Meet Mary - the latest addition to our fair trade gnome family. Her pal Norman has packed his bag for the winter and Mary will be taking is place during the festive season. Made in Vietnam, Mary is just one of our range of amazing ceramics made in the far east in fair trade factories which guarantee workers rights, pay and conditions. A perfect addition to any Christmas scene!
We'r really pleased to have more stock of our beautiful perching birds. These little creatures will sit happily on most jugs, vases or cups, and brighten up any room. They are hand made in Thailand and are a lovely match for some of our ceramic vases.
We've been making some changes to the front of the shop this week - getting ready for autumn while doing our best to accentuate the last of the summer sun! What do you think?
We've mixed some of our favourite copper pieces from Nepal with a range of our best-selling yellow ceramics which are designed in Holland and made in Thailand. We love the combination of rich, deep, earthy tones from the copper and the bright sunshine of the pottery. Hope you agree!
As always, provenance is key :)
It's always great to be able to chat to people who come into the shop about the stories behind the products we sell. Every now and then we meet someone with a special insight into something we sell, and this was the case when Julie visited us over the Hay Festival. She explained that she had visited the Sang Arun factory where some of our ceramics are made on a trip to Thailand. Julie was good enough to send us a couple of photos of their trip.
"Hello - you may remember I was in your shop on Bank Holiday Monday and talked to you about the Thai vases you had on display as we had visited the factory where they are made last summer. When I got home I had a look through the pictures from our holiday and thought you might be interested in seeing a couple from the Sang Arun factory - I've even got one of a lady making vases like the ones you had on display! As you will see the factory is light and airy and all workers were wearing masks to protect them from the clay dust."
We're so grateful to Julie for taking the time to send these snaps to us, and it's amazing to see for ourselves that the vision we're working towards seems to be having a practical effect. A lot of people ask us whether we've visited all of the places where we source our products. Sadly that's not practical at the moment, but we hope to notch a few more off the list as we continue to grow. For now we work with groups and co-operatives as close to the ground as possible to ensure that there are as few steps as possible between us and the people producing the items.
If you have any photos of fair trade products being produced around the world, any snaps of items you've bought from Eighteen Rabbit in their new homes or pictures of your visit to Hay on Wye, do send them in - there will be prizes for any we feature!
Piet Hein Eek is, quite simply, a design superstar. While he may not be a household name here in the UK, in Holland his work is the subject of museum exhibitions and huge critical acclaim. He's perhaps best known for his work with waste wood and other materials, turning what other people might see as junk into sleek, stylish designs.
He has recently completed a collaboration with Dutch interior design company Fair Forward. It is these pieces that form the centrepiece of the range we're stocking at Eighteen Rabbit. Working in partnership with Vietnamese potters, he has combined a contemporary form with traditional colours and patterns to produce a unique hybrid design which feels effortlessly modern while also keeping alive historic motifs and techniques.
Alongside these unique designs from Piet Hein Eek we have hand picked a selection of other cool designs from Fair Forward, including quirky ceramic origami birds, hip lemonade crockery and a statement pestle and mortar. We'll be expanding our range over the next few months so keep checking back to see more of these incredible pieces.
Designs currently in stock by Piet Hein Eek are:
Large Crane Vase
Large Bamboo Vase