(New) The Beauty of Everyday Objects
In a pre-plastic and pre-carbon economy, tropical people were in a constant rhythm of replacement. Things like old bamboo cups and natural roofing became nourishment for soil after their useful life. The nipa hut sheds, through its inhabitants, and grows a new head of hair. The kawayanan or sasahan was a sort of commons-- people looked after the bamboo and nipa groves because their regeneration was essential to everyday life. It creates a relationship of management, beyond just extraction.
These days, in the thick of the slick, we forget that many objects were designed by everyday people as simple responses to practical problems. We've seen people flatten out cans and pound holes in them to make graters. We've seen people carve knife handles to replace broken ones. The solutions are limited by the available materials, and the mind.
At the shop, we try to strike a balance between durable goods, and those that are not exactly meant to last forever, but come from quickly renewable resources and employ human energy to create. Unlike extracting plastic, maintaining our natural store of materials builds the soil, creates oxygen, water catchment, and habitat for ourselves and animals. When a natural item's useful life is over, just compost it. If you can't make a replacement yourself, buying a handmade one supports a craftsman and keeps the skill alive.
Pictured above-- handmade melon and coconut grater with a bamboo handle (the aluminum is inserted into incisions in the bamboo), hand-turned santol wood reflexology sticks.