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For the past month I have been following a journey of a brand, with a brand message very close to my heart. In saying that, the brand is aptly named Heartisania.
If you’re familiar with my Instagram feed, I’ve been sharing the back story of how Heartisania came to be, and the ethos behind their brand.
“Somewhere on the other side of the world, a craftsman enchanted by the beauty of his land creates a masterpiece. And this is how the inspiration is born. A force that launches the great circle of life where nature, artisan and his creation are linked. The Circle of Inspiration.”
“Heartisania is a unique project that we set up with the view to connect you with local craftsmen living in the most distant corners of the globe. And to fill your life with the pure inspiration of handmade arts and crafts.”
“The Heartisania team is composed of the art experts and local enthusiasts that get in touch with craftsmen’s guilds all over the world. It is thanks to them that you can purchase amazing masterpieces straight from the hand of their authors. And thus, make your invaluable contribution to the national crafts’ development” - heartisania.com
Love it. Absolutely LOVE it! I’m a keen culture junkie, and adore travel.
Above Photograph Credit: Heartisania, Honduras.
Over my lifetime I’ve been lucky enough to have spent time absorbing experience from widespread areas of China, Jamaica, Cyprus, parts of Europe, and of course Japan, and from every journey I take a huge adoration in bringing at least one local, physical memory back with me to adorn my home with to recapture the awesome memories in a quick look toward the table, shelf, wherever it might be.
I’m a nostalgic sop when it comes to travel and cultural immersion – seriously. I almost wept at an elderly guy’s Zen garden out of a window in Japan recently, because I was so overwhelmed by even just being there and appreciating such a thing. Goodness knows what he might have thought had be seen me.
So when I found out about Heartisania and the work they do to connect personally with creatives across the globe to bring their skills and inspiration direct to us admirers, without mass factory production involved (the PURE crafting, straight from the source), I was ultimately excited and almost ready to weep in awe again (what is actually wrong with me??).
Browsing further through their pieces on site, each crafted item is in very limited number (sometimes literally 1 of 1!), and has its own personal background story attached to it, with its origin and method of creation.
It’s extremely hard not to want to choose every piece to live surrounded by, however I did pick up two gorgeous items which I could not be more happier with. Here’s a closer look.
“Handmade, decorative pine needle floral vase woven with brown polyester thread and white clay, made by a group of Lenca women in Honduras, completely made by hand without the use of a mold. The technique of creating crafts from pine needle is called “coiling” and is one of the oldest forms of weaving in the world.” – More info, and to buy.
I adore how you can literally see and feel how this vase has been made! You can feel where hands have shaped the vase around the base, to the neck, and the delicate holes placed for securing the pine needle weave. There are even areas of discoloration which are NOT defects, but simply again proof of the handmade nature of this pottery. Every single one, whilst it will come visually from the same concept and design, will be “different” in its physical make up and markings. Adore.
Wikipedia says: “The Lenca are an indigenous people of southwestern Honduras and eastern El Salvador. They once spoke the Lenca language, which is now extinct. In Honduras, the Lenca are the largest indigenous group, with an estimated population of 100,000. El Salvador's Lenca population is estimated at about 37,000.”
Above Photograph Credit: Heartisania, Honduras.
Above:Photograph Credit: Heartisania, Honduras.
“Wax cast, liquid metal poured into cast and set. This tribal art is from the Bastar area of Chhattisgarh, and is made using the lost wax process called “cire perdue” in the west. This work is called “Gadwakam” in the local language. It is practised by tribals.
Characterised by figures with long arms and legs, Gadwakam is a complex process. A clay model is first set up. Then a wax lining is placed on this. The artist makes his sculpture on the wax. Another coating of clay with an opening at the bottom is laid over the wax. When the outer shell is dry and hard, a fire is lit around it so that the wax melts and flows out through it. Into this empty space is poured the molten metal. The outer layer is removed after it has cooled down. The resulting inner sculpture is finished, smoothed and polished.” – More info, and to buy.
So how can I not smile ridiculously wide at these guys? Just look at the ‘happy mahout’!!! The detailing and weight to this piece is extraordinary, and I am still to this day completely shocked to my core at how this was crafted so perfectly, and to such an intricate process. Every part of the model is perfect, from its sculpture to its finish. It just blows me away!! I love his little feet at the bottom! If this was simply a mass produced, machine manufactured piece, you would never have this raw edge and detail left. Again, this is NOT a defect, this is a sign of pure handmade craftsmanship!
Like the Lenca vase, the back story and knowledge of how much care and effort went into this piece, again, from a tribal culture makes this piece sing more than just as a visual element to the home, but as a genuine handmade craft itself – and here these things are, available to us, all from the support and interaction with them by Heartisania.
Wikipedia says: “The tribes of Bastar region are known for their unique and distinctive tribal culture and heritage in all over the world. Each tribal group in Bastar has their own distinct culture and enjoys their own unique traditional living styles. Each tribe has developed its own dialects and differs from each other in their costume, eating habits, customs, traditions and even worships different form of god and goddess."
A large number of Bastar tribals are still living in deep forests and avoid mixing with outsiders in order to protect their own unique culture. The tribes of Bastar are also known for their colorful festivals and arts and crafts. The Bastar Dussehra is the most famous festival of the region. The tribals of Bastar were also amongst the earliest to work with metal and have expertise in making beautiful figurines of tribal gods, votive animals, oil lamps, carts and animals.”
If you’re like me and feel super passionate about this kind of thing, I urge you to follow the journey of Heartisania and they’re team as they continue to bring us such amazing gifts with incredible soul. Not only are they doing an incredibly wonderful deed all round, they’re a genuine lovely group of people personally too!
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