Constellations That Connect Us

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”

Constellations | Fair Trade Wall Hanging

That’s some pretty good advice from one of the most brilliant minds in history, Stephen Hawking.

In a world full of screens, newsfeeds, and GPS, how often do we simply look up and take notice of the complex world around us?

Since the dawn of civilization, humans have been using stars to track seasons, navigate oceans, and tell stories. Constellations were dreamt up over time to bring some order to the infinite number of stars, with each culture through the ages putting their own spin on the meaning and legends attached to them. Like old friends, these pictures and patterns traveled slowly through the night sky, joyfully welcomed with each new season.

Constellations | Fair Trade Wall Hanging

This annual journey of constellations never stopped. We just stopped enjoying the show. If you happen to live in a place without much light or air pollution, you can see the same stars that our ancestors saw, and that all people in the Northern Hemisphere can still see if they take the time to look up.

Constellations | Fair Trade Wall Hangings

Our team of designers worked extremely closely with the embroiderers of Zardozi Original, a small workshop in Kalitala, India, to create the Constellation Wall Hanging.

A true labor of love – and science – on all sides, this astronomically correct map of the night sky showcases the profoundly intricate embroidery known as Zardozi.

Once used to adorn the royal robes of ancient Mughal kings, the intricate stitches would announce to onlookers the grandeur of the wearer. Yet, with decades of British rule and the onset of industrialization, demand waned for this delicate style of embroidery. It might have been lost forever, if not for the dedicated Indian artists determined to save it from extinction.

Constellations | Fair Trade Wall Hanging

In order to create a wall hanging that is both aesthetically pleasing and a functional map, our product designers needed to make sure that all the constellations were in their proper place. This required the help of a colleague who has extensive scientific knowledge, plenty of design collaboration with the artisans at Zardozi Original, and a total of five revisions before all the constellations were present and accounted for.

Constellations | Fair Trade Wall Hanging

The end result, an astronomically correct map of the night sky, was worth all the meticulous adjustments!

The Constellation Wall Hanging displays all four seasons with the North Celestial Pole at its center. You can rotate the map with each season and always know which stars are overhead. Familiar constellations have been carefully hand-stitched with each star represented as a tiny white bead, so you can find your favorite night sky character and easily track its annual journey through the vast universe.

Constellations | Wall Hanging

Go ahead. Heed some advice from Stephen Hawking and the generations that came before us. On the next clear night, simply look up and enjoy the spectacular light show. Take comfort in the fact that you are not only seeing the same stars as your ancient ancestors, but the same constellations as our friends an ocean away.

 

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Valentina

A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Valentina lives in Lancaster, PA where she runs slowly, hikes often, and excitedly points out historical landmarks to friends and family. She is fond of curry and guacamole, and insists that vanilla ice cream is a waste of time and calories. Val is convinced that the greatest feeling in the world is stepping off a plane in a new place, and is a passionate believer that all the best days include books, baking, border collies, and bagpipes.

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Mosaic brings you stories that help you make fair trade and global culture part of your style, home and life.