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NAGAR GLASS FACTORY in Yangon, Myanmar

Hi there! 🙂

I’d like to share this article about an old glass factory in Yangon, in Myanmar, destroyed by the Nargis Cyclone the 2nd of May 2008.

I don’t remember how I discovered the Nagar Glass Factory. I suppose someone must have talked to me about it when I was living in Yangon. I didn’t wait a longtime to go and take a look. What I discovered was a huge area covered with tropical plants growing everywhere, an abandoned site, with no human post-Cyclone intervention.

A natural path already existing leaded to the house of a three generation Chinese family, owners of the factory. The house is open to the nature and the remaining surroundings of what once seemed to function well. This family lives there in discreet conditions because of the disaster but it seems they wouldn’t sell the property, even when Japanese people proposed to buy and reconstruct the factory. Under the shadow of the luxuriant surrounding vegetation, tiger mosquitos fly everywhere. I remember, I used to cover myself with tropical mosquito repellent every time I visited this place and the times I forgot it was a nightmare!

Still, this place is amazing! It’s a jungle in the city of Yangon. Narrow paths lead to what once was a glass factory. There are the remaining of the various workshops, the oven made with red briques,… Bottles, vases, plates, abandoned and mixed with the vegetation became part of the environment. In Myanmar, the humidity and the hot temperatures make the plants grow very quickly. I visited this place in 2011.

The owners of the place have a big table covered with glass objects for sell created in the past. They told me that I was free to search around and find anything I like, they’d clean or adjust it and sell it to me.

Going around this place, wondering and searching among the plants isn’t the easiest thing to do but it’s so exciting! I’ve found many objects here which became projects I exposed later in Europe. Like ©1853 candleholders inspired by the kerosene lamp discovered in 1853 (you can see a photo of the old kerosene lamp which inspired my ©1853 candleholders. Also, a small series of very fine glass vases, Christmas decorations, vases and many other treasures…

I wanted to create a project which unfortunately remained a project because of lack of time: A collection of combined glass sculptures, I still keep in my drawers. Who knows, maybe one day…

Here are some photos of the Nagar Glass Factory I’ve taken during my visits there:

I hope you liked reading this post. If yes, I invite you to put a Like. Also, I’d be very glad to reply to any questions or have your impressions.

Thank you for reading!

DIY tutorial 1: How to renew an old lamp in the simplest way possible!

It’s been some time I was think about putting online some of the everyday life things I do in parallel of my main activity, because it may interest people. I usually think that if I have problem to resolve, small or big, it’s sure that other people face the same issues.

That’s why I’ll begin my very first post of DIY tutorial: It’s about renewing an old lamp or temporarily try a new fabric/or other material like paper for example and see if you like it or not before deciding to replace the old one definitely.

I live in a furnished rent appartement and some of the objects in the house don’t correspond to a style I like and I don’t want to live with things I see everyday and I don’t like. BUT, as I don’t want to invest in new objects, I prefer to modificative them to my own preferences, always with the possibility to leave them at their first state when I’ll have to quit the house. I hope I’m clear enough at my explanations! As you understand, English isn’t a mother language for me. I’ll do my best do explain the procedure in a clear way. Please don’t hesitate to contact me for any clarification or question. I’d be very happy to help!

So, here is the lamp I’d like to renew:

As you can notice, the upper part is old and stained. The rest of it isn’t so bad. The blue designs on the white porcelain reminds me of the traditional Chinese potteries. I don’t really cherish the golden parts but we have no choice, we’ll keep it this way. I need it to be recuperable when I’ll have to leave the apartment.

STEP 1:

I choose the kind of fabric or paper or other material adaptable to the upper part of the lamp (the abat-jour). We’ll keep the abat-jour, it’ll be a perfect support because it’s rigid.

*TIP: Choose a fabric matching the surrounding environment and style of your house. Also, keep in mind that the darker will be the fabric/paper you’ll place, the softer will be the light. If you want a bright light you should you a bright fabric/paper also.

I’ve recuperated pieces remaining of the African fabric I’ve used for my IJUM bags. The only problem is that they don’t have the same size or shape, so as you can see, the juxtaposition is noticed but I’ve tried to keep a logical an aesthetic line. Ideally a simple fabric with no designs on it would be perfect but I don’t have any and anyway, my lamp will have it’s own style!

Step 2:

I’ve used extremely simple ways to fix the fabric, since I can’t make any holes on the original support. I didn’t use the stapler but if you can, it’d be the best way to fix the fabric. I really did this in 10′, so if I change my mind I can still take it out and try another fabric or even paper.

I adapted the fabric on the surface in a way that no folds are created and fixed it at certain points with an adhesive tape. This way, I’ve been able to move it either way to adapt on the round form of the support. Once fixed, you can put an adhesive all the way along the fabric.

Step 3:

On the external part I’ve fixed the fabric with pins of the same colour.

If you are patient and you prefer you could also use a thread or a sewing machine for the fabric.

Result:

*TIP: Be careful at the shape of the fabric/paper when you light your lamp. They will appear in transparence and the juxtaposition will be clear.

So, this is a very ingenious way to change a lamp in your appartement and recuperate the lamp and the material on it. At the same time, you renew in a temporary and convenient way your interior.

Please let me know if you like this post, I can put other easy-to-make ideas online.

Thank you for reading!

“KERAMIS”, a project created with cement (& not only!)

Keramis is a project born from the collaboration with Cement Design and Fooddesignstories.

Keramis can be used as a centerpiece or decorative element; it can be produced in different exemplars and colors, with or without a stamp, in a matt or glossy version. It’s inspired by the Byzantine tiles, found since the ancient times on the roofs of houses in the region of Northern Greece called Macedonia, the land of Alexander the Great.


I found the inspiration during a hot summer afternoon…I used a tile from the village of Assiros, a few kilometers from the city of Thessaloniki, which I then covered with the materials provided by Cement Design, adding natural pigments, the same as those used to make the icons of the Greek Orthodox rite. I used to make icons at the past and I still have the materials (Icons are painted in the traditional way using: natural pigments, egg, white vinegar).

Looking at the old tiles and houses around me I found amazing how time leaves it’s marks on the objects, in our lives, in our souls and cultures from generation to generation and in our history.

I can be anywhere in the world and feel home every time I change place but I know where my roots are.


So, I just wanted to recreate this patina of time on the Byzantine tile, which accompanies our senses on an ideal journey through the centuries of this mysterious and fascinating region, in which the stories and destinies of the Southern Mediterranean intertweave … Italy, France, Greece, ancient Byzantium, modern Istanbul.

Here’s my presentation of KERAMIS plate:

Sea sponges, nature inspiration & cultural heritage…

During my last vacations in Limnos island, I had the chance to meet one of the lasts traditional scuba divers (he’s in his late 90’s) who used to plonge in the sea for sponge research in the traditional costume. This activity, using traditional motor boats, has been developed during the 18th and 19th century and from 1922 till the late 1980’s in the village of Nea Koutali in Limnos.

I don’t want to deepen the historic part (which is also very interesting) because it’s not the subject of my post and this isn’t a touristic and historic website, I leave this to specialists who know better their subject.

I just wanted to talk about inspiration and nature and I’ve found these sponges extremely interesting for their shapes and fine details.

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Take a look at the small extremities on the contour of the sponges, on the pores and different shapes of every one.

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They are aesthetically high and it’s all natural!

Of course, it’s a very emotional moment, when one has in hand these exact sponges and thinks about the difficulties and daily life risks during their extraction from the sea.

I’m certain something sooner or later will come out of these fine objects!

Many thanks to the last scuba diver from Nea Koutali in Limnos island and to the Museum of Maritime Tradition and Sponge Fishing (“The exhibits are mostly donations and demonstrate the cultural sensitivity of people in Koutali, who first granted antiques to the school of their community and later everything they had at home as their cultural heritage.”)!!!

The lions entered in Rome…

The lions entered in Rome!!! :-O

An early morning I was so surprised to see the spectacle of a group of lions, some lying, other walking, one just staring fiercely ahead… These lions made theirs the front entrance of the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea of Rome!

Staring at them from a good distance, they seem “real” (well…if you want them to be real), et least I find their positions very natural as if they were in the middle of the jungle (urban jungle…?).

They’re in bronze, created by Davide Rivalta and they keep company to the older lions of Cesare Bazzani which you can see at the bottom of the front columns.

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The artist took the photos of the lions of the Center for the Protection and Recovery of the Wildlife of Mount Adonis (Centro di Tutela e Recupero della Fauna Selvatica del Monte Adone) in Bologna.

I like a lot the idea of wildlife living among people (or people living among wildlife..? I wonder…) and it reminds me of the real lions I crossed by in Africa. Fortunately, I have the chance to pass in front of the Museum every day and just a glance on this group of lions is enough to put a smile on my face!!! Thanks to the artist who created them (Davide Rivalta) and to the Museum which disposed the space for the exhibition! 🙂

Photo credits: Andromachi Lykartsi

Why I decided to add a BLOG chapter in my website

I decided to add a blog session and write posts in my website because I wanted to share moments, experiences, things which are important for me and which may interest other people also.

Because life is not a static page and it changes all the time and goes around, as well as appreciations, perceptions and feelings we have for what surrounds us.

Of course I hope that readers will find it useful, maybe interesting, or…I don’t know….and  that they will be there to react and exchange through these BLOG pages.

Welcome!!! 🙂

*Photo credits: Andromachi Lykartsi