We live in an increasingly plastic-wrapped, bottled-up, grab-it-off-the-shelf-and-drink-it-while-you-drive sort of world. Serving your liquids from beautiful, hand-blown glass is a tiny but impressionable sensory experience that offsets the whirlwind of modernity. Such an act speaks directly to that very human desire for things to be slow, beautiful, and of the earth.
The human behind your new glass is Gerardo Mendoza Pozos. Just 18 years old, Gerardo has been studying the craft of glassblowing since 2016. A lover of learning, Gerardo has already progressed from helper to apprentice at the Cristaluc workshop, and he intends to embark upon the long road to mastery. So far, he has become more patient and developed the attention to detail and his surroundings that is crucial to this high-intensity craft.
Suggested use: Fill with water or iced tea, or use as a wine decanter!
In Kenya, every family is an extended family and each household a village. Parents, 4-8 children, grandparents, and a few cousins typically all live under one roof. All but the children are breadwinners, but even they learn to pull their weight at a young age, looking after cattle and goats.
Being part of a carving group is a common occupation in Kenya. The project of carving your new bowl employed 2 groups, made up of carvers, sanders, and bone setters from 5 different tribes. Members aim to earn enough to send their children to university.
Nothing ties a meal together like the right side sauce. The right side sauce is therefore a little puddle of joy requiring its own special vessel. Introducing yours...
Suggested use: Salsa. Sour cream. Soy sauce. Hot sauce. Barbecue sauce. Ketchup. Honey mustard. Flavored mayo. Butter. Jam. Chutney. Ranch. Aioli. Etc.
Wood has become scarce in Kenya. Thankfully, an environmental movement is underway that is in the process of replanting and replenishing the valued resource. Meanwhile, trees like the olive tree used to create your new spoon are under protection by conservation efforts.
Woodcarvers, for example, have to pay for a license to chop down an olive tree for their craft. With this license, they go into the forest themselves to choose one and collect it. Each precious last piece of the felled tree is then used. Small remnants inspire tiny gems like your spoon.
The making of this small utensil and other pieces like it employs master woodcarvers, artists, and nomadic herders throughout Kenya. In the spirit of environmental reciprocity, it also funds reforestation projects throughout the country.
Suggested use: Serve sauce from your condiment bowl.
Some traditions are worth keeping and others, not so much? Meet Lakshmi. Married off at a very young age, she has never been educated. While tradition would have it that she spend her entire life limited to the sphere of the home, Lakshmi has washed her hands of the notion.
Instead, she has stepped out to make her creative mark on the world, keep a sacred textile tradition alive, and connect with other women from a place of independence.
Your new table runner is an integral part of Lakshmi’s bold move. It contributes to the flow of consistent orders required for her to provide her three children with a good education.
Suggested use: Drape longways down the center of your table. Run it solo or mix and match colors and patterns by placing atop a tablecloth of your choice. For round tables, try criss-crossing with another table runner!
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