Innokofa is a jewellery design enterprise, featuring ethnocentric iconographic signature artifacts conceived and produced with traditional and state-of-the-art computer-aided-design technology. We draw our inspiration from iconographic symbols represented through African cultures, specifically the Ghanaian Adinkra symbols. Innokofa is aligned with the Afrofuturism genre which reimagines the past and envisions what the future could be. Sankofa is a widely recognized Adinkra symbol which emphasizes the wisdom of learning from the past, to build for the future. Our name ‘Innokofa’ is a blend of ‘innovation’ and Sankofa.
Innokofa’s main focus is upon the west African Adinkra graphic symbols which convey history, beliefs and traditions of the Asante people of West Africa. In addition, we integrate Egyptian hieroglyphic symbols and others to accommodate bespoke requests.
All of our pieces are printed on demand. When you select and purchase your item of jewellery from Innokofa, we commence the production process on your behalf. The average turn-around time for our pieces is three to four weeks.
For each of our jewellery product categories, i.e., Rings, Bangles, Earrings, Cufflinks, Pendants, and Beads the process starts as a series of concept sketches which are refined and eventually reproduced digitally with 3D computer graphics software. Rhinoceros™ is our preferred 3D computer graphics and computer-aided design application software. We also use an array of secondary computer-aided design applications and software plugins. Once the digital concept is input onto the computer within the 3D application, we further evolve the design through multiple iterations. At this stage we produce various photorealistic renders for evaluation. When we create bespoke pieces, it is at this stage that we present these images to clients to confirm their selection of form, metal alloy, and precious gems, gem cut and colour.
After finalizing the design, the next step is the creation of a 3D printable file, specifically a stereolithographic (STL) digital file. 3D printing manufacturing facilities require absolute accurately modelled 3D files for production. Any error within the 3D file will result in print failure. Innokofa prides itself in the production of unique designed and accurate digital-file creation.
Our 3D printing manufacturing source for UK and international clients include Shop3D, based in London with facilities throughout Europe. For bespoke American clients we engage Stuller CAD/CAM Services, the largest jewellery supply enterprise in North America.
Shop3D, Shapeways and other 3D printing manufacturers produce a range of products in various materials with jewellery printing being a minor focus. For the production of precious metal pieces, they first print the with wax material and then create moulds for the traditional lost wax casting process. After casting the pieces, they finish, polish, hallmark and fulfil, they do not engage in setting gemstones.
VAT Registration Number:380 4637 89
Pieces featured under our category of 'Jewellery' do not have gemstones and have designated pricing. This is because we began our business with 3D printing manufacturers whose production did not accommodate gem-setting.
Innokofa’s strength is design, consequently we highly encourage bespoke commissions. The nature of our design process lends itself to client collaboration, rapid concept design, concept refinement, multiple iterations, previsualization, 3D print ready file production and accessible manufacturing. The larger 3D print manufacturers could not accommodate our requirement to include gem specification, setting and finishing. Fortunately, the jewellery industry has embraced computer-aided-design technology and full-service manufacturers such as Shop3D, Stuller and many others are now available.
Our investment is the creation of the design in digital file format, the intellectual property.
To sell precious metal articles legally in the UK, hallmarking is required. Hallmark component marks applied to articles of the precious metal’s gold, silver, platinum or palladium.
Hallmark means that the article has been independently tested. It guarantees that it conforms to all legal standards of purity (fineness). Guarantees provenance by identifying where the piece was hallmarked, what the article is made from, and who sent the article for hallmarking.
Innokofa is registered with The Goldsmiths' Company, Assay Office. Innokofa has a registered Sponsor's mark with the Assay office. The Sponsor’s mark is unique and therefore provides a traceable link to the source of an article. Innokofa's Sponsor’s mark is engraved on each piece in addition to four other marks, i.e., Traditional fineness mark; Millesimal fineness mark; Assay Office mark and Date letter mark.
Innokofa is registered with JewelBase an industry trade directory located in London. JewelBase is run by Camden Enterprise Ltd (Centa), a not-for-profit social enterprise, driven by mission rather than a profit motive. Centa has a long-standing relationship with the jewellery industry.
Our ‘digital handmade’ sculptures are also formed with assistance of computer-aided-design technology. The pieces are digitally sculptured with the aid of 3d modelling software. The completed sculpture is 3d printed on a high-resolution 3d printers using a wax substrate. The wax model is traditionally cast in solid bronze at a casting foundry. Traditional process of casting bronze using lost wax, ceramic shell and sand-casting techniques, as well as surface treatments, patinas and finishes are extremely complex time consuming. The average turn-around time for our sculptures is eighteen to twenty weeks.
Our sculptures are produced in Europe’s premier fine art sculpture foundry, Pangolin Editions Ltd. Founded in 1985, Pangolin Editions sculpture foundry casts and fabricates sculpture for many of the foremost sculptors of our time.
How we got started
Innokofa’s founder, Glenn Lewis a former professor of industrial Design, is a pioneer of computer-aided design for product, jewellery design and digital sculpting. He was also an early adopter of 3D printing and among the first to subscribe to Gemvision Matrix, the current world-leading jewellery design software, well over a decade ago. In fact, he was the first to introduce high resolution 3D printing to sub-Saharan Africa as well as teaching jewellery design with Gemvision Matrix.
Glenn first travelled to Ghana in the mid-90s as part of a visiting US academic group. He forged strong ties with Aid to Artisans Ghana (ATAG), returning to Ghana over a 10-year period to assist ATAG artisans with computer-aided product design methodologies to enhance development of their product lines. Glenn has also served as visiting lecturer at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the University of Legon.
The Adinkra symbols captured Glenn’s imagination from his very first visit. He created a digital Adinkra symbol font, which was donated to schools, technical institutes and universities throughout the country. Over the years Glenn gained exposure to the rich cultural traditions and heritage of Ghana. In 2009 Glenn was honoured to be commissioned through ATAG to design the gold medallion to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the enstoolment of Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II, the 16th Asantehene
Innokofa’s jewellery and artwork represent Glenn's ongoing inspiration to create finely designed, precision-crafted Afrocentric jewellery and fine art.