftsmanship
Production is done individually or at most in small batches. I use few prefabricated or cast parts. Excluding dangles of course. Most Sámi silversmiths I am aware of use K.A. Rasmussen's silver dangles. Our scrap silver is mostly cast into wire, the jewelry boxes are made locally by hand, and hand tools are preferred in many work steps because of their precision and the effect of increasing the skill of the maker. Nowadays, it would be possible to use a lot of subcontractors or technical aids to make production more efficient. Unfortunately, the price is often that the skill of the craftsman does not increase. It is our most important asset.
Lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects
After checking, I am confident that my product is well made and durable. However, I will inevitably fall prey to statistics sometimes. All manufacturing defects of products with the "SAMEKKI" stamp will be repaired free of charge. Postage is not covered by the warranty. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
Nature has been taken into account
The sparing and precise utilization of material is a key part of Samekki philosophy. No more is taken from nature than is needed. Material in general is preferably consumed sparingly and refined to a high quality product rather than use a lot of material for relatively inexpensive products. The small amounts of waste and chemicals are delivered for proper processing.
Let's take birch burl as an example. They are a renewable natural resource, albeit growing very slowly. It is not to the craftsman's advantage to make inexpensive cups as much as the market pulls. It is better to process the burl to a great extent, so that you can get a better price for the individual burl product and thus more work. When I myself collect burls, I prefer to do it in the winter. In this case, the tree is at rest and the air is not full of fungal spores that can attack the wound in the case that it was possible to leave the tree standing.
Reindeer antlers come in many hues of gray (only the surface is brown). However, most customers prefer whitish antler, where the engravings stand out well. I take advantage of the bleaching effect of the Sun to lighten antler. I have unfinished antler pieces for various products ready in good time to lighten them on the window, basking in the Sun's rays. When the schedule dictates, I sometimes resort to hydrogen peroxide. This chemical breaks down into water and oxygen by itself. Antler is used carefully, every shape finds its product and even the smallest pieces can be found in pearls and buttons.
Of course one can get more than just antlers from a reindeer. Leg bones and skin can also be turned into crafts in skilled hands. The tail becomes a perfect a scissor sleeve.
Is the use of silver ethical?
In the case of mined materials, the situation is not as simple as in the case of self-collected materials. Silver is an important industrial metal. It can be found, for example, in every modern car and phone. Silver sold for jewelry use is advertised by many material suppliers as recycled either completely or for the most part. I have no way of verifying this, so I'm not going to advertise the silver I buy as 100% recycled, even if it's true. I'll explain below why it's likely no matter what the supplier promises.
According to material suppliers, all the silver we use comes from Nordic mines. Let's look at the statistics:
In 2017, 10 tons of silver jewelry was produced in Sweden, 14 tons of silver was recycled, and 484 tons of silver was mined from the ground. In Finland, in the same year, silver jewelry production was 3 tons, the amount of recycled silver was 9 tons, and mining production was 2 tons. Source: World silver survey 2018.
From the above-mentioned figures, it is clearly seen that silver production and even the degree of recycling exceeds the amount of jewelry production in Finland and Sweden. It is advantageous for silver producers to market the silver that is used in jewelry as recycled, because silver is most prominently displayed in jewelry. It is easy to understand that customers who strive for responsible consumption ask about the origin of silver, especially when it comes to jewelry. In addition, the metallic silver scrap used by the jewelry industry is easy to recycle compared to, for example, microchips. The silver that ends up being used in jewelry is most likely recycled, whether it was advertised as such or not. To summarize all of this, stopping or reducing the use of silver jewelry has practically no effect on silver consumption worldwide.
In comparison, gold is mostly used for jewelry. At least until now (2023), I have managed to use only local Lemmenjoki gold or customers' own old gold jewelry as material. Excluding the tiny amount of solder of course. This way I don't have to tie up money in valuable material and customers get special emotional value for their new jewelry through recycling old jewelry.
Mines and the rights of the Sami people
Modern society necessarily needs mines. It is also good that they exist in the Nordic countries, where environmental legislation is comparatively strict and supervision is easier.
I still cannot accept the opening of new mines in Sámi territory. Too many concerns remain unresolved. Examples are the Sami people's land rights issues, the fragile Arctic nature and the vitality of reindeer husbandry. In Finland, not enough local people are included in decision-making, and the benefits of mining seem to flow largely into the pockets of foreign financiers anyway.
By buying, you support the employment of Sámi craftsmen in their home region