Everybody, who had familiarized himself to the principles of the jewelry craft, actually can become the jeweler. Every jeweler cannot become the smith of ancient ornaments. It can be possible only for those, who have learned to order metal to speak in the language of the value of the native expression.
Ancient jewelry production is the highest step of the skills of present day Latvian metal artists.
Daumants Kalnins chose the festive clothes and ornaments of ancient Latgallians as the subject of study first of all because these were the ancient inhabitants of the Cēsis region where his experimental lab was located. The Western frontier of Latgallian lands crossed the districts of Cēsis and Valmiera. A lot of castle- forts, burial- fields and other important sites were dislocated there in olden days. Secondly, the ancient Latgallians buried their dead in grave-pits, and so there are more material remains for carrying out reconstructions than in other areas where cremation was the dominant tradition. Thirdly, the large number of ornaments of bronze or so-called “green copper” has led to the preservation of grave goods of organic composition as well – artefacts of cloth, wood and leather. This factor also relieves the process of reconstruction of dress and other grave goods. Finally, in the observed time 9th- 13th centuries, the ornaments of Ancient Latgallians had reached their top richness and creative refinement.Daumants Kalnins set himself the task of making replicas of ancient jewelry for to see their full splendor. In order to reach this target, it was necessary to figure out the working methods and tools used by jewelers in the past. The Smithy, a workshop of experimental archaeology, has been established and run by the Master of Applied Arts Daumants Kalniņš at the small cottage in the garden of the Cēsis castle in the year 1996. Craft of ancient jewelry’forgers was chosen by the Master as a subject for investigation and experiments.Daumants Kalniņš has discussed this subject in several books and a number of research papers. Monograph “Copper Garden Accross River Daugava” was published in 1995. Two generations of Latvian jewelers had started to learn to forge out the replications of antiquities by help of this book. The only reason why it was so is that nobody has been written anything about ancient Latvian jewelry making before. There was the book “Myth and Metal” issued in 1997. It told about common and different traditions of the jewelry making and wearing in the Baltic and Scandinavian countries in the Viking times. The book “Smithy of Ancient Jewelry” was published in 2007. There were reflected an activities of the experimental studio of Daumants Kalniņš in the time of the first 15 years in the Cēsis castle. In July of 2011th it took place the presentation of Daumants’ new book “The Latgallian Treasures”. This book is written in English.