Thanksgiving is approaching fast and it will be a special time to spend with family, friends, neighbors and loved ones. There will be lots of pies to bake, presents to wrap and turkeys to roast before you sit around the dinner table to give thanks for the blessings of the year.  While Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated within the United States, it can also be a time our artisans from around globe thank you for making their dreams possible through the beautiful items they create.  While it may be a tablecloth you use to set the backdrop for you tablescape, it's also a dignified job for a woman in India.  The cutting board you place your cheese on is also sustainable work for the Maasai in Kenya to support their community. Let your Thanksgiving do double duty this year by giving and getting thanks and setting your table with socially conscious items crafted by co-op artisans around the globe.

thanksgiving tableclothTERRACE TABLECLOTH  - Handmade in India by artists working at Aravali, a for-profit company supporting the work of close to 150 artisans in the Jaipur area, working in blockprinting workshops in and around Jaipur. Manager Rahul Duggal sees their greatest strength as their commitment to forming long-term relationships; Aravali has been working with many of the same workshops for 10 years or longer. The workshops are within a relatively close geographical range, which allows Aravali to maintain close contact with the artisans, despite their small administrative staff. They work to preserve traditional block print motifs, often introducing a modern twist in design and color. Artisans imprint the cloth with hand-carved wooden blocks moving left to right, stamping the cloth, repeating to cover the entire cloth. SHOP ALL TABLE LINENS >

RIFT VALLEY SERVWARE - The Leakey Collection's premier line of table top is hand-crafted from East African fallen Acacia Tortillis. This sustainably harvested hard wood is distinguished from all other soft Acacia woods on the market today. Twenty-five highly skilled Maasai artisans are involved in bringing each unique piece to life by hand shaping, hand sanding, and hand rubbing with a special mixture of food-safe, luxury oils to ensure the finest quality and luster. The Leakey Collection works to provide economic opportunity to Maasai living in Kenya’s Rift Valley. In 2001, a terrible drought occurred and the Maasai's livelihood disappeared as their cattle died. Philip and Katy Leakey, who live among the Maasai, wanted to help their neighbors and provide them with work opportunities without changing their culture. SHOP RIFT VALLEY SERVWARE >

BELL PLACEHOLDERS - These elegant place name holders come in a vintage glass and provide the perfect welcome for your dinner guests.  Handmade using recycled glass in Kashmire by artists working at NKUKU.  Made from recycled glass that requires 30% less energy to melt when compared with raw material. Using less energy means less fuel is burnt and less emissions. Nkuku is socially responsible and built on the principles of fair trade and equal opportunity.  They aim to promote and develop the traditional skills of artisans, who have astounding skills but challenging living standards and restricted opportunities, bringing their work to new markets through wholesale and retail channels. Co-op profits are invested in charities such as KIDS Company and The Village of Hopes and Dreams and Manacare. Set of 8. SHOP PLACEHOLDERS >

KITCHEN WINDOW PIE DISH - Lombok potters make this uniquely beautiful pie dish with fluted edge and hand-etched designs. Hand-formed by women potters of Lombok, Indonesia, this dish is low fired over a wood fire and packed in straw.  This compacts and strengthens the piece’s surface, and creates a sheen that enhances the colors and marks created by firing. Lombok Pottery Center is a collection of four cooperatives: a staff cooperative and three village production cooperatives. The ultimate goal of the project is to create a sustainable environment for the potters and the community. The potters of Lombok have come from a community in which living standard is low, and where illiteracy and infant mortality rates are high.  SHOP THE PIE DISH >



October 25, 2015 by AMERICAN NOMAD