In Their Hands – Artisans of India

Frame Maker

Frame Maker

After having spent many years of my life designing hand-woven fabrics in Mexico, Guatemala and India and having worked directly with the weavers, the artisans of the world hold a very special and dear place in my heart. It is with tremendous sadness that I watch all the crafts of the world gradually vanish to become mere demonstrations in specialized museums around the globe.

In India, craftsmen (and women) still eek out a living and in some areas are still part of the everyday lives of the villages that they inhabit. Mexico, on the other hand, is another story, especially for the textile arts. Hand made ceramics, glassware and jewelry still are managing to survive but for how much longer is questionable as Mexico nears entry into the category of  developed nation status. How tragic for all of us that the demise of crafts as a living art form equates with entry into the developed world.

On my tours to India, I always include visiting artisans and their workshops whenever possible. I shot many of the photographs below on just such tours. Wherever you live and visit, please support the local craftsmen before it is too late.

Stringing Beads

Stringing Beads

Naturally as India vies for 21st century status, especially with Modi at the helm, things are changing rapidly. Not so very long ago, Indian homes possessed very little furniture and almost every activity took place near to the floor. There were few, if any tables, chairs or bureaus in the typical home. They did everything on the floor and got very creative incorporating the use of their feet into their methods of production as seen in the photograph above.

Bracelet Weaver

Bracelet Weaver

The Jeweler

The Jeweler

Weaver

Weaver

Fabric Printer with Wooden Block

Fabric Printer with Wooden Block

This block printer is creating a border on fabric.

Wood Block Carver

Wood Block Carver

Nothing can replace the human touch in our everyday objects; whether it is the cup we drink out of, the cloth that caresses and adorns us or the jewelry that encircles our throats and wrists. Mass production has its place but there must be a balance and this lack of balance today threatens our very humanity.

 

 

 

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About ninagrandiose

I am based in NYC but travel regularly to India and Mexico. Both of these countries feel like home. In India I scour the country in search of fabulous textiles to incorporate into my clothing designs. I sit back and let the ambiance and wonder of India seep into my consciousness so I can be inspired to write about what India is for me. I bring a limited number of people to India on exclusive and intimate tours of my favorite hangouts. In Mexico I take in the natural beauty that surrounds me and dance the night away. I constantly give thanks for all this and am pleased to share it all with you.
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6 Responses to In Their Hands – Artisans of India

  1. sewnupgifts says:

    We watched craft jewellers at work in Allepey in their small shops, it was fascinating. Luckily they seemed to have lots of custom. Loved this post, the crafters need all the support they can get.

    • ninagrandiose says:

      India is full of little shops that are truly treasures and leave lasting memories like the one you so generously shared. Thanks!

  2. Srishty says:

    I hear you, I hear you so clearly, but I wish I was doing something about it!

  3. ninagrandiose says:

    Your heart is in the right place and that is a very good starting point!

  4. I strongly believe that all the artisans of India need all the support and encouragement… We at Ziveli are also trying to do our bit..

    • ninagrandiose says:

      It is heart warming that you are helping to keep these crafts alive and the artisans employed – no matter how small your contribution. Thanks for the follow and lots of luck!

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