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Travel stories, inspiration, news and musing

We are the dreamers, the seekers, the travellers, the adventurers, the optimists. It's nice to meet you! There are lots of us with the same DNA - we look forward to sharing the journey with you.

Filtering by Tag: craftsmanship

How to rock stone at home

Elissa Webster

You know how it goes. You're wandering through a market in the heart of somewhere - somewhere awesome, somewhere you want to remember. There are amazing, handcrafted things everywhere you look. But lots of them are stone. And stone is heavy. And the somewhere where you are is somewhere ... else.

But ... that stone really is beautiful. And it represents a tradition of craftsmanship that spans continents and centuries. And you just love it.

But it probably wouldn't work in your house anyway. Right? Right?

Actually, stone works with just about any style you might be curating. Take this selection of smooth operators, sourced by DIY Decorator, for example.  Whether we're talking a trinket box for a powder room or a pretty paper weight for the study, stone fits the bill beautifully.

Or how about the kitchen? What else is as practical and stylish as stone? Check out these beauties found by DIY Decorator.

What's more, stone is totally cool right now. According to Sight Unseen, beauties like this sleek stone mirror are among the show stoppers at this year's European trade shows.

Martha Stewart has even come up with a make-your-own stone decor series.

But if you prefer something with a little more history, a little less work, and a lot less excess luggage charges, check out the stone treasures Wanderlust People have brought home. Handcarved by the artisans at Tara Projects in India, these gorara stone bookends are a case in point. The traditions of stone carving in India stretch back as far as Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan who brought skilled stone workers to Agra under to build the Taj Mahal. And even better, Tara Project's artisan projects are helping provide craftspeople hone their skills and earn a fair income.

And these bookends are just to get you started. Check out all the stone treasures available this week and (wait for it...) rock on.

Write here...

These bombshell earrings are the best kind of bling getting around. Here’s why.

Elissa Webster

They’re shiny and ever-so-eye-catching – but these earrings are so much more.

These earrings are crafted from old artillery shell casings, collected from around the Cambodian countryside and the Mekong River. Those bombshells are left overs from Pol Pot’s genocidal regime in the 1970s, which took the lives of over two million Cambodians in just four years and shredded the social, cultural and economic fabric of the nation.

These earrings are a symbol of peace. In transforming these remnants of bloodshed into things of beauty, Cambodian artisans are working to craft a new legacy: one that acknowledges and accepts the tragedy their nation has experienced and uses it to build a beautiful future.

These earrings are handcrafted. Trained artisan’s cut rings from the cylindrical brass shells using an acetylene torch, and then polish the edges smooth. Traditional motifs like doves and leaves are hand-engraved into the metal with intricate Khmer patterns from Angkor Wat. 

These earrings honour and reflect a rich heritage of craftsmanship. Brass and silverwork has been a trade in Cambodia since the eighth century, and each design carries a legacy of Cambodian history and meaning.  Art forms like jewellery making came under threat during the destruction of the Khmer Rouge regime, but creating these bombshell earrings helps resurrect the creative talent that has been trampled.

These earrings bolster the economic prospects of its craftspeople. Providing a market for these earrings provides an important stream of income for craftspeople in Cambodia, whose economy is still struggling to recover four decades on from the conflict. In doing so, it also encourages the passing on of skills and the continued recovery and growth of survivors of the genocide.

Can you beat that sort of bling? We don’t think so!

Find out more at Rajana Crafts