1 All of the photos in this blog are courtesy of the International Folk Art Alliance, Jane Bernard and Bob Smith.
The new International Folk Art Market Online Shop is featuring jewelry, baskets, textiles and other folk art products. International artists have received a year of training and mentoring to participate in this web site launch.
2 Seven sisters from Kyrgyzstan learned their textile craft from their father, a master saddle maker. The 7 Sisters create decorative motifs illustrative of their culture’s pagan symbols for earth, sky, and water, as well as animal life of the region. Here are the three oldest sisters. http://goo.gl/2cnN6i
3 These beautiful scarves are made of silk and felt. This past summer, two of the seven sisters visited the Martha Stewart Living offices to show and talk about their craft with several of our design staff. Several staff members are now proud owners of their beautiful scarves.
4 Akeem Ayanniyi makes traditional West African drums that are played for ceremonial occasions and religious functions. These drums are some of the oldest village-to-village communication instruments in Nigeria. http://goo.gl/zwiDWV
5 The Mahogany Djembe Drum is a Nigerian hand drum. Akeem carves unique Nigerian designs into the mahogany wood completing the design with a carved elephant, a strong symbol in Nigerian culture. Then he stretches the goat skin over the end and ties with rope to achieve the necessary tension for the desired sound. He also adds rope along the base as a decorative accent and as the method to carry the drum. http://goo.gl/zwiDWV
6 Ebenezer Djaba Nomoda has a nickname of Cedi. Nicknamed after the Ghanaian currency, Cedi has been making beads from recycled glass for several years. He uses a mortar and pestle to crush recycled bottles and then fills molds with the glass preparing the glass to be fired in the clay kilns. http://goo.gl/7FJBgG
7 Glass beads play an important role in Cedi’s Krobo culture where they illustrate wealth and status. Cedi has received numerous awards for his work. http://goo.gl/7FJBgG
8 Ombre Arts Tryst is an organization that supports artisans from Namibia. Omba holds workshops and trainings to help the artists improve their skills and artists are now working independently to train others in their communities.
9 These unique colorful bracelets are made from PVC Pipe. The etched bracelets use to be made from ivory or animal bone. As these materials became endangered, the artists started making the bracelets from PVC preserving the integrity of the original Himba designs.
10 Elhadji Koumama is a talented silversmith from Niger. His artistic skills have taken him from the deserts of Niger to the international marketplace. Working with 40 silversmiths in his workshop and neighboring towns, he not only runs his jewelry business but has helped feed families in surroundings villages and build schools and wells. http://goo.gl/mjRtDr
11 If you are looking for unique piece of jewelry, the Tuareg Silver jewelry from Niger is a special purchase for yourself or as a gift. You have the choice of purchasing a beautiful necklace, bracelet or pair of earrings. http://goo.gl/mjRtDr
12 Anna Nepyivoda from Ukraine represents the Hutsul, an ethno-cultural group of Ukrainian highlanders who are known for colorful and sophisticated embroidery, carpet weaving, and egg decorating. http://goo.gl/FvJIc4
13 The beautiful Ukrainian painted eggs are part of the ancient traditions of Ukraine. http://goo.gl/6tAop2
14 Luis Méndez López from Spain, along with his brothers, represent the third generation of goldsmiths in their family. Luis is known for the incredible detail in his work. http://goo.gl/xpvoi4
15 A traditional goldsmith technique introduced by Greek and Phoenician settlers in Spain and Portugal, filigree is similar to textile embroidery, employing gold and silver threads that are smoothed or twisted, and sometimes, worked over a metal sheet. http://goo.gl/xpvoi4
16 Dorje is part of a group called Lhasa Villages that makes yak leather bags. Lhasa Villages is dedicated to preserving Tibetan traditions and making sure that artists can continue their traditional livelihoods in a changing society. http://goo.gl/bV6b9U
17 The hand-made bag with snow lion nose motif is handmade from yak leather by the Tibetan artists of Lhasa Villages. The soft and durable yak leather is acquired from a local tanning factory that collects the hides from Tibetan nomads. http://goo.gl/bV6b9U
18 Jabbar Khatri creates the beautiful Bandhani Textiles in unique tie-dye designs. Bandhini refers to the technique of crafting patterned textiles by revisiting parts of a fabric by tying knots on it before it is dyed. Jabbar evolved the unique bandhini creations to such a level that he was awarded the prestigious UNESCO Seal of Excellence both in 2006 and 2007. Today, his enterprise generates income for more than 300 women in the villages of Kutch. http://goo.gl/MuapLg
19 If you are looking for unique scarves, the detail of the design of these scarves offers you the opportunity to own a one-of-a-kind treasure. http://goo.gl/MuapLg
20 Rasuljon Mirzaahmedov from Uzbekistan represents five generations of Ikat weavers in Margilan City, the most famous place for silk production in Central Asia. His family started a revival of velvet Ikat weaving in which white silk threads are dyed and placed on a narrow loom, a technique that is highly rare and complicated. http://goo.gl/iWVepB
21 The beauty of the Ikat woven fabric makes these decorative pillows very special. http://goo.gl/iWVepB
22 Josnel Bruno was an apprentice to master artist, Serge Jolimeau and is now a metalworker in Croix-des-Bouquets in Haiti. Josnel transforms discarded oil drums into remarkable artwork with his skill and creativity. http://goo.gl/JNzwzk
23 Josnel’ s hammered, chiseled, punched, and incised bowls and platters represent yet another innovation within the tradition that now defines the talent of the Haitian artisan community to the world. http://goo.gl/JNzwzk
24 Sahalandy means “Field of Silk." Silk weaving is a way of life in the rugged central highlands of Madagascar. The women of this cooperative call themselves “silkies” and in 2006, seven area weaving associations for the village of Sahalandy came together to form a federation. http://goo.gl/Jfa15C
25 Beautiful, handmade shawls like this are made of raw silk and may take up to six weeks to make- passing through the skilled hands of up to 30 villagers’ hands. http://goo.gl/Jfa15C
26 Erkebu Djumagulova is a textile artist from the capital city of Bishtek, Kyrgyzstan, who is a master at capturing the expressions and customs of the villagers of her native Kyrgyzstan through the intricately dressed dolls she makes from embroidered felt wool, silk, and yarn. http://goo.gl/3leBMu
27 The felt art people and animals from Kyrgyzstan are detailed and a delight to purchase for the children in your family. http://goo.gl/3leBMu
28 Shamlu Dudeja has worked 25 years with Self Help Enterprise, a not-for-profit organization focused on women’s welfare in rural parts of India and providing women with the training and support to produce exquisite Kantha pieces for people world-over. Self Help Enterprise, or SHE, makes a difference in the lives of hundreds of rural woman in India, by providing them with the tools that give them financial independence. http://goo.gl/Bdf2Et
29 The beautiful shawls and wall hangings have wonderful detailing-- such as this bird scarf. http://goo.gl/kmWHwv
30 For 44 years, Joyas Cachi from Peru has made silver jewelry from traditional designs that incorporate Inca and Spanish Colonial motifs. http://goo.gl/lb2o67
31 The wonderful designs of the jewelry are inspired by the cultures embedded in Peru. http://goo.gl/lb2o67
32 Maria Juana Sarango Gualan is a bead artist with La Mega, a Women’s Cooperative. This cooperative designs and weaves the traditional bead collars that identify the Saraguro, an indigenous southern Highland Ecuadorian people. The seed-bead collars – from one to six inches in width – are worn daily, even by very young girls. http://goo.gl/FVXPID
33 The traditional bright colors, horizontal stripes and geometric (triple triangle) beaded collar forms have contemporary designs that include “fresas” or berries, leaves and flowers. http://goo.gl/FVXPID
34 If you wish to own the best in international folk art and improve the lives of artists around the world, please visit this new web site and purchase some of the beautiful products presented. http://ifamonline.org