Author Archives: Tina Browning

Artisanal Artistry

Artisanal Artistry

With a love for all things exquisite, over the years, I have curated what I see as a haven for the unique. In a buzzing climate of exponential growth in the material world, I would like to take a minute to honour the artisans, without whom none of this would be possible. Artisans, myself included, are a special breed! Our minds are sponges, continuously soaking up ideas and dreaming, often spending many hours on an idea before it is even put down on paper. The amount of work behind creating a piece of art on any scale is astounding and the thought process can be exhausting. The incredible crafts honed by artisans are often neglected and the final piece of art undervalued. Crafting requires a creative mind and a whole lot of patience! I for one hugely appreciate the work of all artisans near and far and not only love working with them to create my own pieces but I also love supporting, encouraging and promoting them as much as possible. The stories behind the crafting process are as wonderful as the outcome and any small irregularities are part of the journey the item has been on before it becomes yours.

Here are a few artisans and artisanal crafts I am particularly enamoured with and would love for you to know more about.

Decoupage. Handmade by artisan sisters in the UK, our collection of decoupage pieces is always a conversation starter. For those of you who aren’t familiar with decoupage, it’s a decorative art dating back to the 12th century. A picture is meticulously cut out and applied using many layers of varnish, creating a final effect that is so perfect it looks as though it has been hand painted. A favourite of mine are the decoupaged soaps; soaps so pretty you won’t want to use them, but you can! Each one takes quite a few hours to make and they are the perfect gift. Pop by to see the coasters from the same artisans as well as the beautiful vases, pots, boxes and bowls.

SHOP CANDLES, SOAPS AND SCENTS

Paper-cut Domes. These domes are breathtakingly beautiful. A whole paper cut village is created inside a glass dome, with pictures of our favourite landmarks in Ibiza. Made exclusively for us, these Ibiza domes feature iconic venues in the including the lovely villages of San Joan and our very own Santa Gertrudis. Paper-cut pieces are mounted onto wire to create the 3-d effect of the village and the whole scene is forever encapsulated inside a glass dome – spectacular and such fiddly work! Available in 3 sizes, pop in to choose your favourite. The perfect centrepiece for your coffee table or mantelpiece.

SHOP UNIQUE PIECES

Laurance. Fascinated by the endless possibilities of clay, Laurance’s visions shine through in her amazingly quirkly and fabulous pieces of pottery. Greatly inspired by cultural travel through lands afar, Laurance not only moulds her pieces but also hand paints them. Each design is brought to life through consistency and colour and each one is somehow more wonderfully whimsical than the next. 

Block Printing. What an astonishing craft! I will never tire of the beauty of hand block printing. Many of you may not fully know about the amount of work that goes into a hand block printed item before the final piece is ready. Hand block printing is predominantly a 5-step process and requires the input of 5 different artisans. If you take a dress for example, it will have been stitched by one artisan, hand dyed by another, hand block printed by a third, quality controlled by a fourth and the design of the prints is done by yet another person! Our hand block printing can be seen on many of our pieces, including the very pretty collection we curate every year with the Women’s Interlink Foundation in India – a whole team of skilled artisans who have been rescued from an underprivileged life and taught a trade. Read more about block printing and about WIF here.

SHOP THE WOMEN'S INTERLINK FOUNDATION

Ibiza Espadrilles. The island of Ibiza has a magic of its own. It has been the muse of many an artist and artisan over the years and has been the birthplace of many a wonderful craft. High on our list of artisanal delights are the Ibiza Espadrille Sandals. The perfect footwear for island hopping in floaty Bohemian dresses or shirts & shorts. They are handmade true to a traditional island craft. They have a rounded toe and can be fastened with the Roman strap closure. The string technique allows your feet to breathe and because they are so light, it feels like you are walking barefoot! Worn by the traditional, folkloric “Ball Pagès” dancers, these lovely sandals are inspired by the light, the sea and the Ibiza breeze and each pair is meticulously worked from natural cactus fibres and has a rubber soul. Passed down through the generations, this is a local artisan craft that we feel is important to keep alive, not only because we love the sandals, but also because it is an incredible craft.

SHOP BAGS, PURSES AND SHOES
If you are a creative soul yourself or know someone who is, please do encourage them to bring their ideas to life. If you’re looking for inspiration don’t hesitate to pop in to La Galeria Elefante or come and spend a crafternoon with me in my studio in the hills. Together we can keep crafts alive and support artisanal talent.
 

Meet Victoria Durrer Gasse the Elly founder & curator

La galeria elefante meet victoria
La galeria elefante meet victoria

My very first visit to Ibiza was with my mother in 1970 and I of course fell hopelessly in love with the island way back then, spending every summer here thereafter. The scent of the pine forests, the sea, the sunsets, the relaxed vibe, the hippies and all the dirt roads really captivated me. Three month long summer holidays were a luxury and when we were lucky enough to come for Easter too, I was just in heaven!

As you can imagine, Ibiza in the ’70s was another world! There were very few tarmac roads, mostly all were dirt roads known as caminos, and as young teenagers we made our way from beaches to nightclubs on funky Mobylette mopeds. Perfect days were spent exploring the islands’ hidden coves with crystal clear waters, swimming with friends at sunset and dancing until dawn at the nightclubs; Pacha and the infamous KU were among our favourites. Sailing to and around Formentera with groups of friends on their boats, teenagers and kids camping on Espalmador, whilst parents slept on the boats enjoying their own parties under the moonlit sky. Memories of those summers are visions of picnics, laughter, music, dancing and my first kiss… all sweet joyous teenage awkwardness touched by salt, sand and the love of this island.

In the late ’90s, my husband François and I decided to move here permanently after our son Emile was born. Finding our dream house, an old finca perched on the top of a hill in Santa Agnes, was the first step to calling Ibiza home and we have never looked back. Using many traditional methods we have slowly renovated our home over the years and there really is nothing I love more than waking up to an incredible sunrise across the valley and taking long, country walks with my family and gorgeous dog Pluto.

I was approached in 2010 by my friend Sharon, owner of the La Galeria Elefante building and we began the journey of turning La Galeria Elefante into the beautiful, museum-like treasure trove that it is today. We recently dissolved our partnership and I am now the sole business owner, working hard with my incredible team to make La Galeria Elefante one of the most inspiring shops on the island to visit.

In business and in my private life I love to travel and so sourcing unique pieces for the shop is almost like a hobby. I am fortunate enough to be able to mix business with pleasure and am able to go to many places where I can explore the terrain of textiles, enjoy great food, cafes, meet new people and walk around and discover local markets. This opens up the doors to finding new NGOs to work with all over the world as collaborations with small businesses and talented artisans are a huge part of what we love to do best.

Winters are spent creating in my studio at home and preparing trips to India and Nepal to work with the NGOs and the Nepalese foundation. In recent years I have also made some amazing work relationships and can now proudly say that many of my Victoria Made With Love & Laughter items have been found in shops we love like Urban Outfitters & John Lewis.

La Galeria Elefante Collaborations & Pop-Ups

La Galeria Elefante Collaborations with talented friends & partners everywhere

As well as our main treasure trove in Santa Gertrudis, we also work with a number of our favourite people at locations we love! If you are not able to pop in and see us here, please do try and visit one of the following pop-ups at whichever location best suits you.

Cas Gasi. A stunning rural hotel located right in the centre of the island. Ideal for a peaceful escape, surrounded by immaculately tended grounds where you can appreciate a sensational Ibiza sunset, relax by the pools or at the in-house spa. Even enjoy a meal prepared by their accomplished local chefs (by reservation only). Occupying a cosy corner of Cas Gasi is our small but sweet pop up shop with a selection of some of our most popular items, including floaty summer dresses, beach-side kaftans, silk trousers, scented candles, hand embroidered cushions and more. If you would like to know more about this peaceful haven, please contact Cas Gasi directly at info@casgasi.com

La Paloma. A countryside cafe, restaurant & shop in the most beautifully picturesque surroundings, with an eclectic mix of colourful furnishings set out under fruit trees and vines. Elegantly eccentric decor and a philosophy of encouraging healthy eating & providing food for the soul, makes this family run business an absolute pleasure to visit for both romantic meals, events or family outings. The shop here is a collaboration between La Paloma & La Galeria Elefante and is filled with pieces by their favourite local & international artisans as well as our own collections and unique pieces by Victoria. Browse through a wide selection of clothing including very special vintage pieces, Victoria´s own label & favourite brands and homewares as well as clothing & toys for kids. For more information please contact restaurante@palomaibiza.com.

We are over the moon to be able to say that we have also collaborated with Urban Outfitters & John Lewis in the UK:

Urban Outfitters.
We produced a lovely collection of 6 styles of dresses and working with their very easygoing fun loving team was great. Our capsule collection here was quite popular and sold out faster than we could have hoped for!

John Lewis.
This was a collection of 5 dresses in our gorgeous prints, made with the amazing JLP team. This collaboration was born after meeting Jo, the head of women’s wear, at the Port Elliot Festival, chatting and laughing in the Cornish pouring rain! Jo loved our stand and we have loved collaborating with this very hard working, welcoming, warm and friendly team John Lewis & Partners.

These Ellies really never stop so keep your ears and eyes open and don’t miss our next collaboration or project!

A Peek Into The Life Of Hjordis Fogelberg-Ibiza Guide

ibiza guide book
a guide book of Formentera
a guide book of ibiza

Dear Hjordis (Ibiza guide),
Thank you for allowing us to interview you about your Ibiza guide books and we look forward to supporting you in all your future endeavors,
Love,
The Elly Herd

An inquisitive mind is a happy mind and we love to find out a little more about the amazing people we work with. Hjordis Fogelberg, artist & author of the best-selling Ibiza guide My Ibiza & Formentera has been extremely busy over the years compiling content for her heartfelt guide. The guide is your one-stop-shop if you want to experience the side of Ibiza we all know and love, with bespoke insider tips about Hjordis´s favourite spots on both Ibiza & Formentera.

Born in Barcelona but raised in Ibiza, Hjordis has spent some time in the UK but calls Ibiza home. If living in Ibiza weren´t an option, Hjordis would quite happily move to the paradise island of Formentera. Passion is what drives most creative minds and it is no different for Hjordis who has always been an artist. Her passion for drawing is her favourite type of meditation and along with the poetic words of Jim Morrison from The Doors, it has helped her through any confusing or sad times. Hjordis is both a nighttime nutter and a daytime dreamer and often becomes annoyingly creative at night, waking up surrounded by post-its so as not to forget a single middle-of-the-night brainwave!

After spending the majority of her childhood filling up sketchbooks, Hjordis chose to study Graphic Design to lead her in a more commercial direction. Despite this, Hjordis has gone full circle and while deciding how to approach the visuals for her guide, realized that after illustrating the cover for the First Edition, the whole guide was better suited to her beautiful water colour sketches right the way through, rather than photographs.

If a complete career & lifestyle change were on the books for Hjordis for 1 year, we would have to visit this impressive character in Hawaii, spending her days as a pro surfer simultaneously possessing her chosen super power of flight in order to travel more & visit friends at will! While this is not currently an option, Hjordis is spreading her wings here on the island and is involved in another fantastic project – Love Ibiza Now. It is clear to see from her work that Hjordis has a deep love for our beautiful islands and so it came as no surprise to hear of her latest project, in collaboration with her friend Ana Lui. This venture is a conscientious effort to promote awareness, exercise this awareness and work together to maintain the beauty of our islands. The fresh Ibiza air is one of the things that Hjordis misses most while away so let´s all do our part to help protect our surroundings. Shop now Ibiza Guide