↑ Artisan Manuel Portocarrero works on carving for west elm’s Chulucanas vases.
This month, Adrianna Adarme brought us wonders of the Peruvian palette from Pisco Sours to Tallarines Verdes, but culinary pleasures are just the beginning of the richness that Peruvian culture has to offer. These new videos showcase the work of the talented artisans that we’ve partnered with to bring centuries-old ceramics, textiles, and wood carving traditions to your home. We work with artisan businesses based in Lima that partner with skilled workshops throughout the country to bring you some of the finest Peruvian craft.
Artisans from the arid Piura region turn local clay into beautiful standing Chulucanas Vases that bring a modern twist to a 2,000-year-old ceramics tradition. Artisans from the Huancavelica region use the weaving traditions honed over centuries of living at a chilly 12,000 foot altitude to turn fine alpaca wool into snuggly, soft Steven Alan Ombre Plaid Throws and Striped Pillows. Artisans in Lima intricately carve wood and inlay mirrors to bring a hint of Baroque glamour to your home.
↑ Rosa Enciso working on the finishing touches for a west elm throw.
These products represent months of collaboration between the artisan businesses we work with and our in-house design team. For us, it’s all about preserving traditional craft and technique, providing employment and opportunity for artisans, and bringing you beautiful statement pieces to adorn your home. We make long-term commitments to our artisan partners, because through consistent orders we can help artisans invest in their businesses and in their communities. The artisan businesses we work with helped the Chulucanas ceramicists invest in electric pottery wheels and the Huancavelica weavers install a solar-powered washing machine to make our throws super soft. Snuggle up (perhaps in a beautiful alpaca throw!), and enjoy this visual treat, a behind-the-scenes look at Peruvian handcraft.
Jennifer Gootman is the Director of Social Consciousness & Innovation at West Elm where she oversees the brand’s commitments to increase sourcing from artisans, supply chain transparency, and sustainability. Jennifer has more than ten years experience working with economic development and arts-focused nonprofits and social enterprises in New York, Nicaragua, and India and is thrilled to be part of a company that is committed to using its purchasing power to create social, economic, and environmental change.