BY REBECA SCHILLER
Mitra Bali’s Ceramic Cups
Coffee aficionados might argue what makes the perfect cup o’ Joe, but no one can deny that a lovely oversized cup handmade from the artisans of Mitra Bali makes the morning ritual worth waking up to and enjoying that first eye-popping sip.
Since the early 1990s, Mitra Bali has worked with numerous handicraft artisans who are active participants in Bali’s economic and social development. With the huge influx of tourism coming to Bali, artisans have seen growth opportunities in creating handmade goods that appeal to everyone. However, only a small percentage of Bali’s craftspeople actually benefit from the sales of their goods. Those who mostly reap the economic rewards are the shop owners who pepper the primary tourist thoroughfares instead of the artisans in small villages.
With the aid of Mitra Bali, small handcraft producers have been assisted with developing and understanding the fundamentals of a fair trade model. The organization’s mission is to create a “clear dialogue, equality, and sense of mutual respect throughout the production process.” Right up front Mitra Bali sets a payment plan with local producers: they are paid fifty percent of their fee up front, which is paid promptly. Mitra Bali together with the artisans calculate a fair sale price for their products. In addition to helping with pricing and costs, the organization provides free training workshops on design and product development.
The environment is also an important agenda item for Mitra Bali. One environmental program in place is replanting albesia (blalu) trees which have been cut down by real estate developers. According to the organization’s website, “We know that what we have done, are doing, and will do is still far from our hopes and dreams . . . that is why we must continue this process another world is possible.”
At handeyeshop.com, coffee drinkers will rejoice when they discover Mitra Bali’s perfect set of oversized cups for their early morning or afternoon ritual. Theses generous cups are made of slipcast ceramic with the wave detail added by hand by the artisans in remote villages in Indonesia and who have benefited from Mitra Bali’s assistance. Each holds sixteen ounces of your favorite hot beverage. Natural glaze tones may vary slightly. Cups measure five inches in diameter by three inches in height. They are microwave safe and should be handwashed.
For more information about Mitra Bali, please visit www.mitrabali.com. To purchase the oversized cups, please visit www.handeyeshop.com