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Entries in handmade (12)

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.

Thursday
Apr192012

milan watch: fatto a mano

Thursday
Mar222012

defining: benchmade upholstery

‘Benchmade upholstery’ is quite literal in its interpretation—still used today, it’s an old term that first described what a piece of furniture was placed upon while it was being built, made or upholstered.

A bench could have been as rustic as two saw horses, a low platform with a rotating top, or as elaborate as a table with adjustable legs or a hydraulic lift, allowing it to be adjusted for individual items—each different in construction or upholstery technique.

Depending on the product, more than one bench might be used. For example, a recliner is more complicated than a simple chair, so it may be worked on in more than one station.

Old school would be two specific people building a piece of upholstery—an ‘insider’ working on the seat, inside arms and inside of the back, and the ‘trimmer’ working on the outside arms, outside of the back, applying a black fabric underside, and the legs.

Today, pieces are most often made by many individuals—not just one or two—and each is held accountable for the specific quality standard that relates to their work.

While this can include sewers, who prepare sections of the upholstery, to an experienced framer, who builds the hardwood frame, ‘benchmade upholstery’ still refers to pieces that are not built in components and assembled together on an assembly line—but one that is hand-made piece by piece and hand finished detail by detail.

Thursday
Sep152011

one of a finds: gais vintage toys

Not only is almost every region of India renowned for their handicraft speciality, but also for their distinctive toys. India has a fantastic tradition in toys since many are about religious characters and festivals.

Revered in the teachings of Lord Krishna as the living symbol of Mother Earth, the cow—or gais— is treasured as a most important member of the family—which these figures lovingly attest to.

Depicting the sacred cow, each figure was collected from villages within Gujarat and Rajasthan—the land of colors—in northwest India.

Just as a village’s cows are brightly painted and decorated during holidays, these handcarved found objects dating back up to 50 years were also once colorfully adorned and adored.

photo by: WonderlaneOriginally brightly painted—which has worn out over many years of use—each is intended for display as decorative objects only as it reflects years of joyful play, and retains its individual patina under a matte lacquer as protection from further wear.

To this day, cows are sacred and allowed to wander freely. They are protected and cared for, and revered for the everyday necessities they provide such as dairy foods, insect repellant, and dung for fuel.

One of a Finds original works are offered one time only as a limited edition for collectors and enthusiasts—the painted wood cows have a fall 2011 release of 448.

Friday
Jul292011

the making of: mille swirls rug

The making of the mille swirls rug and runner are a combination of art and technology—patented by artist Liora Manné. First, fibers resembling thin cotton puffs are blended to create a unique transparency of colors. These blended colors are rolled then sliced like sushi into thin pieces and laid out to create a mosaic—all by hand.

To transform this the fibers into a durable rug, the mille swirls pass through a loom of needles that entangle and blend the colors. For added strength and easy care, the rug is then saturated in a transparent latex formula and treated with a anti-microbial finish. The final product is a hand-made work of art—and at the same time it’s highly durable and ready for indoor or outdoor use.

hint: For best results, vacuum on a regular basis and address stains as they occur. Use any commercial carpet cleaner or mild soap with water—not dry powders—plus gentle rubbing and dabbing with a white cloth. Professional steam clean on a regular basis depending on traffic levels. Do Not Dry Clean.