Treat yourself … 9 handcrafted home spa indulgences
As we head into the dog days of summer, it’s probably a good time to pause. A lot has changed in a year and for many of us, the worrying and the waiting just might have taken its toll. I for one, would like to abandon routines to sit in the shade and watch beads of sweat drip down a jug of lemonade. To observe the paths of the marching garden ants and to wander around a new village, making friends with the local cats.
But learning how to slow down is no easy task. One of the hardest parts is simply giving ourselves permission to take time for ourselves. Some see it as a luxury, some as a burden and others slide so elegantly through the day, you wonder why you ever felt the need to rush when you’re around them.
Our Edit today is by no means a list of tools or treatments, but rather a touch of inspiration. A few things to add to your space or your wardrobe to pamper yourself before you dive into an indulgent summer. A few cherished items to help you pause and rejuvenate before you go out and play.
Simply choose the activity that brings you the most comfort: Read a book from the stack accumulating dust at your bedside with the sounds of ambient chimes in the background and incense wafting through the room… Treat yourself to a few new oils and botanicals to recreate a luxurious home spa as you wrap yourself in a handmade linen robe and an eye mask to block out the light… Or perhaps just lounge at home for a day and plan the vacation you’ve been longing for all these months while imagining yourself seaside with your new silk slip dress on.
These handmade objects were all chosen with intent – to create a pocket of tranquility before we set off cross-country with kids in tow, board planes or bake ourselves in the sun. A dose of escapism before the fun begins.
Go ahead, treat yourself. We dare you.
Jaana and Esko Hjelt introduce their summer collection of linens with these words: “Let’s celebrate the things that bring happiness into our everyday moments. Whatever it might be in your life, weaving, design, decorating, picking herbs or dancing on the beach.” The fourth-generation weavers, descendants of the original weavers of Lapua, Finland, believe, as their ancestors did, that yarn is the thread of life. “Our roots go all the way back to 1917, when the family established their first textile factory. We weave heaps of warmth and softness into our textiles.” Their Nordic designs, inspired by pure nature, incorporate Lewa and Watamu Finnish embroidery, ensuring a lasting legacy. “Our own weaving mill in Lapua is our heart,” they write. We just want to wrap ourselves in the spa and sauna towels … and, yes, maybe dance on the beach!
Handmade in: Finland
“Belgian designer Marlies Huybs creates handmade objects according to an intuitive process, in which the imaginative journey is just as important as the destination. Her work grows step by step from her love for matter and color. Each and every one of them reflects the idiosyncratic beauty of her poetic formal language,” states the bio on her website. And when you view her work, the poetry is at once apparent. The textures and imperfections characteristic of her work, highlight its purity and uniqueness. “All are different, only one owner can cherish.” Check out her totems and ritual dishes, vessels for your most relaxing incense sticks.
Handmade in: Belgium
Slovak textile artist and hand-weaver Kristina Sipulova has a lifelong love for centuries-old clothing. “I have several pieces of folk clothing at home, and each is almost undamaged even though it has endured two or more generations. People have appreciated these garments, inherited from generation to generation. They were made slowly but lasted longer than many of the clothes made today,” she says. This is what inspired Kristina to create her own collection. All of her designs are hand-knitted or hand-woven from carefully selected yarns. Some pieces are made from re-used linen textiles collected in the region of central Slovakia, which were handwoven in the beginning of the 20th century. Sipulova has also taken inspiration from different countries where she has lived, including Norway, Denmark and France. We love the woven corn husk loafer slides, made entirely by hand. After all, your feet need pampering, too.
Handmade in: Slovakia
We are suckers for delicious fragrances, and their power to transport you to ports unknown. Eleven People, a small candle design and manufacturing studio, created in 2019 by Nicolás García and Carlos Martinez, uses botanical oils inspired by nature to scent its handmade candles. They contain no preservatives or petroleum derivatives, and are 100-percent vegan. MATERIALS is the name of their new collection of decorative objects, household items and accessories that enhance their functional and imperfectly beautiful candles. Each piece in the line is also made entirely by hand. The solid soy wax or waxbar air freshener, adorned with botanical elements, brings a spa experience to your bath time.
Handmade in: Spain
When we saw the amber-colored Murano glass cups that make up the “Terre in vetro” collection, we immediately thought elegant and sensual, and pondered what treasure could possibly deserve to rest inside such a beautiful vessel. Terracotta powder lends an old-world Mediterranean patina to the hand-blown glass. We could envision an heirloom ring nestled in the Saverio cup … or maybe a favorite votive to dress up your nightstand. Studio Terre founders Nino, Riccardo and Jufa “return to the roots and foundations” of their Italian culture with their art. They embrace the philosophy of slow design, and their pieces are meant to communicate their vision of utopia.
Handmade in: Italy
Man in the Studio
Man In The Studio was founded in 2017 “with a vision to create a line of clothing that supports sustainability and quality in every sense — in material, process, design, and as a way of living,” states the website. “We believe that clothes must be a continuation of our bodies and movements.” In addition to having the best tongue-in-cheek name ever, we were drawn to the brand’s ultra-comfy, wear-anywhere pieces, and the knowledge that every garment is made from Lithuania’s natural, high-quality, locally woven linen. This might be our new summer feel-good staple.
Handmade in: Lithuania
In 2003, Federica Bubani opened her ceramics shop in her hometown of Faenza, Italy, a city with a rich ceramic tradition. Here, she created and sold her ceramic objects, mainly using the Raku technique. Today, she still designs all of her award-winning products, 100 percent hand-crafted in Italy, and she has expanded her work to include design projects for major companies in the decor and furnishing industry. Although her ceramic clocks are coveted in the design world, we are particularly charmed by the Caban ceramic candles and diffusers, with the fragrance of cotton flowers. Light these little jewels “for a moment of dolce, a little time for yourself.”
Handmade in: Italy
Swedish native Lo Blasta, founded Blasta Henriet in 2017 out of a passion for linen, natural remedies and traditional craftsmanship. “We work with sustainable linen flax and Cotswold wheat to create self-care products, such as the Wheat Bag and Eye Pillow, that provide relaxation, natural pain relief and everyday comfort,” she says. All of the fabric is sourced directly from a mill in Europe and every other part that goes into making the products is sourced in the UK. The Wheat Bag (wheat warmer or heat pack), traditionally unscented, is made of plain linen and wheat kernels. Called Vetekudde in Swedish, it’s a Scandinavian household staple. We also love the Yoga Eye Pillow, guaranteed to deepen relaxation. It can be warmed or cooled to your “om” preference.
Handmade in: the UK
Onar is designed both to enrich a space sculpturally and to invite someone to interact with sonic possibilities to create musical ambience. “Just hang it close to an open window and let it do its magic!,” states the website. The warm, mellow and relaxing sound will enhance your bath time, or perhaps lull you into a peaceful night’s sleep. Many of the chimes are associated with myths, such as the Cygnus (or swan), a representation of Orpheus as he was transformed into a swan and placed next to his lyre in the sky. With a teak wooden body, Cygnus emanates a sound texture that is described as blissful, brilliant and balanced. All of the harmonious sound sculptures are handcrafted in Greece.
Handmade in: Greece
More: Onar Sounds
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