Meet Us: Down By The Bay & Sarchí

If you’ve not been following along until now, this summer’s Costa Collection has been inspired by my roots and recent visit to my homeland of Costa Rica. We’ve released Birds of A Feather, Harold’s Purple Crayon, and  La Ranita. Today, we released two more from our collection: Down By The Bay and Sarchí, and they both are just as rich in Costa Rican inspiration and history as the last three.

Down By The Bay

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In Costa Rica, you will find both vibrancy and history throughout the land and the culture. From sea life to plant-life, the beauty of the vibrant red-orange color of our newest solid, Down By The Bay, lights up throughout nature in Costa Rica.

Native flowers, crabs, plants, frogs, birds and more boast the rich red-orange hues that so quickly draw attention! Most of the red-orange you see is mainly for aesthetic beauty. Flowers and plants like the Porcelaine Rose, Hibiscus, and Lobster Claw Heliconia are especially great at attracting pollinating insects and gorgeous hummingbirds in Costa Rica. Others warn “stay back!” like the sharp pincers of the land and sea crabs or the toxic skin of the Strawberry Poison Dart Frog. Plus, with over 300 different beaches in Costa Rica with varying types and colors of sand and surrounding sea-life and plant-life, we felt that Down By The Bay was the perfect name for our newest solid.

Sarchí

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Sarchí, pronounced (sar-CHEE), our newest print is named after the city in Costa Rica that is home to the iconic artisan painted ox-carts (carretas), which are the inspiration for my favorite print in the collection.

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When I saw this table (below) painted in the fashion of the carretas wheels, I knew it would make a gorgeous print while still holding true to an important and beautiful piece of my cultural heritage and history.

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Costa Rica is home to a vast number of coffee bean farms. The farms near Sarchí boast some of the best coffee in the country. In the mid 19th century, coffee bean farmers would use these carts to haul their crops from the central valley (where coffee beans grow) over the mountains and through to the Pacific coast to Puntarenas where they were sold- a 10-15 day journey!

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Eventually, the tradition of painting the ox-carts, particularly the wheels, became popular, with each region having their own distinct designs. Farmers also rigged the hubnuts of the wheels to strike a metal ring as the carts moved to create distinct “songs”as well.

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Later on, flowers, faces, landscapes and more bedecked the carts themselves, and as the carts fell out of practical use, they became beautiful artisan crafts to be admired and purchased.

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A craftsman at Fabrica de Carretas Joquin Chaverri Ltda

You can visit carretas craft shops in Sarchí and see the artists hand painting the panels of the carts and the iconic wheels.

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A craftsman at Fabrica de Carretas Joquin Chaverri Ltda

Sarchí is the home of the world’s largest ox-cart. We had a chance to see it during our last visit there!

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We hope you love our new releases! Retailers that are carrying these new releases will also stock at 2:00 PM  CST, so be sure to snag them before they’re sold out! Once Sarchí is sold out, it’s gone!

For more beautiful photos of Costa Rica’s wildlife and rich cultural heritage, be sure to view the following Flikr accounts where the above images were found (and used within the listed permission rights).

Steven Depolo

Willy Volk

Coralie Mercier

Pat1479

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