USA Today Magazine
There are countless talented artists through the world- many from small villages and other isolated communities- who spend their days handcrafting uniquely beautiful objects of art and giftware. For generations, geography has forced these inspired pieces to remain undiscovered. However, the world is your marketplace with Novica.com (part of the National Geographic family), based in Los Angeles, Calif., but with sourcing and direct-shipping offices in seven developing nations.
At any given time, Novica features more than 30,000 limited edition and one of a kind handmade works of art, ranging from artisan crafted jewelry to handsewn apparel to world style home decor. Now celebrating its 10th year on the map, Novica and its mission remain steadfast: to help change the lives of thousands of talented master artisans in developing countries- bringing their individual names, faces, cultures, stories and tremendous works of art directly to appreciative customers.
Moreover, Novica encourages sustainable practices among its participating artisans, offering an entire department filled with unique gifts made from recycled materials and sustainably grown fibers and woods. Among our selections this year are:
"Tree of Life" Ceramic Candleholder ($77.95). Ochre and terra cotta tones underscore the drama in this delightful object. Modeled in ceramic and painted by hand, Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus center a composition of stars, spheres, doves and flowers. Alberto Aparicio Canchari crafted this exuberant design.
"Secret Garden" Reversible Alpaca Wool Ruana Cloak ($117.95). Gently falling leaves cast dark shadows in this resplendent garment by Peru's Isidoro C'chahuantico. The artist has shaped it in traditional Andean ruana style- and attaches a matching scarf.
"Wishes" Pearl and Amethyst Necklace ($249.99). Rahul and Siddharth cast a spell of sunny majesty with the exquisite design of this jewelry piece. It is crafted by hand and features bright and mystical gems that include citrine, carnelian, amethyst and garnet. The gems host beautiful iridescent pearls.
"Serpent God" Rose Quartz and Garnet Necklace ($209.95). In Thailand, every temple is adorned with at least one serpent for protection. The mythic Thai Nak dwells beneath the earth, guarding minerals and gems, swims in still and flowing water, and travels through the sky, nourishing crops with rain. The Nak represents elemental natural power, especially fertility. Lilly Rahmann's collection showcases rose quartz, pearl, marcasite and sterling silver. A single ruby is centered within the necklace.