A great love of Tree of Life is the hand-painted papier mache craft and tableware of Kasmir. In a troubled region, craftsmen continue to earn a good living making and painting boxes, bangles, bowls and other objets d’art. Many of the designs are traditional and celebrate the flora and fauna of Kashmir, which is one of the most beautiful areas we have visited. 

Our founders John and Wendy met our supplier who runs a third-generation family enterprise at his market stand 20 years ago. The family has over 100 years of experience and still craft in their original workshop. The principles are literally “hands-on”, able to pitch in and help out with painting and packing, seated cross-legged on the floor with their workers.

More traditional Kashmiri pieces are crafted from paper pulp. The brightly coloured Kashmiri boxes that we have sold since the beginning are crafted from this process. To create them, recycled paper is soaked in water for 8 days to get rid of any ink. The paper pulp is moulded into the desired shape and slowly dried in the sun for a few days.

Colour! This is where our tinware products start their journey. Each piece has a base colour painted and is left to dry for a couple of days. Once dry, a handful of artists will start designing the shape of the pattern. Each piece is specially hand-painted to add depth and intricacy to the floral pattern, making them unique and precious!

Members of the Tree of Life journeyed to Kashmir in 2022 and were happy to find care, courtesy and contentment in their suppliers' establishment. Kashmir is a beautiful mountainous region in India surrounded by the great Himalayas. Srinagar, where we source our products, is the main city known for its beautiful Dal Lake. Dal Lake is famous for its ornate house boats and its popular early morning floating markets.