⟨ Object ⟩

Wara design laboratory

Modern Straw Crafts

Words / Phaedrus Lam
Illustration / Furze Chan
Translation / Ian Tsang

在工業化以前的農村社會,物質相對地匱乏和珍貴,而只要是可以再利用的材料,勤勉節儉的莊稼人都絕不可能放過。例如是稻米這種作物,莊稼人往往在收割完成後,都會把剩下的秸秆儲存晒乾,要不製作成家畜的飼料,要不拿來作簡單的建材,而當中也有一部分會被拿來編織成生活用品,像是種田時遮陽用的大沿帽,或者是置放鍋子的托墊;各式其式的工藝編織,蘊含著民藝思想中那幽遠的手工樸實形象,更是回應當下「永續性」生產方式的良好示範。

Wara design laboratory是來自日本的品牌,其專門生產日本秸秆製的工藝品,當中有用來盛水果和麵包的籃子,也有各種小巧精緻的托墊。上方插畫中是品牌推出的手工托墊,除了一般的秸秆托墊,另外還有紫黑稻的款式;其深邃色澤比杏黃色的一般秸秆款更迷人。而在尺寸方面,托墊也分為大,中和小三款,小至一隻茶杯、大至一整隻炊鍋都墊得上去。不過最重要的就還是秸秆本身的觸感和色澤,會隨著使用次數的遞增,逐漸嶄露出年月的痕跡,是唯有天然材質才能給予的生活溫度。

A Beautiful Store
香港太子道西194號3樓

Prior to industrialization, resources in peasant society were relatively scarce and precious. Hardworking and frugal farmers would never let any reusable material go to waste. For example, after crop harvests, the straws left would be stored and dried, and would then be made into poultry feed, or be used as simple construction materials. Some would be put aside for being woven into goods for daily use, such as wide brim hats for blocking sunlight in the paddy field or pot coasters; The rich variety of craft woven goods captures the pure and simple, yet deep and remote, quality of craftsmanship in folk craft thinking. This is also an exemplary response to “sustainable” production.

Wara design laboratory is a Japanese brand specializing in manufacturing craft products made from Japanese straws, including baskets for fruit and bread as well as exquisite coasters. Illustrated above are the brand’s handcrafted coasters. Apart from those made from regular straws, they also use straws from black and purple grain which have a dark hue that looks more charming than the apricot yellow of regular straws. The coasters come in three different sizes, the smallest one for tea cups, and the largest one big enough for even cooking pots. However, most importantly, through repeated use, the texture and hue of the straws will gradually show traces of passing time. Only natural materials can offer this kind of daily life warmth.

A Beautiful Store
194 prince Edward Road West, Prince Edward, Hong Kong