MEETING THE ARTISANS

Photos by myself - Sony Nex5N

After leaving Ahmedabad, we went to Petapur and visited a wood block carver's workshop (Mr Prakesh + Mr Sailesh Prajapati). It was extremely interesting to see how fast and efficient these artisans work. The designs are first transferred onto a wooden block through a paper design with a small drill to outline, and then it is carved out. 
I later bought my own woodblock - a minimal design with wooden wave-like lines. I cannot wait to experiment with it. The children of the local school at Petapur were so happy to meet us and loved photographs. The next day we went to Hansibar museum and embroidery workshop which was extremely impressive. Sadly we could not take photographs inside the museum. Later we sat with embroiderers in a large square where each corner represented a different skill (embroidery, applique, ari embroidery and beading). My sample can be seen above.
The next day we visited Patan's Patola (double Ikat) weaving studio of the Salvi family which is like this intense form of weaving that individually dyes each individual thread. They are extremely expensive and are pretty much the most exquisite form of textile I have ever seen. The amount of mathematics, planning, time and work that goes into them (6-10 months) is just crazy. The following images are of the Queen's step well.
After we went to a Mashroo weaving at Mr Hasam-Bhai's workshop which was a much simpler technique in terms of steps but involves a warp of silk or rayon and a cross weft of cotton which gives a slight unbalanced surface. After we went to the Sun temple ruins which were infested with pigeons, bats and squirrels but were beautiful to photograph in the sunlight.
The next day we went to a Rann safari which was unsurprisingly a let down, but despite that it was nice to see an Indian landscape not littered in rubbish.

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