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Esi Bani

Esi Bani Esi Bani's journey into jewelry-making and design began during a yearlong sabbatical leave to conduct academic research in Senegal in 2006, where she got smitten by the rich profusion of creative arts of body adornment. With inspiration from the graceful flowing dresses of Senegalese women, the delicate freehand embroideries on cotton brocade fabrics, abstract patterns of jewel-toned Mandjak textiles, to the sea of beads and handcrafted jewelry in the markets, Esi's hands itched for the tactile experience of making jewelry. After watching street vendors create necklaces, Esi Bani bought beads and findings, then began teaching herself beading techniques. The jewelry design process reconnected her artistically to her earlier stint in custom apparel making that had helped pay her way through college and graduate school. Upon return to her university teaching Esi taught herself myriad jewelrymaking techniques, with a special fascination for design possibilities with Kumihimo braiding techniques, which skills she honed. She finds Kumihimo, the bold lines and colorways of African beads (especially their large holes) to be a match made in design heaven! After soul searching, Esi Bani took the plunge in 2017 into full time jewelry and apparel making, launching her line "Esi Bani Handcrafted" on her website, along with social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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