Handmade Hammocks by Victor & his Mum
Watch this great video to see how our handmade hammocks are made by the local artisans
Some of the artisans that make hammocks for The Toucan Shop.
Don Ricardo has been making hammocks all his life. As a young boy he learned from his mother and in turn he has taught his daughter how to make hammocks. This family are true artisans who make beautiful high quality hammocks. They also understand the principles of fair trade.
It is common but not always the way…. that the man weaves the hammock and the women make the crochet border to be attached onto the side of the hammocks.
Karen and Daniel are siblings. They both work together with their mother and uncles at their home. Karen’s passion is making crocheted wall hangers but she is happy to help her family making the crocheted baby swings as this contributes for her family’s financial wellbeing
Some of the artisans that make pottery for The Toucan Shop.
HANDMADE CERAMIC ART FROM NICARAGUA
For the Nicaraguans, ceramics are part of their traditional culture. They have been making “art from the earth” for centuries, long before the Spanish Conquest. Today they still use the traditional techniques and natural paints to produce magnificient work. They use both modern and pre-Columbian designs
Azucena works together with her husband Juan Paulino. They are well known for using pre-Columbian designs and maintaining their traditional techniques. They now specialise in ceramic jewellery. Juan proudly showed us all the steps starting from the clays to the finished polished pieces of art. He uses bottle tops to cut the shapes of the earrings.
Duilio Jimenez is another artist whose ceramic work is very impressive. The Toucan Shop has been working with him since 2005.
Some of the artisans that make panama hats for The Toucan Shop.
PANAMA HATS HATS FROM GUATEMALA
Hand crafted panama hat made from 100% Guatemalan Toquilla Palm leaves, also known as ‘Paja de toquilla’ or ‘jipi japa’. The palm is native to Guatemala, especially found on the southern coast.
Each hat made for The Toucan Shop is signed by an artisan who made it. However, like many products made by hand there is not just one artisan involved in making your hat but many.
The first step of hat making in Guatemala (after harvesting the palm, boiling it for hours, drying it in the sun and then treating the toquilla palm with sulphur dioxide in order to bleach and soften it) is to split the palm usually into 7 pieces (sometimes 5) and to braid it into a flat plait.
This is Rosa Maria from Quiche whose livelyhood depends on this traditions. People here usually only speak the Mayan language Ki’che‘. Rosa Maria can speak a little bit of spanish also. She continusly weaves the palm to make long coils which are then passed to the final hat makers.