In my business I try to make choices that can make a difference a little larger than myself. Using local production when I can, choosing to work with silver and gold which can be melted down and recycled, and since many years now; packaging which not only can decompose in your flowerbed if you wish so, but gives schooling and work in one of the worlds poorest countries, Nepal. This is the story on how I found a tiny Danish company, which makes a big difference for those they employ.
A few years ago I was at a fair in Copenhagen which was totally miserable. The great thing about a tradeshow is that you get to know a lot of your neighbours, and they can be making and designing things you would not have come across othervise. On bad tradeshows you also get to know your neighbours real well:)
This time it was two lovely Danish women. They had a little boot with lots of wonderful little handmade boxes from Nepal and their story really impressed me. It had all started on a hiking-trip in Nepal where they had passed the local production of Lokta-paper. Lokta-paper production is an ancient tradition in the Himalaya region, and the plant can only grow in its natural environment at 1500-3000 metres altitude. The Lokta paper is very special, durable and with a nice texture to it, but the products they made from it were not that attractive for a European market
So they decided they wanted to give something back to this wonderful, but poor country, and that they could do it through good design and by working as the link to the markets in Europe.
Since then Danry Import has designed boxes, bags, notebooks and gift wrapping and travelled trade show of Europe. The people involved in the production of the paper for the goods are ensured permanent work and the children attend school. This prevents moving to the big city, which all too often leads to a life of poverty. Some of our producers primarily employ women who, because of the economy, rarely get the opportunity to go to school.
The Nepali-paper production
The secret of paper production is the `Lokta` plant, which grows in the mountain regions of Nepal. The most suitable species are found between 1500 and 3000 meters above sea level. Nepalese harvests approx. 4-5 years after the first shot has arrived. When you cut the plant back, it is done in a way to ensure that new shoots appear again, thus ensuring the sustainability. It is the bark of the plant that is used for papermaking. The process from the branches is harvested and until the finished paper is ready is long and involves many people. There are no roads or motorized vehicles in the Nepalese Himalayas, so all transport is therefore on foot. When the pulp (paper crop) is ready, they are placed on frames that are on the ground. If the paper is subsequently to be dyed, it is placed on large steel sheets that also dry in the sun. Therefore, you also depend on the weather when an order is to be produced. Throughout the process, a minimum of power is used, as this can sometimes be unstable or completely absent.
One does no know when they began to produce coated paper in Nepal. But in the national archives in Kathmandu, one can experience the sacred Buddhist writings `Karanya Budha Sutra`, which has just been written on this paper, and dates back to about 1.-9. Century after Christ. This, for example, says something about the paper's durability, but it's only one of the many qualities the paper has. The locals in Nepal have used the paper for medical purposes for many years. It is believed that when you put the paper in soft and drink the water from it, you can relieve muscle pain, polyps, etc. In addition, the paper is used to stop bleeding wounds and insect bites. You also pack medicine and other goods into it, as it is not destroyed by insects. In addition, it is also very popular to make dragons - due to the durability.
My customers love the packaging, and it makes me so happy every time I get feedback about how they have continued to use the bags, or made jewelry from the pompons.
If you are a business Danry Import can tailor make packaging to your specification, colours, sizes, everything. The production can take its time, but it is always worth the wait. The websites are in danish, but I am sure you can send them an order in English if you´re from outside Scandinavia.
There are a few things I am real passionate about, and if you get me started I will rant on like a born again christian. So far this has been the joy of electric bikes, Ortlieb bicycle-bags and Interrail. Now I can add a new one: iceskating on lakes!
During my childhood I hated skating. I could never see the point in going round and around on that ice rink. It also hurt. Badly. My ankles and foot would start hurting after a few minutes, and my feet got cold and my fingers got frostbitten and I just thought skating was the most miserable of all winter-sports. So for about 30 years I just didn´t give a toss about it.
After I moved close to the forest outside Oslo, with a big lake a few minutes walk away, I slowly got hooked on skating again. The transistion from skate-hater to skate-lover started when I got a pair of "skridskor" or attachable skates (or long distance ice skates as google translate suggests). Basically it is a pair of skating blades you attach to your shoes, either by using straps or a ski-binding. -I basically just bought a pair of blades and dismantled the ski binding of an old pair of skis. Then I remounted them onto the blades with bolts and nuts (very easy, but you need to drill a hole for the back part of the binding, so you need a drill and a metal drill-bit). For protecting the blades during transport I have just cut up some insulation for pipes.
Detachable skates means no more cold fingers while trying to tighten the laces on the skates, or cold toes because the skates are just ridiculously thin. You can use your favourite, warm hiking boots, or as I do: my mountain-ski boots. You can walk from lake to lake, and you can take off the skates if you come to a part which is best done by foot.
This is by no means something for your local ice-rink. But if you love being outside in the forest, on a lake or a canal it is just magical! -And it is SO FAST! By using your ordinary ski-poles you take the strain off your ankles and can get a great speed even as an amateur.
For the first time in my life I am not waiting for snow. Just let the ice stay perfect!
If you get addicted you can of course buy special skating poles which are great for testing if the ice is safe (and for killing the person behind you if you are not careful..), but so far I have only used my normal ski-poles. On a longer trip you should also have a rucksack with some rope, woollen long-johns and sweater in a plastic bag and something inflated like a balloon, or even better: the bags inside of these 3 litre wine-boxes. They make sure you get a little help staying afloat if you are unlucky. You should also always wear these ice-claws around your neck.
Always avoid the areas of a lake where a stream comes out, or narrow parts where the current will make the ice freeze more slowly.
Where to buy:
Rolf Utgård (the guru of ice skating)
Quite often I get jewelry in return which I have to "repair", and very often it turns out the surface has just tarnished. Silver and jewellery is just on of those items you actually have to care a little for. All silver will oxidize in contact with sun, oxygen, humidity, water, perfume, salt, the grease on your fingers. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow.
Nothing to do about it..
..so here is what to do with it!:
First of all :
Do not shower with your jewelry or leave your silver jewelry in the bathroom.
Keep your jewelry out of the sun, preferably in ziplock bags when you´re not using them.
If you are lifting weights, doing hard manual labour or digging in the garden; take your rings off as they will scratch.
Use and old toothbrush, a baby toothbrush is the best. Use dishwashing liquid and hot water and brush it clean. This will take away the grease, -especially rings with stones need this treatment as the little holes on the back will get clogged up. Dry it properly with toilet paper.
If it has tarnished ; that means when it has started to get yellow / brown/ black, it is time to use the silver polish. If you have a polishing cloth (ask you local goldsmith) and the item is polished (shiny), you can use that or the creamy silver polish. Use the baby toothbrush to get into all corners. Follow instructions on your silver shine product.
If the surface it matted (not shiny) I prefer to use silver dip. Dip if for a few seconds, then rinse in hot water. Dry. Works like magic. Do not use this if the piece is set with pearls or brittle stones like emerald.
Pearls and silver
Pearls are difficult and delicate little things. They love grease and dislike soap and chemicals like silver dip or silver polish. Now and then, rub them a little on your forehead or against your skin. They love that. But what to do when you have tarnished silver with pearls?
If the silver is shiny, use the silver cloth. If that does not work, cover your pearl with tape and use the silver polish (try to avoid the pearl) or dap silver dip onto the surface with a q-tip, trying to avoid the pearl. Rinse well.
Some jewelry are already oxidized from start, this is great, no polishing needed. However, sometimes your fingerprints leave marks, -I use a microfiber cloth to take the greasy prints away, or toothbrush and dishwashing-liquid. Do it as soon as you see the marks. If they are left of very long they can etch into the surface and be harder to get off.
The other problem with oxidized silver is that it rubs off, and suddenly you have silvery edges. Sometimes this just looks cool, but if you want to have them black again you can try this trick:
Remember that you never use silver spoons when eating eggs? -This is why: boil an egg, take out the yellow part and crumble it and put your silver jewelry and yolk in a plastic bag for. The sulphur in the yolk will start to oxidize the silver after a while. Take it out after some hours and check how it works, leave it in until you´re satisfied. Clean well with brush:)
Matted surface which has become shiny
When we wear our jewelry, especially rings, we polish them naturally with our skin. Sometimes this can be frustrating when your lovely matted surface suddenly is shiny. A little trick is to use a dishwasher-sponge, you know the one with a sponge on one side and a scotchbrite on the other. That scothbrite side is perfect for matting the surface. If you want to polish up the edges you can use something which is steel and rounded, like a spoon or the handle of a butterknife.
Dørene åpner imorgen 10. desember kl. 11-17!
Det nærmer seg Jul i Kunstnerboligene her på Trolltun borettslag for syvende gang, og det frister mer å skrive et blogginnlegg enn å skulle sette i gang med den vanvittige ryddingen som må til.
Som et ledd i å stille nysgjerrigheten i nabolaget på hva vi egentlig drev på med åpnet vi i 2010 for første gang dørene til med visning og salg av kunst og kunsthåndverk. Vi ante ikke helt om det ville komme noen, men da dørene åpnet var det køer i gata. Siden den gang har tusenvis fra hele Oslo og omegn vært innom. Det har vært konserter, høytlesninger, verksteder og kunstsalg. Vi er et bredt spekter av kunstnere her, og man kan lære enormt om teknikker og uttrykk bare ved å ta vandringen i dette lille borettslaget. Noen har mye for salg, andre lager spennende installasjoner og utstillinger, andre igjen her mye å fortelle fra et langt liv på Trolltun og med kunsten.
Jeg åpner hele det digre atelieet mitt, barna har buttonverksted og jeg viser frem kolleksjonene mine og i år er det mange nyheter!
På messaninen legger jeg ut det som jeg kanskje bare har én av, det som ble for vanskelig eller for sært, samt noen eldre designs. Kanskje finner de sin rette eier:)
Barna her har også hengt seg på, det blir som vanlig buttonverksted, bålpanne med pinnebrød, salg av økologiske frø og mye mer; alt laget og organisert av de fine ungene her.
Da får jeg bare sette i gang med vaskinga. Sees!
Sjekk arrangementet her
Black Friday er som når det blir priskrig på smågodt før påske, hverken vi eller butikkene tjener i lengden på det! Kunne ikke bare butikkene tjent gode penger på godteri og vi blitt litt mindre kvalme?
Dette kan dere like eller ikke, men det går mot den tiden av året hvor alle vi som lager og selger noe, tjener det som skal holde liv i oss resten av året. Og da trenger faktisk at dere kjøper det til full pris. Når man har Black Friday like før en av de få sesongene hvor folk er villige til å betale full pris for en vare, så sager vi sakte av den greina vi sitter på.
Det er stort sett bare når man handler til full pris at alle ledd i kjeden faktisk får det de trenger for å overleve. Selger en butikk en vare til -30 % betyr det et reelt avslag på 45% for butikken. Avslag på ned mot 70% betyr i realiteten at butikken gir vekk varene uten å tjene på dem selv, men får dekket inn innkjøpsprisen. Nå er vi i en situasjon hvor det ene salget avløser de andre i en evig nedadgående spiral der forbrukerne blir vant til at prisnivået ligger jevnt 30%-50% lavere enn det som er bærekraftig. De fleste av oss kan ikke leve med 30% lavere inntekt og dermed vil alle de dyktige designerne og de fine små butikkene du likte så godt forsvinne. De store kjedene må presse ned produksjonskostnadene for alt skal bli enda billigere, butikkene må selge enda flere ting for å dekke inn husleie og lønninger, og vipps så er vi i gang med den spiralen hvor vi i rekordfart bruker opp klodens ressurser på billigsalg.
Så kjære fine folk flest: Kjøp færre ting - og kjøp dem til full pris! Da får vi som lever av dette betalt husleia og strømregningene våre, og vi kan betale en skikkelig pris for produksjonen vår, noe som igjen fører til at de kan betale husleiene og strømregningene sine i andre land.
Det blir mindre rot, mindre søppel, du blir ikke syk av alt smågodtet og vi kjører litt saktere mot stupet.
The moment the holiday is over there are so many fairs, trade shows and trade events that you realize you should not really have taken a summer holiday at all.. This year I felt prepared, Everything was more or less done, brochures, photoshoots, postcards and price lists, until I sat down by the workbench.. and suddenly I had at least 7 new designs on my hands.
People often ask me what I get inspired by, and there is really only one simple way; work. You have to sit down, you have to spend time with your materials and your tools, and if you are lucky you get into the infamous "flow" where only need for food or toilet stops you. Polishing and cleaning up the pieces are seldom part of my flow, so I very often end up with really messy prototypes.
A small week to go before the big fair of the Autumn; Oslo Design fair, and I am testing out three pair of earring (got to wear them a few days each), two pairs are off for stonecutting and some are off for production. Jeez!
Next week I will be on ODF, Lillestrøm, Hall B, stand 02-10. Come by and see the final collection of 2016, I hope there are no more surprises now..
I do not mind selling my own jewelry, but I would probably be one of the most passionate sellers of #electricbikes, #Ortlieb cycle bags or #InterRail passes. I absolutely LOVE these three inventions. So why only write about jewelry?
Interrail has resurrected from the Nineties and it is even BETTER! Me and my family went inter railing two years ago, and this summer we´re doing it again. The kids can´t wait, it was our best trip ever.
Let me guide you!
6: Things to remember:
Our trip went like this: Oslo-Copenhagen-Lubeck-Køln-Trier-Luxenburgh-Nurnberg-Innsbruck-Munich-Berlin-Oslo
This year we are doing France and maybe Netherland. Can´t wait!
#europe #interrail #interrailwithkids #travellingwithkids #germany #visitgermany #airbnb #lonelyplanet #guide #travel #cycletrip #munich #Innsbruck #kajagjedebo #kajagjedebodesign #kgd #visitaustria #railway #nsb #togreise #reisemedbarn #barnpåtog #tyskland #reiseityskland #reise #sommer2016 #summer2016
Sometimes it does not rain, it pours. Today has been a bit of everything. Today I managed two dreadful things, I destroyed my very-dear-and-expensive vacuum cleaner (when you turn 40 you actually start loving things like a real good hoover) by loosing the hose into a bucket of water. Do not ask me how, (well, actually do. Long story which include a sanding machine). And afterwards when I was making myself a cup of coffee to put things right again, I misplaced the lid of my very retro coffee grinder (if you do come across one of an old Krups just BUY it, regardless of price, it is my everyday joy to press that little button you see in the background ) and it spat coffee beans and coffee dust just about everywhere in a two meters radius. I was getting low wondering how this Friday the 8th seemed to be Life itself treating me with a belated Aprils fool day and turned to the computer as a last resort.. and discovered I am to be part of the Vogue May issue! They asked me for some images a while ago, and they have featuring a (mind you very) small article about me and my Bumble berry earrings, which has to be my favorite earrings at the moment. In the next mail I was asked to contribute my story to the magazine House of Coco´s series about #girlbosses and Mad Museum in New York delivered another wonderful sales report for March. I felt life was back on track, minus vacuum cleaner, with coffee beans.
So right now, with hands covered in paint since I am painting the hall (tomorrow I will lay the floors), I am having a wee glass of red to celebrate a minor international breakthrough. Outside it´s pissing down.
#Vogue #HouseofCoco #krups #Madmuseumstore
The Bumbleberry design was such a fluke. I was playing about trying to make a new ring in the Abelia series which should curve around the finger. Since there are so many layers in Abelia I had to solder a thin post to the "butterfly" and then drill holes in the other two layers so it could all be fixed by the stud while I solder them together. This left a little post inside which I normally would just cup off. This time however (actually, I have to try everything with a stud-like pin was an earring, just in case, so it was inevitably..) I tried it on, and to my surprise I discovered it makes the most wonderful little basket around your earlobe! And being a jewelry designer for soon 14 years I know that a lot of women are struggling with earrings, -the piercing was´t done well, your earlobes are too small or too big.. Bumbleberry just covers it in the most surprising and flattering way. Most of the time I feel I achieve to make interesting and good design, but this time I felt I actually solved a problem.
Happy days! -as we used to say in my shared flat in Edinburgh way back when.
#happydays #bumbleberry #norskdesign #norwaydesigns #kajagjedebodesign #bølerbling #secretgarden
KGD - kaja gjedebo design
I have been working as an artist and jewellery designer since 2002, after graduating as a furniture designer from Edinburgh College of Art in 1999.