One of our biggest points of pride - and challenge - is explaining the "why" of offering artisan, handmade pottery, tableware gifts and more. In a world of online shopping in which the lowest price is often the key search term, how can the indisputably more expensive selections painstakingly brought to the market from a global network of small family studios possible compete?
The answer is simple: handmade dishware and pottery items don't compete with mass-produced items, they complement. The reality is we all have different priorities and pocketbooks in our lives. Mass-produced goods give folks the opportunity to have beautiful-looking things at an affordable price. I also firmly believe that once you've seen the beauty of something mass-produced that reflects an artisan tradition, you've started a journey.
A journey of learning, beauty and appreciation for the history, artistry and culture behind that copy of a Greek, Mexican, North American, Italian or other country's classic handcraft. Loving the surprisingly contemporary look of a Greek pottery imitation opens the door to learning more about Cretan civilization and the centuries of pottery production that island has produced.
Being entranced by the vivid colors of Talavera Mexican pottery can open your eyes to the history of this craft and how Mexican artisans excelled (in my humble opinion) the talents of the Spanish invaders art to triumph with a beautiful, story-telling artistic tradition of their own.
Even something as simple as soap has a story to tell. My niece's soapworks studio goes back to the days when all natural ingredients and simple herbs and essences were used to make soap. Mass-produced cleaning products are often full of synthetics, chemicals and harsh detergents. Organic ingredients and old-school production delivers a gentle, environmentally-friendly way to suds up that is delightful and - while more expensive than corporately-produced soap, still a fabulous treat for mind and body.
I believe that people should have beauty in their lives. Affordable, mass-produced products open the door to owning that beauty. But when budget or savings allow, owning a handcrafted item is akin to owning a piece of history and a one-of-a-kind piece that you, and only you, has the privilege to serve as steward of.
Finally, and most importantly of all, purchasing artisan-crafted goods provides support for the handmade way of life. Creating sustainable income for talented artisans across the world preserves culture, educates and enriches. A small price to pay for that beautiful coffee mug or elegantly simple dinner plate or dish.
Thank you for supporting the artisans of the world, whether it be through a purchase here at Rustica Gift & Pottery, a donation or purchase to a global resource such as Novica - or simply buying that irresistible art piece at your local farmers market.
Here's to supporting creativity, culture and the fine tradition of artisan craftsmanship!
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Fall is approaching. There's a tinge in the morning air and the leaves will be arrayed in vibrant color soon. All of this seasonal change calls for delicious comfort food and equally delectable artisan handcrafted dinnerware.
We can't help ourselves - our tableware is beautiful, but when it's full of home-made Greek Gyros, sighhh.
Here's a delicious recipe featuring a chicken gyro complete with home-made Tzatziki sauce from amazing blog Modern Honey.