Amari Tjalkuri was born in Ernabella around 1960 and went to primary school there. She continued her schooling in Adelaide at Gepps Cross High School. She has also graduated from the University of South Australia with a Diploma of Education and has taught at the Ernabella school



Carol Young was born in Alice Springs in 1972 and grew up in Pipalyatjara in the remote Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands in north-western South Australia. Carol’s mother’s country is Warburton in Western Australia, Pitjantjatara country



Cedric was born in Adelaide in 1984, his family is Narangga, from Point Pearce on the mission on Yorke Peninsula in South Australia and Ngarrindjeri from the area along the southern parts of the river Murray the Coorong in southern coastal South Australia.



Daisybell Tjalumi Kulyuru was born in Ernabella in 1971. She worked at Ernabella Arts a long time ago. When Daisybell finished school she learnt to paint canvas and batik. Her batik paintings have won prizes. Daisybell likes to paint bushtucker and traditional imagery.



Damien and Nyinkalya Marks often paint together to create beautiful, vibrant collaborative works. Nyinkalya is a Pitjantjatjarawoman from Ernabella in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara Lands, South Australia. And is a talented batik artist as well as a painter.



Imiyari Yilpi Adamson was born in Ngunaratjara, near Uluru in the Northern Territory. Her mother’s country is Pipalyatjara, and her father’s country is Yankunytjatjara.Imiyari and her family travelled to Ernabella (Pukatja) by camel when she was very young.



Karen Kulyuru was born in 1969 and raised in Ernabella (Pukatja) on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara/ Yankunytjatjara Lands. Karen first learned to paint by watching her mother and comes from a family of batik silk artists. She started painting at Ernabella Arts and Crafts many years ago.



Nami Kulyuru is the eldest sister from a family of talented batik silk artists and painters. Nami has both Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara heritage. Born and raised in Ernabella (Pukatja) in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands, Nami first learned to paint by watching her



Nelly Patterson was born out in the bush in 1938. She grew up as a traditional Anangu girl near Pipalyatjara in the Anangu Pitjatjantjara/Yankunytjatjara Lands, with no whitefellas or roads. The first white men she saw were the camel workers passing through.



Phyllis Edwards was born in Alice Springs and lived in Ernabella as a child. Her parents were both Pitjantjatjara, her mother fromErnabella and her father from Mimili. Phyllis has lived in Adelaide since she was a teenager but still travels back to the APY Lands regularly.



Rama Kaltu-Kaltu Sampson was born c. 1936 in Mt. Davis, Pipalyatjara, in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands. He is an accomplishedpainter and traditional ngangkari – doctor and spiritual healer. Rama painted at Ernabella for three years



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Yaritji Heffernan is a ‘bush baby,’ born in Mulga Park Station near Ernabella. She has fond memories of growing up at the Emissiona mission school, where she lived as a child with many of the women now painting in Adelaide. Her parents were both Pitjantjatjara,

The artisans who contribute to the cross-cultural projects are often rural folk who are also employed in traditional handicraft activities that supplement their rural incomes, filling the financial troughs between harvests, and the lulls in seasonal work.  Handicraft income is derived from skills handed down through generations creating work that is culturally enhancing, and gives strength to traditional ways of life and creativity in quiet, pristine villages, with their extended families.

On both sides of the equation, here in Australia and in the other often remote regions we get our hand crafted goods from, people are enabled to live in their own small communities on traditional homelands.

Handicraft cultures are endangered cultures. This work is being pushed aside by a consumer market that wants cheap, pretty, but highly disposable mass produced products. Our Cross Cultural Projects have longevity, we are still working with the same workers who produced our first order, and always looking for new artisans that we can include into our projects.



Papier Mache

Kar-e-Kalamdani is the local name for papier-mâché, a Kashmiri cottage industry, which was introduced to the Kashmir valley in the 15th century by the Moghul prince Zain-ul-Abadin, along with a number of other Persian skills and crafts. There are many steps in the papier-mâché process first the artisans create a pulp from recycled paper which is then moulded into the desired shape.

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Chain Stitch

‘Gabba’ Chain-Stitch is a traditional Kashmiri handicraft and important to the local economy. This work is produced in remote villages. Wool is dyed in situ and groups of people gather in local homes surrounded by family and friends to work. The stitching is done by hand and using an ‘aari’, a sharp hooked tool similar to a crochet hook. Finished rugs and cushions are washed in nearby streams.

Screen Print Cushions

Screen Printing

The Kashmiri artisans have taken to screen printing in the same manner as they do other handicrafts,  with skill and attention to detail, using their inter generational artistic flair in this relatively new craft. Our screen printing is done by hand.  Screen printing still uses the traditional skills of artisans but can represent the fine dotting and line work in more detail than chain stitching can for example. It is both a productive and clean industry that can be practised on a small scale. We use water based inks.


Tibetan Rugs

Nepal is home to a large Tibetan community,  displaced from their home lands from the 1950’s onwards. after China took control of Tibet.  The Dalai Lama’s Government in exile set up a number of craft centres including Jawalakhel,  where our rugs come from.  The wool is either locally grown or imported from New Zealand.  Most of the rugs we have use New Zealand wool as it is considered to be better quality and takes the dye better.   Traditional handicrafts from Tibet enable cultural maintenance and provide independent income for the craft centre and the workers.  Jawalakhel houses an aged care facility as well as a child care centre and housing for Tibetan families, along with productive workshops that employ many people.


Ceramic Jewellery

The Quechua artisans who make our beautiful ceramic jewellery by hand, do so in family workshops based in the culturally vibrant city of Cusco, which is located in the central highlands of Perú. Through this arrangement, the artisans are able to continue to live and work with their families and communities. This engagement is not only socially and economically beneficial to the artisans, but it is culturally relevant by supporting the preservation of a traditional Peruvian handicraft and cultural heritage. Political and economic uncertainties make supplemental income, like that earned from handicraft work, essential.

Echoing their Inca ancestors artisans process and and knead the clay into the optimal plasticity, then press the clay into small square moulds to give shape to the pendants and earrings made for Better World Arts. After shaping, drying and firing, the earrings and pendants are skilfully and artistically painted by hand, an ancestral tradition that lives on today in our works.

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Silver Jewellery

Silver and gold smithing were highly developed crafts in the pre Columbian civilisations.  Some even believe Peru is the legendary Ophir,  mentioned in the Bible and famous for its gold,  silver and and exquisite craftsmanship.  Today the descendants of the Inca still practice the ancient smithing of precious metals  The silver in our jewellery is recycled from old silver found in local markets and remodelled into Australian Aboriginal designs. 

Better World Arts 2015

Shanti Leather
West Bengal

Shanti leather is tanned using vegetable extracts.  An ancient craft from  West Bengal  India,  shanti was reinvigorated at the Biswa Bharati  University started by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore during the era of Mahatma Gandhi.  Images are applied by “batik” or embossing and hand painting. Normal leather processing uses heavy metals and toxic chemicals that pollute the earth and waterways.  Shanti leather’s natural tanning processes mean it feels and looks different,  because it is different.

Better World Arts 2015

Bone China

China is the home of porcelain china, as the name infers.  Examples of paeleolithic pottery have been found in China.  The craft wss developed and became a massive exprt industry during the imperial years.  This export trade was so vast and the product so good that the name “China” for porcelain products, came into vogue during the 16th century in Europe.

Bone china was actually an English development.  Thomas Frye developed the material in 1748 and Josiah Spode produced bone china on a commercial scale in the 1790’s.  Bone china incorporates a high level of bone ash into the  clay body.  This makes the product much stronger and more chip resistant that ordinary porcelain.  The raw materials are expensive and production is more labour intensive,  so bone china is a more costly product than other porcelain products.


Steel Homewares

Utilising the skills and talents of Kashmiri artisans, fashionable stainless steel is hand painted. The hand painting process is called ‘Naqqashi’ is a highly skilled profession in the Kashmir valley.  Developed over generations and still used to decorate the handmade papier-mâché, this low tech, low carbon footprint industry maintains cultural practices and traditional incomes that assist families to live an economically and culturally sound lifestyle in their home villages. This is a cottage industry that has emerged in the Kashmir valley, building on the traditional lacquer ware industry that has been famous for centuries.


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