Alpaca Wool - Peru
The alpaca, cousin to the Andean llama and vicuna, may be descended from the wild guanaco. Partially domesticated, this small, surefooted animal grazes in flocks on high plateaus at elevations higher than 10,000 feet. They naturally produce more than 30 shades of wool, most commonly white, gray, or cream, with the dark brown and black fibers being most prized. One of the most luxurious fibers in the world, alpaca wool is finer than cashmere, warmer and silkier than sheep’s wool, and has an elasticity that enhances its inherent durability.
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Ate Grass - Indonesia
Found in Tenganan, a remote village on the island of Bali, Ate (pronounced ah-tay) is a durable and beautiful grass. It’s traditionally used to weave the expertly crafted baskets you’ll find on our site. This prolific creeping plant is harvested from roughly ten hectares of forest that surround the village, allowing skilled artisans to create designs that are as practical as they are attractive.
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Bamboo Wood - Indonesia
This versatile plant grows easily in Bali’s corner of the world. Simple to work with, its clean, elegant lines and useful shape are an inspiration to native artisans. The hollow stalks are wonderful for windchimes, with varying diameters and lengths producing naturally rich musical tones. Durable and weather resistant, it’s the perfect material for indoor and outdoor crafts.

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Batik - Indonesia
Used on handcrafted fabrics or wood creations, the traditional art of Batik employs layers of wax in its detailed, intricate designs. A time-consuming process is required to layout each pattern. Successive layers of wax are removed after each color of dye is applied. Finally, a beautiful work of art, with a velvety finish and rich, exotic colors, is complete.
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Blown Glass - Mexico
The art of blown glass came to Mexico from Spain during the colonization. Today, proud artisans work amidst the intense heat of their shops, where precision is of utmost importance. Using customized tools, glass blowers work over a scorching flame with the impeccable timing, skill, and creativity required to produce such beautiful pieces of hand-blown glass.
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Celadon Ceramics - Thailand
A longstanding tradition in Thailand, the art of Celadon ceramics uses hand-formed clay in an intricate process that produces pieces renowned for their beauty and versatile durability. Handcrafted items are placed inside kilns, the fires are started, and the entire kiln is covered in mud. Days pass as the fires burn themselves out. The mud is then removed and pieces are transferred to cooler temperatures. It’s there that the unique crackling process of their rich glaze begins.
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Ceramics - Hungary
Using the rich, durable clay that’s native to their region, artisans of Hungary’s southern great plain have become renowned for their beautiful ceramics. With techniques that have been perfected over generations, they form red clay into high quality creations. Painting and glazing are also done by hand, producing items that are as unique as they are attractive.
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Ceramics - Mexican Talavera Style
Shaped from clay that is found throughout this region of Mexico, the Talavera-style ceramics are made over several days as pieces are made from molds, allowed to dry, painted, and fired at high temperatures for several hours, then glazed and fired again at still higher temperatures. Skilled artisans carefully paint every piece by hand using the designs, colors, and shapes of the traditional Talavera ceramics. Each piece is lead free and dishwasher safe, although handwashing is recommended to preserve the unique handcrafted beauty over time.
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Cocobolo Wood - Costa Rica
Cocobolo is extremely rare, with very little making its way into world markets. The highest-grade woods are grown in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and the Costa Rican government requires permits for anyone wishing to cut down a cocobolo tree. Most of the wood available today is cut from privately owned land where the slow growing cocobolo trees were planted eight to ten decades ago, not from natural rain forest
.
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Lacquerware - Vietnam
It’s long been speculated that an ancient variety of Vietnamese sumac tree is used to create the rich, stunning lacquer used in these beautiful and durable creations. Expert artisans have passed on their time-honored techniques from generation to generation, perfecting the long and intricate process of lacquerware production. Each practical and striking piece is entirely handcrafted in multiple, time-consuming steps, finally polished to a deep, gleaming shine.
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Mango Wood - Thailand
Recently rediscovered in Thailand, this beautiful wood is a wonderful alternative to teak. As the mango trees produce their best fruit when young, the older trees work perfectly for the expertly carved creations you’ll find on our site. Its durable nature makes it ideal for furnishings, useful pieces such as trays and frames, as well as other decorative items.
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Mexican Pewter - Mexico
Mexican pewter differs from traditional pewter in that it’s predominantly composed of aluminum. This affords each piece its characteristic brilliant sheen. Extraordinarily versatile, Mexican pewter can be safely used in the preparation of foods, as well as their presentation, embellishing any dinner table with a lustrous finish and rustic appeal. Each piece is equally effective as a decorative accent.
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Olive Wood - Israel
Olive woodcarvings have long been a part of Mediterranean history. The olive tree exists in abundance throughout this beautiful region. Monks used to carve spoons and bowls from olive wood, both for their own use and to sell. Olive wood branches have long been a symbol of peace, ever since the dove returned to Noah's Ark with an olive tree branch. Today, people around the world treasure olive wood creations for their sense of spirituality. Jerusalem and Bethlehem are known for their production of wood souvenirs, from religious articles and Christmas decorations, to candleholders, vases, animal sculptures, necklaces and other adornments.

All carvings made of this hardwood have a varying grain pattern that makes each piece extraordinarily unique. Olive trees are usually harvested for many years. Most carvings come from the trimmings (an essential process for the health and proper growth of the trees.) The wood is then dried and cured before it is used for carving. Olive wood finishes vary to suit personal taste. To change or maintain the luster of a specific piece, simply sand the wood gently with fine sandpaper (no coarser than 320 grid) and apply the finish of your choice using a polishing cloth or soft brush. For better definition of the wood's grain, use Beeswax to rub over the sanded areas. To create a high gloss, use a gloss polishing oil or lacquer.
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Pine Needle Basketry - Nicaragua
Pine needles are an abundant natural resource at the higher elevations of rural northern Nicaragua. It’s here that resourceful women artisans gather the pliable, fragrant needles, weaving thousands of them into thick, durable cords that are coiled into the versatile baskets you’ll find on our site.
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Potato Printing - Zimbabwe
Potatoes are one of the most available natural resource in Zimbabwe. Talented artisans have discovered that their value extents beyond nutritional. By carving flat sections of potato, they create stamps on which pigments are placed before imprinting fabric. This intricate art requires incredible patience, along with a well-developed sense of color, design, and attention to detail. Zimbabwe artisans are becoming known for their skill in this wonderful medium, similar to the wood block techniques used in other parts of the world.

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Semiprecious Gemstones - Peru
Artisans of Peru and the Andes Mountains of South America often use their region’s semiprecious stones to create wonderful works of art. After hand-polishing these beautiful natural resources, they’re embedded in silver and made into fine jewelry, or used to accent pottery, wall hangings, or other unique creations. Tiberio Gonzales, one of the country’s master jewelry artisans, has mentored two generations of stonecutters, teaching them the art of selecting and hand cutting the eight semiprecious stones mined in the Andes.
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