A recently founded San Luis Obispo-based company, From War to Peace, transforms disarmed nuclear warhead equipment into one-of-a-kind jewelry in the ambitious goal of creating a peaceful world.
Recycled from radioactive-free copper wiring once used to connect nuclear weapons to U.S. military command, From War to Peace jewelry symbolizes demilitarization and struggles toward peace throughout the world.
The idea for the company came to cofounder Paul Ogren in the lyrics of a Jewish hymn that commemorates a line in the Old Testament: “Turn your swords into plowshares, and nations shall know war no more.” He connected the message to an ongoing nuclear weapon disarmament project in the Midwest, deciding, with the help of his late wife, Sandee, and a team of dedicated individuals to turn the swords of nuclear weaponry into the plowshares of jewelry for the rest of his life.
After years of development, From War to Peace began to produce and sell its products last November across the nation, from New York City to Santa Barbara’s very own Peace Store.
From War to Peace donates 20 percent of its profits to peace and social justice communities like Doctors Without Borders, Homeboy Industries, and United for Peace and Justice, among others, often sharing as much as 20 percent of revenue with these partner organizations as well.
In addition to making jewelry, From War to Peace has cast Santa Barbara’s Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s annual peace award, and is working toward building a memorial statue for the Hiroshima Peace Garden in Japan. It plans to release bottle openers and stoppers that feature the clever slogan “Make Wine, Not War” to products already for sale in the near future.