handcrafted wood and textiles for hearth and soul
Maya Lamoine Ronchetti is the maker behind first.temple.
Her handmade wood and naturally dyed textile pieces are intuitively made with an aim to bring a sense of deep familiarity and knowing into your hearth and soul.
Your temples are your own body and your place of dwelling, and each require nature at their core.
The concept behind first temple is to remind us how to treat our bodies and homes as temples in their own rights. Places to be cared for and filled with goodness.
The philosophy behind first temple is lead by Biophilic design principles but embellished with enchantments drawn from folk tales and embodiments of land.
Our instincts affiliate with wood, wool and natural fibres, these materials transfer healing direct to our microbiomes and put our senses at ease. They are familiar and warm, simply offering themselves as medicine just from being there.
There is a fascinating theory called Biophilia which suggests that humans have an instinctual affiliation to nature, meaning our bodies naturally love it and like to be within its presence. Nature makes your body happy even if you don’t care or realise it. The release of dopamine and serotonin has been linked to contact with various natural materials such as mud, wood and sheeps wool, along with the positive effect on our microbiome. Ingesting microbes found on these materials causes more variety in our gut, another way nature can support our immune system and improve our quality of life.
Biophilia argues that because humans have had a close relationship with trees and have worked with wood for millenia, that our bodies recognise it, sense it and feel at home around it. In a post by Naturallywood.com (a site with loads of interesting content), they talk through many architectural design benefits of using wood such as “stress reduction, improved cognitive performance, enhanced moods, and increased preference for spaces. These benefits are often referred to as ‘biophilic responses’”. Who doesn’t agree that snuggling up in a log cabin feels amazing and smoothing your hand over a wooden bowl with raw edges isn’t a pleasant experience?
Making art that people not only purchase for its aesthetic beauty but also because it offers them healing/is a preventative medicine is how I want my work to progress. If you can't go down to the woods for a walk then get more wood in your homes and work spaces. I am really passionate about biophilic interior design and the treatment of the home as a temple, however big or small your space might be. I also believe that organic, fluid and particularly imperfect forms dissolve the concept of perfection and I want to share my work with all of this in mind. So choose to buy natural art, furniture and objects because our bodies know more than our minds!
Maya Lamoine Ronchetti
My name is Maya and I grew up in the midlands. Progressing from a diploma in fashion and textiles in Leamington Spa, I began studying Fine Art at Falmouth University in 2016.
I was in and out of the metal, wood and casting workshops throughout my degree but it was during my semester abroad that inspired the way I work with materials today. Having always had a close relationship to nature and fascination with cultures other than my own, I chose to study woodwork, physics and Indigenous cinema at Emily Carr University in Vancouver.
My brain was worked so hard during this time, especially on the course Indigenous Cinema where I studied alongside native Canadians as the only non-indigenous student. Here I began the heart and mind opening journey of decolonising my mindset and way of being. I joined indigenous talking circles, learnt some native crafts, visited sacred burial sites, museums and learned of the deep wounds and destruction of Native communities and cultures around the world.
Trying to find ways of sharing my insight into colonialism felt important but tricky. For me, the only way that felt appropriate was to begin learning the language of the land around me in the UK to inspire a way of thinking that echoed similar teachings to those I was exposed to in Canada. Therefore, the opportunity to work directly with wood chewed by beavers (a native and very ancient species in Britain) was very exciting indeed!
I seek opportunities to share traditional & local knowledge similar to indigenous practices that have been torn from communities all over the world including here in Britain. To bring the lost soul and disconnected body back to its wild place.