Our jewels are made in Laos by local artisans and are derived from aluminum recycled mainly from war bombs dating back to the Vietnam War, depending on the availability of materials and the geopolitical context.
The Laotian artisans make these artifacts with a technique called a stirrup, that is, by means of simple clay molds in which the molten aluminum is cast.
The raw pieces thus obtained are imported into Italy, modified and embellished by the artisan Francesca Barbarani goldsmith.

The village of Ban Naphia, where the craftsmen we work with to make our jewelery live, is located a few kilometers from Phonsavan, the capital of the Xieng Khouang region, the most affected by the presence of unexploded ordnance. Thousands of jars, large stone containers of ancient and unknown origins, are scattered throughout this area that stretches over hundreds of square kilometers. The region around Phonsavan was hit by devastating saturation bombing during the Indochina War and only a small part of the sites that make up the Plain of the Jars was reclaimed.

We collaborate with the artisans of about 13 families who live in the village of Ban Naphia, a traditional Lao Pouan village. By purchasing their products we contribute to the economy of the villages, improving the conditions of the community.
Every year, we will allocate a net 10% of the proceeds from the sale of our products. A part will be used to buy and distribute filters to purify water in the rural villages of Laos, partly supporting the demining associations operating in the Lao territory.

From 1964 to 1973 the United States dropped more than two million tons of bombs on Laos during 580,000 air missions, the equivalent of a plane loaded with bombs every 8 minutes, 24 hours a day for 9 years, thus making Laos the country more bombed in history.
One of the most affected areas was the “Plain of Jars” and the adjacent villages. In 1975 the bombings ceased and the war ended.
Of these bombs 30% did not explode, which means that in the eastern part of Laos there are 80 million bombs to be defused, which in the following years caused death or loss of limbs to more than 50,000 people from 1964 to 2011 .
It was in that period immediately after the end of the conflict that the inhabitants began to recycle the remains of the bombs and fuel tanks that disfigured the lands of the “Plain of Jars” and the surrounding territories, to make artifacts, ornaments, spoons and bracelets.
The population of the villages lives on these works of craftsmanship and, where it is possible because the land has been reclaimed, the cultivation of rice in some months of the year.
Every year people continue to die because of unexploded bombs, since 2008 the deaths have been about 160, half of which children trying to open the bombs to then sell the metal. Unexploded bombs are often clustered, or cluster, a real machine of death and mutilation.

The scrap of aluminum bombs we use detonated during explosions in wartime or by more recent detonations controlled by bomb removal professionals. Each lot varies according to the source of the material, including: Cluster BLUE delivery tubes, CBU stabilization fins, 60 mm bell mortars, 81 mm ILL mortar parts, RGP7 parts, BLU-3B caps, loaders of M16 pistols, fighter jets, large cluster bomb containers.
The artisans recover the material from local foundries that receive the metal from households that own properties in which the metal has been professionally demolished.
No nuclear weapons were ever used in the Laos war, our products do not contain radioactive elements.
Our products have been analyzed by the laboratory “Ecoricerche S.r.l.” in Bassano del Grappa to check the values ​​of heavy metals with a negative result. Our jewels comply with European sales regulations.
The latest analyzes were carried out on the day: 05/06/2018

In this section it is possible to consult donations made by No War Factory

DEMINING UXOLAO & MAG

  1. The search for devices and ground preparation

    The land to be freed from unexploded ordnance (UXO) is divided into grids. The eviction teams, work along the grids with metal detectors to identify objects and free the devices. The teams primarily clean up farmland. The area is then freed to a minimum of 2.5 meters allowing safe processing of the tractor and buffalo-drawn plows traditionally used for this work in Laos. A portable metal detector (as in the photo) detects metal fragments up to 60 cm deep. To perform in-depth analysis, various detectors such as Ebinger are used, which has a range of about 2m.
    When a metal detector identifies the presence of metal, the place is marked on the ground and transcribed on a map with the help of a GPS.

  1. The Excavation

    The extraction of unexploded ordnance from the ground is a potentially dangerous job and requires strong nerves and patience. Fragments of metal present in the ground are identified, but we can not know which of these are devices or simple metal, we must first extract them from the ground. Then the ground is excavated using a special blade, until you discover the nature of the object, once identified it will be decided whether to remove it or destroy it.

  1. Destruction of the device

    Depending on the type of bomb and where it is located, the team decides whether to destroy it on the spot or move it to a safer place. In some cases it is decided to remove the primer before proceeding to destruction.

  1. Notify the villagers

    Safety is at the base of everything for the demining team operations. The team ensures that all inhabitants have been evacuated before the removal or detonation of the device.

To conclude, press the button and another bomb will be destroyed.

Team


MASSIMO MORICONI and his wife SERENA BACHEROTTI both of Viareggio, from 2010 spend several months each year in Southeast Asia. For two years they collaborated with the Rimini association “Una Goccia per il Mondo”, supporting their projects in Cambodia. Later they moved to Laos and in 2014 they founded, together with Claudio Pardini, the international volunteer association “INK for Charity”.
The association “INK for Charity”, now closed, has collaborated with the Canadian association “Adopt a Village in Laos” for the development of humanitarian projects in rural villages, mainly with regard to the distribution of ceramic filters treated with colloidal silver, essential to make drinking water in these areas.
In 2017 they managed to distribute 69 filters to the families of the village of Ban Naphia, in the area called “Plain of Jars”. The population of this village has been making tools for common use and bracelets for years, recycling aluminum from war scraps. This Plain of Laos is still dotted with bombs because of the “secret war” carried out by the Americans during the Vietnam conflict. The artisans collect the fragments of bombs and other war scraps, in total safety, only after the zones have been cleared by the demining association MAG (Mine Advisory Group), an international non-governmental organization that deals with demining and removing unexploded ordnance.
This is how the No War Factory project came to life: Massimo and Serena bought the artifacts directly from the Laotian artisans, thus contributing to the economic development of the villages. Imported in Italy, these artifacts are finished and transformed into jewels, through the addition of stones and silver, thanks to the precious collaboration with the artisan goldsmith Francesca Barbarani.
The 10% net of profits deriving from the sales of the No War Factory products is donated in part to the MAG association to contribute to the demining of Laos and partly to the association “INK for Charity” for the purchase of filters to make the drinking water.
In January 2019 a new partner was added, RICCARDO BIAGIONI, who shares all the principles and purposes with which No War Factory carries out its work.