August 26, 2010

made in africa, with love

Made from recycled soda cans in Kenya

African good luck charm made from raffia, beads, cloth, and wire in Ghana by Global Mamas

Yes I support buying local and making sure that artists in the creative community I live in are able to make a decent living, but today's post is to honor my love for beautiful handmade creations that travel around the world, create global connection, and honor other cultures in a way that simply makes me giddy, like a child on Christmas morning. I revel in the ingenuity and resourceful nature evident in so many of these treasures.

Once a month I lead a group of volunteers at a Ten Thousand Villages fair trade store in unpacking a shipment, and without fail, each time we all have to take pause in our unwrapping and processing of items to revel in the marvelous creations and innovations produced by our friends around the world. often the items arrive wrapped in newspaper from the country the item was made in through which you can catch a glimpse into the day-to-day life of the artisans- advertisements of hair products and upcoming soccer matches in india, or glimpses of wedding celebrations or new businesses opened in peru.

So, in line with one of the intentions of this blog, to honor creations- both of others and my own- I plan to feature a few of these unique worldly treasures each month. this month the images are of items from Africa. baraka and the galimoto have lived in my home for many years and are both very well-loved, and the two just above I purchased today with delight and gratitude for their playful spirits and clever craftsmanship. I celebrate the small role I get to play in helping to escort these creations to their final destinations and to imagine all of the compassionate hands that have been a part of their journey.

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