AMMO was founded by UK jeweller Madeline Green in 2013. The early stages of Ammo came as a result of working alongside long-established social enterprise Saomao, who have been training local people in jewellery making for over 10 years in Siem Reap. Using bullets as a base metal for jewellery has been in practice for over 20 years, and now thankfully the bullets we use are not from war or from bloodshed. We simply recycle blank catridges that have been fired once – so it’s a great way to turn something negative into a positive!
In April 2014, a new Ammo workshop was built to accommodate the growing number of new apprentices and new collections. The building has been especially designed by a british firm called Stuart Cochlin Architects – who created a safe, well ventilated space for the apprentices to learn their trade.
The staff spend approximately 6 months to learn the basics of jewellery making, and how to make all the designs in the AMMO collection.
As part of the AMMO ethos, each member of staff is then given the opportunity to design their own jewellery, and each Thursday is Design Day! So the teacher becomes the assistant, and the staff must work individually and as a team to create their own masterpieces, and develop a signature style.
Madeline Green then helps them to organize their ideas into jewellery that can be sold, and assists with marketing, communication and sales of their work. The designer then also receives commission on top of their salaries for each piece sold.
Meet the team
Madeline has worked in jewellery making for over 20 years. In the UK, she received a BA Hons in 3 Dimensional Design, and subsequently worked freelance as a jeweller and art co-ordinator for many years in Oxfordshire. In 2013 Madeline founded Ammo Jewellery, and set up her own purpose built workshop in Cambodia, to create a vocational training programme in jewellery design. Since then Ammo has trained eight young Cambodians to become jewellers (including three females). Madeline provides design consultancy services for individuals and other social enterprises, and is passionate about ethical fashion, and sharing Cambodian craftsmanship with the world!
This is Philit. He is what we call our master jeweller, he is in charge of teaching all our new apprentices,
and kind of the big brother for everyone at AMMO. Working with us for nearly three years, hes become both a talented jeweller, and a real team-player. Unlike the rest of us who scratch our head for hours, Philit just sits quietly thinking, and then before we can blink, hes created a totally original piece of jewellery.
We hope you’ll love his modern Cambodian designs!
Nary is a hard worker, and a very patient maker. She is often the translator for all of our discussions, which isn’t easy when we dont know yet what we are trying to make! Nary learnt her English skills from living at Green Gecko organisation, and with such a positive personality, she has become a fantastic sales staff at our Made in Cambodia market stall too!
“Amazing!” Thats one of Kenhs most used words when we show him a new idea. Every week, he designs the most complicated pieces of jewellery, (maybe its thanks to his autism), and usually its a design that none of us have ever made before! Then it’s our turn to be amazed! Kenh is 17 years old, from Chan Sor Village, Siem Reap, has been an apprentice with us since February, 2016 and previously lived at Kampuchea House Orphanage.
Nimol is our newsest apprentice, and 21 years old. She is currently mastering the ammo collections, so creating her own pieces was a daunting task to begin with. It hasnt taken long for her own style to shine through, and we love her feminine designs! Nimol was recommended to us from a local pagoda, where she was studying and trying to find ways to support her family.
Say hello to Sokhim, if you are lucky enough to catch him! He can only join the ammo team once a week for 2 hours because hes still studying hard at high school. Currently living with Green Gecko Organisation, he is also a skilled Bokator fighter, and a champion for persons with disabilities. Sokhim likes to stamp patterns on our recycled bullet casings,and hes quite adventurous with difficult designs, even if he has to come back for one month to complete them!