Cultures all over the globe have their own traditions that have been passed down through generations.
Every year on October 15, World Craft Day acknowledges the tireless work of millions of artisans across the globe. The day encourages people to learn about traditions and support rare crafts.
Behind each handmade piece is years worth of history. From vibrant textiles to masterful woodworks, here are some traditional crafts from around the world.
Horezu ceramics from Romania
Horezu ceramics are handcrafted in the northern part of Vâlcea County, Romania, passed down through families and workshops. Traditionally, the men in the town would extract the earth, which is then cleaned, cut, watered, kneaded, trampled, and mixed to turn it into red clay.
The women are skilled potters who shape the clay using a special finger technique. While they may have their own method for shaping, they still respect the sequence of operations. Before firing their pieces, the women decorate them with traditional motifs using bright shades of brown, red, green, blue, and “Horezu ivory.”
Chinchero weaving from Peru
Located north of the city of Cusco, Chinchero (also known as the mythical birthplace of the rainbow) is home to a colorful weaving tradition. Using a warp-face technique, the weavers are able to create two-sided textiles, meaning both sides are correct.
Traditional blankets from Chinchero showcase a wide section of blue, red, and green plain weave as well as other symmetrical sections with designs. A common design of these textiles is luraypu (a symmetrical, vertical design) along with sections of traditional figures like animals, nature, people, or gods.
Hakone wood mosaic from Japan
The town of Hakone, Kanagawa prefecture, has the most natural environment in Japan. The rich variety of tree species found on Mt. Hakone allows craftsmen to make the best use of the different wood colors.
Hakone yosegi zaiku (wood mosaic) feature iconic designs from geometric patterns to nature motifs such as leaves and ocean waves. Originally sold as souvenirs along the Tokaido Highway, this form of marquetry has evolved into an esteemed, intricate artwork.
Banner image via Kogei Japan’s official website.