Sunday, March 20, 2011

Some Special Homewares

I collect examples of other screen printers' homewares - usually tea towels and usually Australian. But these are a little bit different and special. When I was visiting Cambodia recently I purchased this stunning set of screen printed silk place mats, and heard the interesting story behind their production.

The silk yarn is dyed and hand woven using traditional Khmer techniques in a small workshop (Orange River- named after the Mekong River at sunset) outside of Phnom Penh, then screen printed and sewn into various products. The enterprise which supports fair trade is typical of many burgeoning "silk farms" now being established throughout the country - both to resurrect and nurture the traditional weaving culture of Cambodia (essentially destroyed during the Khmer Rouge regime) and provide an important source of income for the artisans. At this stage insufficient silk thread is being produced in Cambodia and much still has to be imported from China and Vietnam.

This bread basket from Mekong Quilts is another example of the effort (from NGOs/non profit organisations) being directed to support the artisans in the rural villages in Cambodia. Money generated from sales provides books and scholarships for school children, and other community development programs in some of the poorest areas of Cambodia.

It's great to be able to support these causes by purchase of such lovely pieces of work.

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