Friday, October 22, 2010

Hand/Eye

Instead of getting ready for tomorrow's craft fair I've spent way too long reading all the interesting articles on the Hand/Eye magazine's website.


I got here initially through their shop called 12 small things by Hand/Eye where I found these adorable donkey baby booties from Mongolia made out of sheeps wool.
And this purple shawl from Cambodia



And these serving spoons made in Guatemala from the wood of discarded coffee bushes



"12 Small Things by HAND/EYE offers high quality, handmade, artisan goods from around the globe. Our collections support craftspeople working to improve the lives of their families and communities in some of the most challenging situations on the planet. Their stories are those of strength, hope, and beauty, and each of our products reflects these qualities in their design and craftsmanship. 12 Small Things by HAND/EYE strives to assist these communities and artisans through commerce. "

Even if you're not into shopping, you can read some wonderful articles about the people who make the crafts, the process, and the travels of those who help the craftspeople market their products. 

I read a couple of interesting articles on indigo dyeing and another one about Connie Duckworth's trip with the US Military to Afghanistan to look at opportunities for community development.


Photo courtesy of Sgt. Heidi Agostini, USMC


Connie is the Founder and CEO of the non-profit Arzu Rugs in 2003, employing thousands of Afghan women weavers and keeping them and their families out of poverty.

The website for Arzu Rugs is full of interesting information on how the company works with the women in Afghanistan. For example, the contract they have with the weavers includes the following:

 ARZU agrees to pay women the market-weaving rate, plus up to a 50% incentive bonus for the highest quality workmanship. In exchange for this extra income, families must agree: to send all children, both girls and boys, under age 15 to school full-time; to allow all women in the household to attend ARZU literacy classes; and to permit ARZU to transport pregnant women and newborns to clinics for pre- and post-natal care."

It's not just giving them work, it's making sure they have access to essential skills and education.

I'm always inspired by the people who have the vision and skills to create changes in the lives of people around the world. And this is just one of many interesting stories that I want to share with you. There will be more to come.

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