Roma don’t get a lot of love anywhere in Europe (understatement of the year?), but Mesteshakur is trying to change that. Romania’s Mesteshukar ButiQ (MBQ) is a Bucharest-based network of social economy enterprises and craftsmen promoting traditional Roma craftsmanship while collaborating with contemporary designers.
We know little of Roma craftsmen and their ancient skills. This cultural heritage can both contribute to changing attitudes towards the Roma and provide an opportunity to help families escape the grinding poverty in which so many of them live.
With the support of the ERSTE Foundation Roma Partnership, MBQ [Meşteshukar ButiQ] has revisited many of these traditional crafts and developed an updated collection in collaboration with Nadja Zerunian, Peter Weisz and Glimpt Studio. This has been an ongoing journey of almost 3 years, and we are proud to present a collection of handmade products, their makers and their stories. – MBQ
For Romanian Design Week in May 2018, they created a collection of copper vases designed by Radu Abraham and produced by three traditional craftsmen – Radu Ion, also known as Nevers (silversmith), Victor Clopotar (coppersmith) and Angelica Papalet, also known as Strugurel (woodturner).
Each piece sold by MBQ directly generates income for the craftsmen involved in the network, which I think is pretty neat. That said, I am also a sucker for hammered metal (I’m looking at you, Mexican silver and moscow mule mugs) so I just think these are absolutely lovely and the good vibes are a the cherry on top.