Ethnic & Ethical: Shopping for world arts

Responsible shopping for world arts and crafts requires doing a little homework, but the benefits of buying handmade, environmentally friendly products and the stories of artisans whose lives have been changed are inspiring and powerful incentives.

A Vietnamese water puppet, carved from fig wood and gleaming with fifteen coats of paint, lacquer, and silver and gold leaf (available from womankind.com) oversees a table set with recycled sea glass plates and bowls (eZiba.com) and crackled celadon stoneware from Thailand (womankind.com). Sitting on an elegant tablecloth block-printed in Bangladesh (tenthousandvillages.com), sterling silver and bamboo place settings made by Marilou Quiroz of the Philippines, and a wooden sake set made of Hinoki wood from the Nagano region of Japan (both available from eZiba.com) complete this Asian-inspired table.
Photgraphy By Joe Coca