Crafting: The New and The Local

Makers Unite & Crafts Council NL present:
Crafting: the New and the Local
Collaboration with Cor Unum at Dutch Design Week 2017

For the HOW & WOW exhibition a team of creative newcomers from Makers Unite has partnered up with the renowned Dutch ceramic company Cor Unum for the production of Crafting: the New and the Local. A presentation blending ancient Syrian crafts of laurel Ghar soap making with contemporary Dutch ceramic techniques of glaze re-use (R-Glaze). The result of this crafted collaboration proposes a dialogue questioning: What is the role of crafts in enabling more inclusive societies?

Makers Unite is a social enterprise that provides opportunities to newcomers through the making of creative products and assignments. Creating a stage to showcase the talent of their creative participants, Makers Unite aims to raise awareness about the importance of equality and social inclusion. Their work has been showcased at the Venice Architecture Biennale (Roof 4 Humanity), during Amsterdam Fashion Week (Refuse Magazine) and at Stedelijk Museum (Solution or Utopia: Design for Refugees).

The Ghar Soap

The history of the laurel (Ghar) soap dates back to 2,000 years ago, and has preserved this type of soap since its creation. The laurel tree was known since its inception for its importance and value. It was a branch of the laurel that crowned the heads of powerful men. The garland of laurel was symbolized by victory and strength, as it was known for its aesthetic importance.

The city of Aleppo in Syria is famous for this kind of natural soap. This kind of soap is famous in the Levant, and it is possible that this soap and other types of soap are famous in this region, especially among the regions of the world. In this country, the olives in Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq are among the distinguishing marks of these countries because of the environment and climate suitable for the growth of this type of plant, and this country is famous for other types of soap such as Nabulsi soap and factory in the Palestinian city of Nablus.


Cor Unum is constantly looking for processes and methods to innovate and translate the ceramic craft to contemporary standards. That means an ongoing research into sustainability of the ceramic making processes and limiting waste production.

After a year and a half long researching mixtures of discarded glaze with mass (clay and clay residues), Cor Unum intensively experimented with alternative baking methods.

The result of this process is Reglaze, a servings based on a combination of clay mass and glaze residues. When glaze waste – in all kinds of color variants – mixed with clay will result in this finally in a beautifully changing shade of matte grayscale. Using this baking method in initially in a crockery design originated as the result of this process is a tough tableware, in a natural and industrial form language.

This method furthermore makes every part unique in its shape and the ever changing shade of matte grayscale. The ultimate perfection of imperfection.

Crafting the New and the Local – DDW 2017

The exhibition Crafting: The New & The Local uses ancient and contemporary crafts from Syria and The Netherlands to mimic the power crafts and creativity have to bring our societies closer. By giving value to real talent and connecting it to modern and innovative ideas, the project opens the room for dialogue questioning: What is the role of crafts in enabling more inclusive societies?

About Makers Unite
Makers Unite is a winner of the Refugee Challenge, organised by What Design Can Do, UNHCR and Ikea Foundation. The organisation has also received the Social Entrepreneurship prizes of ABN AMRO and Amsterdammers, Maak Je Stad. The products of Makers Unite have been exhibited by the Stedelijk Museum and awarded by Dezeen as one of the top designs tackling the refugee crisis.

€22,00 incl. btw (Soap & Plate are only sold combined)
Limited edition of 100 units.
Sold during DDW and at

Location of the exhibition:
Crafts Council NL – How & Wow Exhibition
Veem, Torenalle 80, Eindhoven
Opening time from 21 to 29 October 11:00-18:00

Launching event location:
Room E-W.1.30
Torenallee 75, Eindhoven

Click for route description
Date & time: Wednesday, 25 October 17:00-19:00
Please rsvp by sending an email to: