Amidst the swift rise in large-scale manufacturing, the safeguarding of traditional global arts and crafts is at a critical juncture. In such a scenario, one notable global e-commerce platform committed to restoring this balance is Curio. Founded in 2022 by London-based architect Shalini Misra, Curio centers around the revitalization of indigenous crafts. Shalini states, ‘Our mission is to unite fresh communities of creators, makers, appreciators, and patrons in honoring human creativity and craftsmanship, with a vision to protect and uphold these invaluable skills for generations to come.’ Explore Curio’s thoughtfully curated assortment of products reinvigorating indigenous handicrafts and nurturing innovation amidst the modern landscape.
1. Glass Blowing
Glass-blowing originated in the 1st century BC and was invented by Syrian artisans. It coincided with the establishment of the Roman Empire, which was instrumental in the growth and expansion of this craft. The glass-forming technique involves shaping molten glass by inflating it into a bubble through a blowpipe.
Fazzoletto Aqua Vase by Venini, Italy
Crafted using the Opalini technique, which involves creating opalescent glass with vibrant colors and translucent quality, this
Peacock Floor Lamp by Klove Studio, India
Designer: Klove Studio
Pottery, integral to diverse cultures for millennia, traces back to prehistoric times, with the potter’s wheel invented in Mesopotamia between 6,000 and 4,000 BC. The techniques of pinching, coiling, and wheel-throwing allowed potters to shape pieces, which were frequently left unglazed and fired over open flames.
Volcano Wide Vase by CEE Ceramics, UK
Inspired by the sea and its creatures, the
Solar Plexus White Gold Sculpture by Matt Sherratt, UK
3. Traditional Woodworking
Dating back to 2000 B.C., ancient Egyptian art depicts well-preserved wooden furniture in tombs, showcasing early wood craftsmanship, and they were pioneers of wood varnish. Chinese, Japanese, and Roman civilizations elevated woodworking with intricate joints, functional tools, and grand structures. Additionally, time-tested wood crafting techniques, such as joinery, have stood the test of time, surpassing modern methods in durability.
Studioilse Touch Oak Coffee Table by Zanat, Bosnia & Herzigovia
Goldfinger x Inhabit Dining Table by Goldfinger, UK
Crafted using traditional timber frame joinery, the
Originating in ancient Egypt, marquetry, a technique involving inlaid work with recessed areas filled with small pieces of material, gained prominence as an art form in Europe in the mid-1500s. This craft intricately features geometric patterns and pictures, meticulously crafted from thin sheets of hardwood that exhibit straight-grain patterns.
Matteo Cibic The Circus Revisited Side Table by Scarlet Splendour, India
Marquetry Mania Wooden Bowl by Naba Debs, Beirut
5. Metal Craft
The roots of metalcraft lie in ancient civilizations like Egypt and the Indus Valley, as archaeologists have discovered crucibles from copper slag signifying early metallurgy. Displayed in various museums around the world, metal was used to craft tools, bowls, figures, and masks from materials such as bronze and gold, shaping a rich history of creativity.
Soaring in Fuji Sculpture by Viya Home, India
Verdigris Brass Dented Bowl by Ane Christensen, UK
Staiths II Console Table by Novocastrian, UK
6. Persian and Oriental Rugs
Persian and Oriental rugs are hand-knotted rugs from Asia, with Oriental rugs spanning various Asian countries while Persian rugs are specific to Iran, known for their intricacy and high knot count, with some dating back over 2,400 years. Both have a centuries-long cultural history of carpet weaving and are highly valued for their craftsmanship and cultural significance, with knot counts reaching as high as 500 knots per square inch.
Malini Taj Mahal Wool and Silk Rug by Sahrai Milano, Italy
7. Textile Weaving
The history of textile weaving dates back to the Neolithic era and evolved in Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, China, and Peru. Evidence suggests India is one of the earliest countries to start textile weaving, dating around 3000 BC. However, the Industrial Revolution introduced mechanization, and modern weaving now combines traditional craftsmanship with technology to create a diverse range of fabrics and textiles.
Paisley Rectangular Cashmere Cushion by Janavi, India
Bengal Tiger Throw by Saved NY, USA
A jungle scene, showcasing a family of tigers, embellishes this opulent cashmere throw. The
8. Stone Sculpting and Carving
Hand sculpting, tracing its origins to prehistory, involved the manipulation of clay and stone, while Greece’s distinctive approach gave rise to timeless classical masterpieces, and Egypt’s enduring stone carvings artistically reflected the concept of eternity. Rock engravings emerged worldwide as primal art, spanning Saharan Africa to Australia, while India’s enduring stone-carving tradition, passed down through generations since the 7th century B.C., continues to thrive.
Arc Limestone Stone Carving by Zoë Wilson, UK
British stone carver Zoë Wilson’s “
9. Venetian Mirrors
Originating from Murano glass, Venetian Mirrors emerged in the 15th century, celebrated throughout Europe for their exquisite quality and elegance. Crafted with meticulous care, artisans utilized intricate tools such as small implements, grindstones, and diamond engravers. Every piece is cut, beveled, and engraved manually, upholding Venetian tradition with precision.
Scena Rotonda Mirror by Portego, Italy
10. Pichwai Painting
Originating over 400 years ago in Nathdwara, Rajasthan, India, Pichwai is a sophisticated painting style that intricately weaves tales from the life of Lord Krishna onto fabric. Referred to as “back textile hanging” art, Pichwai adorned the temple of Shrinathji (Lord Krishna) in Nathdwara, serving as a celebratory portrayal of diverse seasons, festivals, and events associated with Lord Krishna.
Varsha Ritu Pichwai Tapestry by Tarun Tahiliani, India