Connecting Through Craft: A Journey Back to My Roots

May 16, 2024

Connecting Through Craft: A Journey Back to My Roots

As I sit down to share with you the latest chapter in my journey, I can't help but feel a profound sense of gratitude for my recent experiences. This has been a deeply personal journey that allowed me to immerse myself in Chinese culture and community life after all these years. 

My intention was, to travel back to China to visit the makers of our Mountain Range mugs, but this visit gave me so much more, it linked the place, the objects and the people with memories of my childhood and a feeling of belonging.

My family and I were invited to visit the village of Chang Yuan village, nestled near Jingdezhen, a hub for ceramics with a long history of porcelain making and the home of our ceramic artist friends the Luo brothers. The village was particularly lush at this time of year with bamboo sprouting vigorously. It's proximity to water holds a special significance for the local community, here amongst the tranquil surroundings, we found ourselves in a place where the gentle flow of the lake brings a fresh source of food but also a sense of peace and creative energy, a tranquil environment for creation and connection.

Spending time in Chang Yuan villiage with my family, captured my heart in ways I never expected. I was transported back to my childhood, a time of simplicity, connection and slow living. In the village, people have intentionally embraced a lifestyle free from the pressures and competitiveness of modern Chinese society, opting instead for a sense of community and seasonal-led slow living.

During our time in the village, we were welcomed with open arms by its local people, who made a big effort to honour our visit. From shared meals to gatherings around the fire stove, every moment was filled with hospitality and genuine camaraderie. I was struck by their warmth and generosity.

My children attended the local school, and we cooked wild mushrooms and homegrown produce, the Xìāng Chun (香春) scrambled eggs especially reminded me of my childhood.

As I reflect on this experience, I am reminded of the importance of being rooted and connected, to our heritage, to each other, and to the stories that shape us. That is what I see in the objects our friends make for Rouge, vessels of history and tradition, filled with the spirit of the makers who craft them.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to bring my family along on this journey, to share in the richness of Chinese culture and to forge meaningful connections with the people who create the objects we cherish. As we continue to curate our collection at Rouge, I hope to share these stories with you. Together, let's celebrate the craftsmanship, heritage, and heartfelt connections that make our journey at Rouge so meaningful.