Tag Archives: Crafts

Designed by Victoria in the Hills of Ibiza

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For as long as I can remember I have been a huge fan of crafts and handmade pieces always put a smile on my face. I love the home-made, handspun feel, especially when you can see the story the piece is telling. The best therapy for me is spending as much time as possible in my studio in the hills of Ibiza. I can literally spend hours in my own world, doodling, designing, planning and producing. Some of the items at La Galeria Elefante are my own creations and I absolutely adore making them! Often influenced by the colours of the different seasons, the sounds of nature, and the beautiful Ibiza light, my whimsical designs include pieces like the Nest Lamps, the Branch of Life, the lovely little Alice Baskets perfect for a candle and the Happy Baskets (an Ibiza-style handbag). All pieces are made with love and lots of laughter.

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La Galeria Elefante Ibiza

Crafternoons bring me inner peace. As well as crafting or painting on my own, I thoroughly enjoy taking part in workshops which in turn inspire me to create for the shop. A favourite of mine is participating in the Sparkling Surfaces course taught by the fabulous and inspirational Andrew Logan (andrewlogan.com). The “wonderful workshops” event takes place yearly in Jaipur where we design and make sparkling jewellery as well as the glass and mirror mosaic art for the walls. If you are interested in crafting, definitely check out www.wonderfulworkshops.org and sign yourself up for some fun.

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These original pieces I’ve made over the years are on display at La Galeria Elefante and I have since found artisans in India to replicate some of my pieces for us. Our Glitter Signs are available in two sizes and express various sentiments. Choose between “Peace,” “Love,” “Magic” or the slightly risqué “Fuck-it,” each carved from wood and bedazzled with mirror, colourful beads and glitter.

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Glitter Love Sign La Galeria Elefante Ibiza
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We also have the Angel Wing which is another pretty piece in this collection, now available in the shop. Although my original piece is a single wing, the ones we are producing come as a pair and look lovely hanging together on the wall of a kids’ room. Made using little pearls, mirror-work and glitter, these wings are available in small and large in various colours and will add a lovely sparkle to any wall while reflecting the light. Also available as a replica of my original piece is the sparkly Protective Eye, to watch over you and keep you from harm. Made with mirror-work, colourful beads, tiny pearl beads and glitter, the eyeballs on these eyes are made from a concave piece of mirror, adding an extra dimension.

All our signs and wings are made for us by a small family run business we love working with in Delhi. These sparkly decorative signs have become signature pieces and so are always available.

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Kantha Stitch Embroidery

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Intricate embroidery, colourful stitching, detailed needlework and craftsmanship passed down through generations have always been fascinating to me. Although not a seamstress myself, my enthusiasm for design comes greatly from my grandmother who had a wonderful eye for the exquisite. Ardently supporting the makers of disappearing crafts is an obsession of mine and the beauty of a handmade piece never ceases to amaze me. KANTHA is a favourite of mine. This pretty running stitch can be seen on so many of our fabulous pieces in the shop.
The word Kantha literally means ‘rags’ in Sanskrit, which is the perfect definition as a finished kantha piece is composed of all sorts of pieces of scrap fabrics, including unused pieces of beautiful saris.
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Patchwork Making
Perfect for both men and women, our Kantha Jackets are a great example of this wonderful running stitch – choose between our funky box jacket, the stylishly oversized jacket, a hip length version or even the Kantha Riding Jacket for a more fitted look. As well as these wonderful jackets, we have a wide selection of kantha blankets & bedspreads in all colours and kantha cushions in all shapes and sizes. A number of the dresses, tops and tunics in my Victoria Made With Love & Laughter label are hemmed with pretty lines of colourful running kantha stitch – it really adds to the piece, especially our velvets with contrasting threads.
Handmade for us by skilled women workers in Jaipur, India and also outside Kathmandu, Nepal, we hope you love our pieces as much as we do!

Hand Block Printing

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Hand block printing is a favourite craft of mine. Many of you may have seen some of the final results of this method on beautiful clothing, but have you ever stopped to think how these prints are brought to life?
Hand block printing is a skill that requires the patience of a saint! I have always collected old hand blocks, which are a work of art in themselves, even before they are used as printing blocks. Depending on the print, sometimes multiple blocks per motif are used!

Hand carved patterns are sculpted from blocks of wood to essentially create a stamp. The stamp is then dipped in inks or dyes (wherever possible we prefer to use vegetable dyes) and then the process of manually stamping the print onto large rolls of fabric begins. How could you not love this wonderful method of printing?

Not only does this skill produce incredible prints, it is also one of the more sustainable methods around as the fabric must first be soaked in water to remove starchiness in the fibre and many Indian artisans will do this in the local rivers, reducing the need for water consumption.

Sourcing trips to India always include a visit to Jaipur where I thoroughly enjoy watching the chippas (a caste of printers) bring the whole process to life. Always working with small family businesses and doing my part to make sure they are working in fair conditions, one of my main passions is to keep this amazing craft alive. This is mostly done by associations teaching those less fortunate the skill and how to implement it.

Help us to keep this incredible craft from disappearing by supporting fair trade whenever you can.