February 6, 2023

It’s like walking into a room full of inspiring thoughts and tiny tinkles when one enters Aramidua at B-212 F. Lopez Building at Session Road. Some kind of wonderful fills up one to see what Jadd and Yla Lopez have made themselves using the crafts they love – wood burn and macramé among other things.
Turning golden this year, this couple left their jobs some four years ago to enjoy the world and not stress on the daily grind. They looked into doing things they enjoyed most to fill their time, hand crafts.
Jadd enjoyed working with different sizes of wood and used fire as his medium to sketch images or words on the surface. Yla, on the other hand, explored the art of tying knots in macramé, making felt flowers, doing Shibori tie dye, assembling ceramic wind chimes or repurposing things as decors.
With their two hands, as Aramidua is translated from Iloko words “aramid ti dua nga ima”, Jadd and Yla have filled some 50-square meter of space with their collections of things they made themselves that are perfect home décor gifts. Among recent ideas is the wooden wood burn greeting card that serves as table top or shelf décor. They say they retrieved the wood pieces from a wood work shop that would have otherwise been thrown away. Yla said the smallest piece of retrieved wood is used as a card holder. There are other precious pine wood pieces saved from the fire pits that accent a wall décor for a rustic feel of Baguio. Chopping boards are repurposed and have quotations to warm the heart.
Jadd fills the Aramidua space with clocks of all shapes and sizes. He customizes the clock designs for customers and wood burns family portraits for friends, too. Most interesting is the reverse clock that runs counter-clockwise. He snickers and says it takes some getting used to and one will never look at time in the same way again. According to him, hand crafted items are never alike which makes the art pieces unique all the time. Even macramé can’t have even ends and tails, he says.
Sometimes, customers come in with a photo of something they want copied. Yla and Jadd remark that they may not be able to copy it perfectly because even crafts have signatures of the artisans. Yla says she knows her macramé pieces because she has a distinguishing mark for her work which she describes as her noodles.
Yla wants to explore recycling and upcycling in their product development for this year. She hopes to work with groups or communities that she can teach to do macramé bottle holders from repurposed cloth strands. This way, she can provide the materials and pay the artisans for their work as she shares her love for the craft and opens opportunities to earn from it.
As this tandem believes, everything can be used and reused in the world of crafts and hand crafts. The hands can do a million beautiful fulfilling things and make one – of – a – kind art pieces from things that other people discard.