Artisan wares

Thursday, August 19, 2010; GZ05

You could call it the Etsy effect, our current infatuation with the handmade.

Etsy (, the hot online marketplace for handcrafted items, has a core of devotees and more than

1.2 million followers on Twitter. Add to this a general thirst for one-of-a-kind design and a backlash against mass-produced plastic, and we see why major retailers are offering alternatives.

For fall, there are Old World embroidered pillow covers at Pottery Barn made with hand-spun yarns and specialized looming techniques. At West Elm, hand-loomed silk pillow covers are keeping a yarn cooperative in India going.

West Elm's collection of black Lombok vases in simple shapes ($12-$24) look modern grouped together. The members of the Indonesian women's cooperative who make them by hand out of clay polish them to a high gloss.

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