Pushkar is a town bordering the Thar Desert, in the northwestern Indian state of Rajasthan.
The town is built around Pushkar lake which is a sacred Hindu site where pilgrims come to Bath in one of the 52 surrounding Ghat’s. It seems to me from collected stories that Pushkar became a manufacturing hub sometime in the 60’s, the main industry other than tourism is export so when I arrived here while travelling in 2015 I began to overhear talk of production,
I started tagging along to factories with people I would meet. I was lucky to be introduced to Babulal through a friend, he left a job as export manager at a bigger factory to start his own production facility about 5 years ago. As a self-made entrepreneur Babulal understands what it is like to be a worker and values his employees based on his own experience. I have witnessed a lot of growth in this factory over the past two years, from a small (charming) rental property to building a factory of his own that currently hosts 25 sewing machines. The growth is a testament to Babulal’s managing style, he cares about quality craftsmanship, pays his workers fairly and treats staff and customers with respect.
The energy in the factory is good, there is always music and a lot of time for chai.
block print bagru.
This collection features the beginning of my explorations in block print. I am working with artisans in the village of Bagru. In Bagru block printing has been one of the main industries for over 350 years. I have had the opportunity to spend time in two different facilities to oversee sampling for this collection as well as work directly with Artisans to develop designs for future collections. It has been humbling to see the difference between my unskilled hand and the hand of the artisans of Bagru. I chose to incorporate block printing in to my work after attending a workshop in Bagru in 2015 and falling in love with the seemingly straightforward process. It is easy to observe and understand the process but difficult to refine. The visual quality I appreciate about block print is the imperfections that really show evidence of the human hand, which I think reminds people that many different sets of hands are required to produce their garment, hopefully leading to a more conscious form of consumption.
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