01/09/2010

Design and development

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Partners:

Po!Paris uses the knowledge of the local resources that the Ngo’s have through their engagement in humanitarian and empowerment projects.

When possible Po!Paris creates a link between the market, the producer and the Ngo to fill in the gaps than can be an obstacle for economic success (finance, information, logistics, training….)

Artisans:

Po!Paris works with a large number of workshops all over Albania.

In the north remnants of the ancient Gypsy community produce the furniture and lighting with scrap metal

In the capital, small workshops produce furniture in old or new metal.

In the centre south a workshop produces ceramics, while in different parts of the country kilims, cut pile carpets and textiles are woven or embroidered in small production units, often on domestic base.

Examples of development

Before Po!Paris started the project the Gypsies, even with solid knowledge of welding and metal work, were producing grids fro the cemeteries, the only sector, with the construction industry, that has sufficiant demand.

In Tirane the young craftsmen have acquired solid knowledge in making furniture in Italy. Having come back to there home country (Albanians are very family orientated), they could only survive building roof structures for the thousands of new petrol stations who open everyday.

Now they can express their know how by making furniture again.

In the south the ceramists had virtually stopped producing decorative objects and ware making a living by selling hand made bricks and roof tiles for the capital. With Po!Paris they have acquired technology to produce high end glazed faience tableware.

As for the textiles, the business was virtually limited to personal use or in the range of the family. The women with high skills in weaving can only make a living in the small industries producing for the Italian marked clothing sector, basically sowing shirts at the lowest possible salaries. Now many elder women have started to qualify the younger ones to meet Po!Paris’ demand of textiles.

Products:

Tableware:

hand made glazed earth ware, dishwasher safe. The pieces are fired twice. A traditional wood fuelled kiln is used for the first firing. An Electric kiln insures that the glaze is correctly fired at high temperatures.

Kilims:

Kilims are hand made of cotton and wool from local sheep. A workshop of skilled women led by women insures a high quality modern design with traditional know how.

Cut pile carpets:

In Pure virgin wool, thick and comfortable, hand woven made from wool of southern Albanian sheep. This project is supervised by “Passi Leggeri”, an Ngo supporting activities for the empowerment of women.

Textiles:

they are hand woven from recycled threads recovered from old clothes bought at the local Rom markets. they are the fruit of a community based activity in the centre of Albania.

Lighting:

made mainly from recycled materials, inspired by XX century icons and produced by youth of a marginalised gypsy community in the north of Albania.

Chairs:

made from recycled materials (cars, steel barrels, scraps from building sites…). Various small workshops in Albania produce the different collections inspired by XX century icons, a homage to the great designers of modern interior design.

Tables:

in metal or mosaic, mainly from recycled materials, are made in Tirane in one of the oldest existing workshops.

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