Friday, June 17, 2016

Handmade with Love

Another week flying past,
It is Friday- Stitching Ladies' Day that seems to be my weekly marker...the Sunday on Wednesday things does not give me a least the Ladies here I can think of you having a weekend....and I do, don't worry. It is out there somewhere in the world- a weekend.
Another busy week, slowly getting to escape a little from office work and get to organizing for new stitching and around the edges ideas are starting to creep in for new designs...I have people asking what are you doing next?
I know our busy season will be upon us in a few months and we need lots of hand stitched stock to get through it, so sari washing and matching and preparing goes on.
Our two Ladies taking sari home to patch for us are going well on their little old machines- still trying to coax them into learning how to use one of our faster industrial machines and we will lend it to them to have at home....we are getting there.
My assistant, a local woman who volunteers and helps me with the ladies is doing a stellar job.
We are plotting and planning who we can train up in a new idea- the patching I did before on bags and belts- it looks simple but takes a responsive nature to get it to buzz, a little more than just precise stitching.
Through the week I read an interview with Swati Kalsi- I was swooning and wishing...sometimes I miss the days when I was working on a new exhibition, the thinking, the focus, the dreaming and making. My days are far more practical now and the work of a designer not an artist....took a few moments of thinking what if  and then pulled my socks up.
I like what I do, it is different but we have trained over 130 or 140 women, we currently employ about 70 or 80 at the capacity that suits them [most stitch 15 to 25 hours every week]  this creates a significant contribution to their households.
It is a lot of hard work finding enough sales to keep them busy, always hoping for a new customer to come along....
I am really pleased we make a significant contribution in our community through our workshop and what we make is hand made.
Hand spun threads
hand woven into cloth
hand dyed in indigo or other natural dyes
hand block printed
hand stitched by our women
hand made by our machine people- each piece is put together by one person- no assembly lines
the recycled silk saris were not made in this way but you can see many were loved items of clothing and that vibe carries along with many of them into our system.
The people at every step are important to the end piece
I came across this article "Why hand made matters" I like the whole article especially 2.

2. It’s Human Nature to Value the Creative Spirit

“Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.” – Chuck Klosterman
When you make something, you leave a part of yourself in it. When you are finished creating, you take pride in the work partly because you see yourself in it. When you buy something someone else made, you yourself are reflected in that purchase. Whether it’s the color, the texture, the shape, or just the mood you happen to be in, an item that has been crafted as an expression of the creative spirit person who made it is treasured and valued far beyond an item that was made for worldly mass consumption.
I can feel and see our people in our work. Feels good.

Reminded me of a post by Alabama Chanin I read- Natalie Chanin is very inspiring to me as well. The work of the hand does have a resonance and add a special "something" to an item, let us spend more time- quality time making and giving. more of the "simple" stuff in our life.

Books are Fun Library update.
  • still working on the building- the owners have found someone we know to send a message  nudging us to buy from Praveen has told the intermediary- well their price is outrageous, we would like to help them but simply can not go to that high mark. We would be only able to offer not a single rupee over ### a ridiculously low mark. Ohh India, negotiations go forth
  • Off to get journals made this week for Creative Arts Safaris and the same man can make cut and print library cards for us, slowly getting books covered.
  • To get started in a regular way we are going to offer library services and education about what to do with books in the home to our Stitching Ladies and workshop staff.... it will get the news spreading out.

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