Wooden Pedicure Bowl Story
Mango wood bowls are made from mango wood taken when old trees that no longer produce enough fruit. These trees would normally be cut down and burned but the wood can now be used start it second life. The wood is cut into workable size logs and transported to the village that works the wood.
Different wood carvers do different designs of bowls, vases and other objects, depending on their skill levels. Craftsmen usually have a turning lathe in their yard or can go to the company that ordered the product and use their equipment. The wood is turned on old fashioned lathes and the cutting is done by hand with long handled knives. Once the bowl is carved, it is kiln dried, and the kilns today are heated with natural gas and sometimes wood chip refuse from the cutting process. After drying, different finishes are applied, depending on the order. Finishing is normally done by women, who work in a small group together to finish .
This is very much a hand craft, because the products are all produced by hand. There is a collegial feeling among the workers, who come as a group from their village and are paid by the units produced (not the hour) , and so can work a schedule they all agree on, and they are also responsible for the quality of the end product. In short if the workers want to work longer they can but if they want time of they can organise this as they please. They are essentially self employed.
The work supports the families who participate, and , in the case of Pink's products, there are over 200 workers involved in the production of mango wood products .
Kirstie and I have had the pleasure of visiting the production centre and we impressed no end with the working standards and the lifestyle of the workers seemed a happy and sociable one.
Having spent 4 years searching for the best way to produce the bowls including trialling 3 countries and 5 factories it is great to now be working with a company that we feel works in the an ethical and professional way.