Preserving artisanal culture

January 20, 2021

Taking Artisanal Culture to the Future

There’s a language we have come to collectively adopt when describing artisanal in a contemporary context. It contains words like authenticity, handmade, personal, simplicity and transparency, all common denominators for a culture that actually dates back millennia and is as global as it is local. From the brass work coming out of Nairobi’s Kibeira slums to the beaded accessories made by the indigenous Huilchol people of Mexico to the  silversmithing of Afghanistan’s artisans, each country and region have their own techniques, resources, knowledge and wisdom. 

"Craftsmanship was born out of collective human needs"

Craftsmanship was born out of collective human needs its practices deeply tied to regional customs, rituals, lifestyles and belief systems. As the antithesis to fast fashion and overconsumption artisanal craft is a celebration of connectedness and the sense belonging in times of turmoil where it can be easy to forget the ties that bind us. Its importance does not only lie in its beauty, but also in representing indispensable parts of regional identities and livelihoods of people across the globe.

When we talk about The Art of Slow as a way of life, we are not just talking about a lifestyle focused on the self but one of respect for and service to the wealth of knowledge and skills that have  transmitted from generation to generation throughout centuries. Our decade-long journey of discovering and working with artisans is nothing compared to the artisanal heritage dating back millennia, that has played such a big part in forming what we know as culture today. 

Master Goldsmiths in Bali
Retired Master Pak Muji master of repousse technique and his son Komang who is the only one of 9 siblings who has taken on his skill.

Many of the ancient crafts are still taught in different regions around the world today, where the work takes place in village homes as artisans undergo apprenticeships with Masters, who, after years of passionate dedication to traditional methodologies, have reached a rare level of technical excellence. Masters are traditionally revered and highly respected, often coming from a high caste background. 

However, this precious industry is in decline. Modernisation, along with its many technological advances, has also brought instability and a massive shift in industries. As the socio-economic importance of artisanal culture has diminished every year fewer craftsmen work in their field. Because traditional crafts are memory-based many traditional motifs, techniques and materials go into oblivion as documentation simply does not exist. 

Simultaneously, local youth, enticed by urban life and its opportunities, leave their villages and abandon traditions. We are putting in efforts to re-engage the younger generation and reinstate a sense of pride in craft as a valid and profitable profession through innovative apprenticeships. 

Part of our mission is to emphasise the extraordinary value of the handmade and bringing artisanal culture with us into the future. We are always looking for new innovative ways to engage a global audience yearning for depth and authentic stories.

We invite you to come along and play a vital role in preserving this precious culture whist creating your jewel for life.

For more info contact us now.

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