italoriente crafts


ItalOriente Crafts is a collaboration between a network of artisans and designers from Italy and the Middle-East to design and develop handmade tableware. The project objectives are:

– to empower the artisans network through collaborations;

– to experiment the combination of “traditional” and “digital” crafts;

– to promote the values of handmade culture, local products and the related territories.

The project was started in March 2015 with the visit to the Khalife Family’s glassblowing workshop in the coastal village of Sarafand, in South Lebanon. They are the last dynasty of glass blowers in Lebanon struggling to preserve their craft, workshop and family business.


Blown glass by khalife family sarafand lebanon

Image 1: Blownglass collections designed and developed in 2014/2015 by the Khalife Family.

In parallel to the work with the family of glass blowers, a group of women artisans from Italy and Lebanon, expert in embroidery techniques, are collaborating with designers to reinterpret their techniques and patterns. The new developed patterns, which combine old traditional artisanship with contemporary digital technologies, will be used to ‘dress’ the blown glass tableware collection.


The project phases are:

> individuate and analyze the blownglass market trends;

> reinterpret selected embroidery techniques and patterns;

> design and develop the first prototypes of a new blownglass tableware collection.

blownglass tableware prototypes

Image 2: Concept prototypes of a new blownglass collection ‘dressed’ by traditional oriental embroidery patterns.