Obayana Ajanaku, Jeweler
Obayana Ajanaku is a jeweler working out of his studio in Decatur, Georgia. His jewelry are mini sculptures fabricated and hand constructed using fine and sterling silver, 18k gold and copper.
Basically a self-taught metalsmith, my exploration into the world of art through metal fabrication and construction began while researching African culture and working on a recycling project with inner city youth in the early 1970s.
I work alone, use no assistants and create one-of-a-kind sculptural pieces worn as jewelry (pins, pendants, ear art). Using traditional materials such as 14K gold, sterling silver and copper and age-old techniques such as reticulation, mill texturing, hammer forming and solder construction I attempt to create jewelry that is different from anything on the scene.
To do this I am guided stylistically by the various world cultures I have experienced through travel and native instuctors. Of particular influence were the Dogon metalsmith of West Africa (Mali). Japanese influence is evident by my fabrication and use of “mokume gani” or wood grain metal. I fabricate my own chains; a skill learned during a workshop on Byzantine jewelry making skills.
My goal as an artist is to combine these techniques and experiences into a unique neo-art form, enabling the individual to view or experience the usual in an unusual way.