Support artisans around the world with our pick of carefully crafted handmade items for the home
Flair for a cause
1 A good helping
If you’re looking for handmade, socially responsible products for your home, The Change Initiative should always be your first port of call. Recent additions to the company’s offering include these dual-toned plates by Craft Link, a not-for-profit, fair trade organisation committed to helping craftsmen in Vietnam revive their culture and improve their livelihoods through handicraft production and marketing. The bright turquoise of the top of the plates contrasts beautifully with the darker underside, and at Dh83 for three, they are also a bit of a bargain.
• Craft Link plates, Dh83 for a set of three, The Change Initiative, Al Barsha, Dubai
2 Taking cover
The One is stocking a range of colourful cushion covers that are hand-embroidered by Palestinian women in the Qalandia Refugee Camp on the outskirts of Jerusalem. As the women can only work on the cushion covers in the evenings, after completing their chores, caring for the elderly and putting their children to bed, each cover takes two months to embroider. Each geographical area in Palestine has its own embroidery motifs, and the cushion covers available at The One represent the Ramallah, Hebron, Beir El-Sabe’ and Beit Lahem areas. Proceeds go to The Qalandia Camp Women’s Handicraft Cooperative — a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that aims to raise the educational, social, cultural, health and economic standards of women and children in Palestine.
• Palestinian cushion cover, Dh795, The One stores nationwide
3 Case in point
We’re loving the Bon Voyage bookcase by The Urban Yogi, which combines a distressed metal finish with colourful trunk drawers topped with decorative latches. The drawers are made from vintage suitcases that were sourced and repurposed in Rajasthan, India by The Urban Yogi team. Imperfections speak of the journeys made by these hardy cases, and add a sense of mystery and charm to the piece, ensuring that it is utterly unique.
• Bon Voyage Bookcase, Dh4,500, The Urban Yogi, Mercato Mall, www.theurbanyogi.me and www.tejuri.com
4 Magic weavers
Peruvian master weaver Eddie Sulca will be showcasing his work at Dubai’s Artissima Gallery until April 8. Born and raised in the remote Andean city of Ayacucho, Peru, Sulca learnt about the traditional art of weaving from his grandfather, Ambrosio, who received the Great Master of Peruvian Art prize in 1994. Sulca employs motifs and patterns drawn from ancient cultures such as the Inca and Wari but combines them with unusual effects and unique colourways, creating striking tapestries that are almost three-dimensional in their feel. Every year, during Peru’s rainy season, Sulca and his wife trek across the Andean mountains surrounding their village to search for the natural ingredients that, combined with a secret formula known only to the couple, create the unique colours that define his pieces.
• Andean Dreams exhibition, Artissima Gallery, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai
5 Too big to runneth over
Despite its popularity, Emma Bridgewater is still a family-run company, creating high-quality, hand-decorated pottery products in Stoke-on-Trent, the traditional home of British pottery manufacture since the 17th century. We love most of the company’s products but are currently coveting this charming cobalt blue breakfast cup and saucer, which, with its generous size and old-school feel, is the perfect receptacle for that early-morning cuppa.
• Cobalt Daisy and Spot Breakfast Cup and Saucer, Dh160, Harvest Home, Jumeirah Centre, Dubai
Follow us @LifeNationalUAE
Follow us on Facebook for discussions, entertainment, reviews, wellness and news.