Category Archives: Handcrafted

Beyond the Reef

Love the story behind these handmade bags from the Japanese brand, Beyond the Reef. We’ll summarize the story with excerpts from their website:

“After her dear husband passed away and her two sons left the nest, my mother-in-law, a typical housewife, started to absorb herself in knitting, one of her most favorite things, as if to make up for her loneliness. Even though she had more than enough time, she had nothing to do… “No one needs me” – it could be one of the most cruel, unbearable realizations for a person to face. I started to think about what I could do for her, and came up with an idea; I could do something using the power of knitting, my mother-in-law’s favorite thing to do. That’s how Beyond the reef was born.”

“I saw my mother-in-law knitting diligently and happily, I realized that there might be the other elderly women who would probably in the same situation too. If only I could help by giving them a chance to work as a knitter and join society again, their life would become more meaningful. Then, I started looking for some elderly knitters, and luckily I happened to find them .”

“With their own purposes, women in different circumstances joined Beyond the Reef. Mothers learn how to knit from the skilled elderly knitters and young people order the products. It is fun to see their interaction across the generations, and I truly hope our bags can work as a link to connect many people.”

You can follow the group on their website, Facebook, and Instagram.

Images: Courtesy of Beyond the Reef.

Copper & Cross

We’re always on the lookout for hand crafted projects and so we turn to an old favorite, Oho de Dios or God’s eye. This woven motif is a ritual tool associated with the Huichol and Tepehuan Indians of western Mexico. More recently they are created for celebration, blessing, and protection with each color representing different meanings.

We found the appealing crosses above on Australian web shop, Copper & Cross, whose focus is on handcrafted home decor. Along with the crosses they also have a collection of Chunga basket rounds handwoven by the Wounaan/Embera tribes of the Darien Rainforest in Panama. Copper & Cross website and shop can be found here.

Images: Courtesy of Copper & Cross.

Tokyo Pear

Tokyo Pear is a letterpress studio and shop that got its start in Seattle, Washington and then relocated to Japan in 2007. The brand is owned by Eriko and Darren who decided to introduce independent letterpress to Japan. Their graphics are minimal and show a definite folk art influence. You can follow them on their website and purchase a few of their items on Etsy.

Images: Courtesy of Tokyo Pear.