“Bringing magic from the artisans’ hands to your hearts” has been our mantra. As part of our mission we want to be associated directly with the artisans, understand their life and understand what it takes to create that ultimate magic. We want to create that little impact in their lives. Some of the artisan’s stories are like a lone journey, filled with challenges, prayers but they gain ultimate joy from their outcome –their pride, their handwork. We try to bring here such Artisan’s journey.
Artisans from Kanchipuram
Kanchipuram silk weave has got a special place in the world of textiles globally. The artisans at Kanchipuram widely use the ancient traditional looms that are made out of wood. I had a connect to one of the Artisans – Pandian who specializes in Muhurtam Saree weaving.
We were impressed to see the dedication of these weavers to keep up the tradition of the natural weaving technique. While this is their livelihood that we are talking about, it is also the end Part of weaving that they try and uphold.
Most of their houses are 3-4 bedroom houses, but all the bedrooms are filled with the natural wood based looms that has been setup(fly shuttle looms). The family is side-lined to their living room which doubles up as bedroom for their entire family. More importantly, he and the folks who work with him are like a close knit family and he cares for his people as much like his own family members. The women in the house are involved in the earlier processes of the weaving like in the preparation of the silk thread yarns called “parivarthans” using bamboo spindles.
Peak time sees him all the looms being utilized and in action. These looms are the livelihood of the weavers who work along with him. Difficulties come to them not only via lack of orders, but also in the form of weather. Rainy seasons, having moisture in the air, sees less work happening as the silk threads stick together making weaving next to impossible.
He specializes in bringing the latest designs / motifs , getting more creative like bring the bride and the grooms face woven in the saree Pallu.
There is a worry that this art of handloom weaving is sunsetting. While this may be true, what we saw there are the untiring hands, legs and the determined hearts.