Shelmed at Best of MOM Exhibit
Shelmed’s Rattan and Abaca Partition prides itself as a piece that intertwines two Asian cultures
Local producer Shelmed Cottage Treasures prides itself for producing quality home products made from local raw materials.
Shelmed’s multi-generation expertise in transforming natural materials with a wide variety of textures, colors, and functions, inline with the taste and needs of the market, attracts clients from all over the world. Their skillful craftsmanship has even caught the eye of Parisian tastemakers earning them a spot as one of the three Philippine brands featured in Maison & Objet’s Best of MOM exhibit. M&O is one of the world’s biggest lifestyle trade events based in Paris, France held last March 24-28, 2022.
The products were all carefully selected by big names in the world of decor, as well as the trend team of the Best of MOM Exhibit. “At the MOM Paris fair, we always set up dedicated, inspirational spaces and select—with the help of trends experts—the remarkable novelties, the colors, the shapes or the materials which are in line with upcoming trends,” says Caroline Biros, Marketing and Communication Director of MOM.
In creating products, Shelmed always seeks to contribute to the society and environment. In producing the dividers, the company decided to use locally sourced abaca and rattan as materials for theirutility and durability.
Shelmed aims to give fair opportunities in uplifting the lives of local farmers, weavers, and artisans. They aspire to achieve collaborative design ventures in order to produce highly customized products for the global market.
Behind the Rattan and Abaca Partition
The product featured in the Parisian exhibit was created through the collaboration of Shelmed Cottage Treasures and Taiwan’s Kai Ping Liu and Ya Ching Lee of Essence Design & Craft.
Under the design exchange program, designers and manufacturers from the Philippines and Taiwan were matched together to develop new home and lifestyle products that focus on exploring the similarities and differences of both countries in terms of artistic heritage and craftsmanship. This led to the creation of the third piece that clinched a place among the favorites in Best of MOM.
According to Essence Design & Craft designer Kai Ping Liu, the rattan and abaca partition, dubbed "Between", harmonizes the culture and design-thinking of the Philippines and Taiwan.
"Since Abaca is mostly presented in a flat form, we thought about making a different and special home accessories or furniture, our design-process led us to the creation of the partition," said Liu.
"This product is original, combinable, can be used in different spaces, and can present the diversity of Abaca weaving. The extensibility of this set of partitions is very high. We are looking forward to hitting different international markets and opening new space for customization," Liu added.
Mary Villanueva of Shelmed, a third-generation manufacturer and exporter who was born into the abaca industry, reiterates the malleability of the natural fiber. There are various processes for abaca that can be explored such as braiding, twisting, crocheting, and weaving. It can also be shaped and dyed into many colors, allowing it to be creatively executed through different approaches.
Having a closer look at the pieces reflect the company’s high regard for sustainability in design and production.
In addition, the combined forces of Filipino and Taiwanese designers and manufacturers resulted in pieces that showcased Asian sensibilities such as indigenious design, masterful craftsmanship and artisanship, and a long-standing love affair with regional natural materials.
“Through this collaboration, Shelmed was able to learn more about our Asian neighbor’s techniques and culture, and how it complements the ways of our country in design and artistry,” Villanueva ended.