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Tiles:
Unique tiling ideas for your home decor. Find accent tiles for your flooring, pool, or bathroom decor, house signs, wall tiles ceramic murals & kitchen backsplash.
 
Bird Cages:
Artful antique looking wood n' wire bird cages & aviaries. Decorative bird cages also available.
 
Moroccan Poufs:
Hand crafted leather ottoman style footstools.
 
Home Decor:
Finest selection of olive wood vases, ceramic chess sets, olive wood chess sets, collectible olive wood tables, hanging brass lanterns.
Garden Decor:
Hand made & painted world class ceramic fountains.
 
Kitchenware:
Exotic collection of Mediterranean blue handmade dinner sets, mortars and pestles, wooden utensils, nesting bowls, wooden salad bowls, cutting board, and much more.
 
Musical Instruments:
Authentic Tunisian bagpipe (Mezwed) is here. So is a collection of ceramic drums and wooden darboukas.
 
Earth Tone Mosaic Stones:
Mosaic rocks from the Southern Mediterranean.

 

Ceramic Tiles > World Class Tunisian Ceramic Tiles
HAND MADE CERAMICS from Nabeul (Neapolis, or New City) ancient battlefield for the Greek founded in the 5th Century AC and twin sister to an other Neapolis (Naples, Italy), is the Capital of the Ceramic in Tunisia.
Thanks to its strategic location in the Central Coast of the Mediterranean and the diversity of its agricultural produces, Nabeul has known a massive flow of immigrants from all over the Mediterranean who brought with them a know-how in agriculture development as well as in manufacturing industries.
 
Known since the Greek and Roman eras for its pottery made out of fine terra cotta, Nabeul has developed a more diversified quality of pottery with the arrival of Islam to the Region, by shifting it styles to the well-known Persian Decor (current Iran)
Ceramics has been since considered for Mosques and Palaces Decor.
Nabeul has know three major stages in its optimization of techniques and pottery production.
In a first stage, Nabeul's pottery shown strong development signs following the influence of the Renaissance Movement, born in the neighboring Italy.
Later on, Muslims chased from Andalusia, Spain (15th Century DC) after the conquest of Spain by the Catholics, found refuge in the Region of Nabeul and neighboring areas.
A last major influence on the fired pottery production took place when the Country became under French Protectorate (19-20th Century DC)
A dozen of Mom & Pop companies, in major part of Andalusia, Spain origins, supply about 80% of the Tunisian overall Ceramics production, consisting of : building and hardware (bathroom and kitchen decor) , decorative (ceramic murals and tiles) , and kitchenware products (dinnerware and tea sets.)
The increasing number of tourists visiting the region has contributed to the growth of pottery production, soliciting artisans to come out with designs to meet the "European Tastes."
 
Today, local authorities finance networks of schools to teach the art of pottery in order to boost supply, and support meeting the international demand for Mom and Pop factories.
Nabeul's ceramics are mainly exported to Italy, Malta, France, Greece, Spain, UK., Germany, Belgium, Argentina, Australia, Canada ... and in recent years to the United States.
Wall murals and backsplashes are "must have" in every Tunisian house.
 
The ceramic numbers and letters are the latest innovation in the industry.
 
Tunisian Cultural Influences 
Throughout its history, a variety of nations held control of Tunisia, and people from other nations migrated to this North African country. This led to the variety of cultures living in Tunisia today. These Mediterranean cultural influences are apparent in the beautiful designs, patterns, and glazes of traditional Tunisian ceramics, cloth tapestries, woven carpets, and the intricate olive wood carvings that Tunisia is known for all over the world.
 
Bird Cages > Exotic Tunisian Bird Cages
A small farming village, mainly fishermen established at the base of a mountain which advances in the Mediterranean in a very exotic cape, RAFRAF, is part of a dozen villages situated in the Western Coast of Tunisia, resided by descendents of Muslims of Andalusia, chased out of Spain by «Isabella la Cattolica» (Catholic Isabel) in 1942.
These populations have brought with them from the rich Andalusia, to Raf Raf and to other villages, a know-how in the hydraulic field, farming, architecture, crafts, tissue and cotton, and other manufacturing professions. Rafraf is celebrated in the Country of Tunisia for:
- farming (grapes, of Raf Raf, a variety of very sweet grapes, as well as « the pear of Raf Raf, red and yellow »)
- high couture, industry managed in big part by local housewives, producing new designs of wedding bags very appreciated in the rest of the Country
- bird cage crafting, an industry run by young artisans, mainly by men workers.
Rafraf is located by the « Ichckeul Lake » recognized by the UNESCO as a « patrimoine mondial » due to the site role as Winter Destination for a variety of birds avoiding the European cold. It has been lately observed that bird species all the way from Siberia fly to « Lake Ichckeul » in European winter time.
In Raf Raf, tradition is that every house has one or more bird cages for canary bird as ornament, and the first voices of the morning consisted of the village’s alarm a clock. Coffee shops, different artisans, barber shops … had also the tradition of having a bird cage with a canary at the work place, until the radio has been invented.
 
About the Cage's Artist
Massoudi, at 28 … has already 15 years of experience in manufacturing bird cages. Already since elementary school, he helped his father at the « bottega » manufacturing bird cages (a profession transamitted from father to son) which he sold to tourists to pay for college.
Half way thru in college, Massoudi abandoned schooling and focused on improving the Family’s Business of Bird Cages manufacturing.
With a growth in the tourist visitors the region (5 million tourists visited Tunisia in 2003, Tunisia for only 10 million habitants), the bird cage demand went up, and Massoudi requested a Government loan to improve his Mom & Pop business, remodel the « bottega » and create a better business environment in order to manufacture always a more qualitative product.
 With a team of 3 co-workers, Massoudi specializes in manufacturing a higher end product line. His bird cages are very requested in the rest of the Country, and many European tourist bird fans, take souvenir pictures with him as they celebrate the pick up of a their custom made bird cage.
In early 2004, Massoudi asked for tech support to introduce his Bird Cage on ebay. After amazing market test results, Crafts4less became Massoudi’s gateway to his Western bird cage Fans, and your gateway for a Higher End Bird Cage; Fun for the Birds … Decorative for the House.
 
About The Shape
The bird cage tradition is known since the old Egyptian era, India, Persian, Antique Greece, and the Sacre Roman Impire. But the cage manufactured in Tunisia (more particularely in Raf Raf) has an original shape. It is a reproduction of styles and motifs of of the Arab Mulsim architecture developed in Syria, Iraq, and Muslim Andalousie (8th-15th century) : the dome in metal wire consists of the reproduction of the domes of the Mosques (as in the Cordoba Mosque, now a Catholic Church)
The shape of the base is the reproduction of Noble Families Balconies (as we see it in the Al Hambra Palace, Grenada)
Even the geometric shapes given to the meta in the bird cage, are an imitation of the house windows in Old Town Cordoba, Grenada, and Seville in Spain, as well as in many Tunisian houses.
The Raf Raf Cage is manufactured in different sizes (anywhere from 10 to 60 inches in height, with a dome diameter usually half the height.) It is offered either in natural wood and wire, or white painted wire with blue, sugnificant to the Mediterranean colors.
It is commercialized everywhere in Europe mainly in tourist areas
Olive wood > Tunisian Olive Wood Crafts
Hand-Carved Tunisian Mediterranean Olive Wood has a history as rich and interesting as the history of the country of Tunisia and of its people. The diversity of cultural influences and the traditional wood-turning skills that are passed down from one generation of craftsman to the next, combine to create unique, one-of-a-kind olive wood products that are truly works of art.
The olive wood is interesting, in its own right, with no two grains being alike. Mediterranean olive wood is heavy, dense and durable, with a distinctive red pigment in its grain. Colors also range in nuances of cream to dark brown, with irregular gray, brown, and black lines. The complex and irregular veins give the carved olive wood the appearance of marble. Olive wood requires minimal care. An occasional rubbing with natural olive oil will restore the wood's natural luster.
Brief History of Tunisia
Native Tunisians are descendants of indigenous Berber and Arab tribes that migrated to North Africa during the seventh century. Recorded history in Tunisia begins with the arrival of Phoenicians, who founded Carthage and other North African settlements.
Carthage was captured by the Romans in AD 146, and the Romans continued to rule North Africa until they were defeated by Germanic tribesmen from Europe in the fifth century.
The Muslim conquest in the seventh century transformed North Africa. Tunisia became a center of Arab culture until its assimilation into the Turkish Ottoman Empire in the 16th century.
In the 19th century, in 1869, an international financial commission was formed, and France, the United Kingdom, and Italy established control over the Tunisian economy. France later established a protectorate in Tunisia, in 1881. Resistance to French rule continued into the 20th century, and this rise of nationalism led to Tunisia's independence in 1956.
 
Traditional Olive Wood Artistry
Hand-carved Tunisian Olive Wood has a history as rich and interesting as the history of the country of Tunisia and of its people. The diversity of cultural influences and the traditional wood-turning skills that are passed down from one generation of craftsman to the next, combine to create unique, one-of-a-kind olive wood pieces that are truly works of art.
Mediterranean olive wood is heavy, dense and durable, with a distinctive red pigment in its grain. Colors also range in nuances of cream to dark brown, with irregular gray, brown, and black lines. The complex and irregular veins give the carved wood the appearance of marble. It is one of the most expensive woods around, and it is rare to find olive wood carvings, or even olive wood in the United States.
The olive wood is interesting, in its own right, with no two grains being alike. Olive wood is easily recognized and differentiated from other woods by its unique and aesthetic grain. The artistically smooth and exotic grain of the olive wood, tags it as the most creative wood known to man. It is very difficult to match the grain of two pieces since the pattern is completely hidden in the heart of the wood. This durable wood needs only an occasional rubbing with olive oil to bring out the pattern of the wood grain.
The characteristics of the olive wood renders it an ideal material for a variety of crafted wares and decorating accessories such as the cutting boards, trays, coasters, cutlery, bowls, chess sets and sculpture found in marketplaces and households throughout Mediterranean countries. This is especially true in Tunisia, where the tradition is deeply rooted in local olive wood artistry.

 

 

 
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