I was planning on blogging about this article: El Salvador: Where women may be jailed for miscarrying but it seems that most of the news (and blog posts) about Central America are depressing. So I decided to change tack and post something positive.
From the WSJ (via the excellent Fausta’s blog), is news about a very cool Scandinavian design firm making waves in El Salvador called Carrot Concepts. Here’s a description of their story from the WSJ:
“Among other road blocks, there is no large-scale furniture manufacturing to speak of, unreliable export and import capabilities and storage problems. If it’s become trendy in America to esteem handmade, locally sourced products above industrial ones, Salvadoran designers are in the unenviable position of being artisanal by necessity.
“Wood and metal are the basics we can use,” says Claudia Washington. (The aluminum molds that plastic products require can cost upward of $100,000 each, a prohibitive price for boutique designers.) On the other hand, PVC cord, a material many of the Carrot Concept designers work with, can be found in everything from machinery to Salvadoran truck drivers’ seats. As a result, their work tends to have a discernible handcrafted element—a friendliness that’s often absent from comparable professional-grade objects in other countries. “[Our pieces] are industrial looking, but they have a heart,” says Claudia’s husband, Harry. “So while Scandinavians can be very polished or the Japanese very tailored, these pieces have a lot of character. They have a lot of punch and sauce to them.”
I would agree. Here is a photo of their work and click here for the WSJ’s slideshow (ungated).