Rajasthan in western India is well known for many things, block printed fabrics being one of them. In my research for fair trade goods, I had found a small organisation in Bagru village outside Jaipur, where the artisans are paid very well, are shareholders and receive annual dividends. I made contact with them before I left Australia and was very eager to meet the block carvers, dyers and printers at work. Bagru is known for natural dyes and hand block printing and the Chippa community there has been block printing for 350 years, developing a unique process of printing with natural vegetable dyes. Getting to Bagru village was a bit of a drama, but so worth it in the end. I had made enquiries about local buses that would take me there from Jaipur, but I had managed to get to the wrong bus stop and wasted some time for a bus that would never come. Continue reading
We have found some great tribal lost wax bronze castings made in the thousands of years old traditional way – some are recently made and some we purchased from a private collection of antiques.
Known as Dhokra, this is an ancient craft that scholars believe to be at least 4500 years old. Artisans in the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal are still using this method to create jewelry, vessels, images of gods, goddesses, animals and birds and works from the imagination. Many are farmers who supplement their income in the summer months when the beeswax used to create the fine detail is supple and easy to work.
Using a coarse clay the artisan first makes a core vaguely resembling the end product. The clay core is hardened either by drying in the sun or Continue reading
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Winter has arrived in the southern hemisphere and we have some gorgeous warmth generating devices from one of the coldest places on the planet.
It gets so cold in the Himalayas that even the goats have developed clever ways of keeping warm. The Changthangi or pashmina goats have developed exceptionally warm and light fiber that not only insulates them from the sub-zero temperatures, but also makes some of the softest, warmest textiles you would ever want next to your skin.
All these winter warmers are made from hand-spun fibre which has been dyed from natural sources* and hand-woven into the most beautiful cloth.
We travelled to the home of these products to personally select Continue reading