I called up a friend to chat up after a day’s work. She was getting back from work in a taxi and she had a lot of time. Traffic in Bombay can be a blessing at times She was generally updating me about work and life and she concluded that nothing had changed. When she told me that I sounded tired, I gave her an update of my day. I had driven 80 odd kilometers on pretty tree-lined roads to reach Dholka, a quaint town near Ahmedabad. And I played with colors and shapes!
I met Anilbhai at the 15 day wood workshop that I attended at CEPT university. The same workshop that irked my friends and family as I was totally out of touch for 15 days. I would drag my tired self home around 9 pm everyday and reach the workshop before 9 am the next day. So writing a blog was out of question. In the 15 days, designers and craftsmen tirelessly worked on discussions, scaled down models and designs. At the end of the workshop, each team came up with some interesting output. One of the craftsmen, Anilbhai , always has this no-nonsense air around him. He was at work well before the designers reached and finishedmore work than one can imagine before the sun sets. With a million ideas in my head that cropped up during the workshop, I landed at his doorstep in Dholka a week later. Niyati (my new colleague who deserves a blog post!) accompanied me. She brings along the energy that only happy 20 year olds can have and makes sure that she rubs it on everyone around her.
So my brief to Anilbhai was that I wanted to make lamp bases and tea light holders. His workshop mainly produces cradles and it is a heartening sight to see that such old world things still have a market. A market enough to sustain a comfortable livelihood for his family. His home is full of his work. Turned and lacquered red railings and a swing make his home very personal.
I’ve already covered the turning process once (lacquer in Kutch), so I am putting up the process photographs.
Unlike the Channapatna and Kutch lacquers, the colors are limited. With 7 colors only, we had to decide on combinations. Luckily, most of the colors that I had in mind for the next season’s palette was available.