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28th March 1999

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Earthy Origins

By Wathsala Mendis

Delicately crafted wooden boats suspended over a beautiful little pond greet the eye as you enter. The pleasing aroma of herbal tea, herbal oil, hand-made herbal soap, and incense powder drifts through the air.

Art pieces made of discarded twigs, roots, coir, clay, glass, and sea shells are neatly arranged on wooden shelves or hang on the wall.

Dedicated to promoting 100% eco-friendly products is the Eco House Art Gallery, Craft Shop, and Design Consultancy in Colombo. Started in June last year, Eco House has been slowly and steadily building up on this theme and now plans an exhibition every month to highlight their concept.

For nature lovers who're looking for unique gift ideas, Eco House provides ample opportunity. Their household linen collection includes bedspreads, pillow cases, quilts, cushion covers, bath towels, shower curtains, tablecloths, sarongs and bags...all hand painted with eye-catching fern designs using natural plant dyes - genuine earthy colours so that the designs look almost real.

For those seeking accessories, the terracotta bracelets and necklaces, rings and earrings in the jewellery collection are well crafted. Papier mache ducks, cats and nature alert greeting cards would make perfect birthday presents. All these are made of hand-made or recycled paper in keeping with the Eco House concept.

Their first exhibition will be held from March 30 - April 15 at the Eco House Art Gallery. A wide range of hand-painted cotton sarongs, bags, and 'Uprooted Origins' - sculptures- of cane,wood etc. will be on display. Damian Asoka de Silva, partner of this unique gift shop, says that two or three products would be presented at a time.

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