Thursday, February 2, 2012

Today's Inspiring Quote

"I create my print designs, motifs and patterns by hand: I sketch and draw in my custom-made sketch books or on plain copy paper. I cut out shapes and motifs out of black construction paper. I do this for a while, and I might find something I want to develop further. Then I will play with scale and layout by using my copy machine. Then I am back to cutting and pasting again."
 - from Lotta Anderson's interview in Design Sponge.

She made me think of Matisse, and at the same time of childhood afternoons cutting paper flowers with my sisters. When I imagine that most designers are doing their thing on computers, the woman behind Lotta Jansdotter comes along making me realize that it might actually be much more old-school handmade and romantic. Love that.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pictures from on the road

“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.”

It was an Italian writer named Cesare Pavese who said that, and wasn't he right! That is exactly what I love and at the same time hate about travel, that scary-happy feeling of not quite knowing what will happen next. Who will I meet, what will I find, where will I even sleep tonight.

These photos of rice fields as far as the eye can see were taken through a bus window, on the way from Manila to Zambales, the last time I was in the Philippines.

Monday, January 30, 2012

And I'll say it again: Hello!

I'm Apol Lejano-Massebieau, and I used to make sweet fabric sculptures, apples, pears, and little birds under my label La Pomme. Now I am shifting to functional objects, creating bags and jewelry from material hand-crafted using traditional techniques by tribes and communities in the Philippines.

Why the Philippines? I now call France home, but I was born in one of those 7,107 islands. My new line is called 7100 Islands. ( Rounded off, let's forget the 7 islands that disappear in high tide :D.)

Not many know it, but there is a strong tradition of weaving in the Philippines. Cloth with names such as T'nalak, ramit, and hinabol, made by the T'boli tribe, the Mangyans, and the Higaonon. Each meter is meticulously created by one person, on one loom; and before that came the work of preparing the fibers for weaving. T'nalak is made from abaca, hinabol from hemp. Ramit is made from recycled cotton, mostly leftover cuttings from jeans companies. The end result are a few precious meters of beautifully vibrant colors and a texture that is very tactile.

I  have been fascinated for the longest time with the rich culture of handmade in the  islands, and had always wanted to work using material from there. So now I make the jump.