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Entries in handmade (11)

Wednesday
Jul032013

how it's made: jaipur handpainted stripe bedding

When Jaipur, India was first developed in the 1700s, artisans and craftsmen were invited to live and work and enrich the city. Over the decades, techniques and skills were passed from one generation to the next—and the area built a reputation for itself.

Here, each piece of Jaipur handpainted stripe bedding is drawn and painted by local, contemporary artists using hand-mixed dyes—an art in itself.

The modern pattern draws inspiration from the hand-tie and dye techniques—and when mixed with this traditional Indian art and a rich color palette—results in a stunning effect of unique textiles.

Friday
Nov162012

how it's made: peace posters

Created in collaboration with Kennedy Prints!,
a one-man letterpress printery in Gordo, Alabama, each unique peace poster comes to life using handset wood type and oil-based inks on eco-friendly chipboard made from lumber industry salvage.

Each poster is to be appreciated for its spontaneous colors mixed by sight and variations in layout and font—Kennedy Prints! guarantees no two prints will be the same.

Wednesday
Sep052012

how it's made: wrap bench

Handmade by a skilled carpenter from
local acacia wood, the construction of each wrap bench includes traditional mortise and tenon joinery—note the round section of wood towards the top of each leg. Criss-crossing metal rods reinforce leg strength—along with the woven jute seat—but the bench is entirely without nails or screws.

Jute, a fast growing plant requiring minimal processing, is one of the most sustainable fibers available—especially in the Bengal state of India where it’s grown extensively.

The loosely twisted ropes are purchased in hanks with big loops—each weighing about
8 kilograms, or 19 lbs.

The hanks are then opened up, dried in the sun—in case moisture is trapped inside—then rolled into smaller, more manageable balls for weaving.

The fiber is first woven width wise—in a loop over loop fashion—covering the side rails almost completely. It’s then passed through the cavities formed by the width-wise looping and looped over the short ends—creating a strong seat and strengthening the frame in the process.

Monday
Aug132012

how it's made: shesham tools

Designed by a vegetarian who loves to cook—and who possesses a wooden spoon collection spanning decades—these handmade, sustainable shesham tools have subtle details that both casual and advanced cooks can appreciate.

First, the shesham spoon was originally referred to as the marinara spoon since other family members aren’t vegetarian and frequent dinner invitees love all kinds of chilies, stews and marinara sauces. These types of dishes are usually prepared in deeper pots, so the spoon features a longer handle and a wider bowl to stir more with less work—or attention while the cook visits with guests.

The shesham server and spatula—while great for serving up grilled homemade pizza with their precisely angled surfaces—can also be used for scrambling eggs, flipping chorizo or sauteing onions. Bonus: wooden tools are more gentle on pots and pans than metal utensils and sculptural side curves provide maximum mixing and reach into the corners of bowls and pots.

The shesham salad servers not only serve leafy greens, but they’re also designed to catch diced vegetables and scoop up salad dressings which otherwise seem to pool on the bottom of the bowl.

Hints: rinsing is better than scrubbing—use mild soap as needed—and never put them in a dish- washer. Normal use should maintain their condition, but a rub of oil can restore their rich appearance.

Tuesday
Jul312012

one of a finds: orissa brass owl

Orissa is the region in eastern India that once held vast control over the Bay of Bengal. For hundreds of years, it was one of the most financially and culturally wealthy nations of India so ancient tributes to Lakshmi—the goddess of wealth, fortunes in Hindu mythology—took place annually and continue to this day.

There are a great many sculptures of Hindu gods—which number in the hundreds—and some depict Lakshmi with an owl as her vahana, or carrier.

Uluka, which means ‘owl’ in Sanskrit, is also one of the names of lndra—the king of gods, personifying wealth, power and glory.

As all the points come together, they help explain why valuables might be kept in a vessel like the orissa brass owl for safekeeping—assuming Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune, could not have found a better vahana than the king of gods.

Made using the traditional and complex process of lost-wax casting, it’s one of the most accurate forms of casting hand-made models as it re-produces intricate works with superior definition.

To begin, a sculptor creates a model out of clay or plaster which is coated with a thick layer of wax.

Another layer of plaster or clay then goes over the wax layer to create the outer shell so that when the whole piece is heated, the wax melts away leaving a space between the plaster layers.

Molten metal is then poured into the newly created mold and once cool, the mold is broken to reveal the solid metal replica of the original sculpture which is then finished using traditional metal-work techniques.