Meet the Crew!
That's Kahlil on the left, the master carver of all time who does most of the very intricate designs, leaving the blocks looking like they've been manufactured by machine. His tools, an extension of his own body which he uses as an erosive force like wind or water on rock. The block, raw element transformed with each swing of Kahlil's hammer. Also, one of the funniest and most joyous dudes on the planet.
Vikas on the right. He's got a heart full of love and curiosity about the world. Friends and family are keystones of his life and he welcomes everyone to the shop. A great judge of character and always looks out for the well being of all those around him. The shop and business was passed down to him from his father. He does the blocks that no one else can do. The ones that people want to re-create from the past of a caliber rarely seen now-a-days.
The big guy in the shot there is Deepak, the master Dabu man. Hes got a Dali-esc look with his intense stare and epic moustache. He also has the sweetest and most stoked smile and laugh ever. He works with his wife Manoj, who is on the far right. They make a great team and sometimes his father, and mother, who is on the far left, print with him. He is currently putting his eldest daughter through nursing school who is not shown in this shot.
Deepak is also the one who naturally dyed all the Indigo, Marigold, and Green jumpsuits. When I asked him if he could dye some of my fabric with the flowers he replied, "If you show me how, I can do it." I love his attitude.
Parsuram and Ram Teerth are Jedis in the art of printing. They remind me of rivers or waterfalls that flow so consistently, they can re-shape the rock and landscape. The collaboration of which creates great beauty. They stamp a small portion of the fabric, adding only a fraction of the design at a time, but they continue with the knowledge that with each kiss of the block, the fabric transforms from designers dreams into a reality. These guys have been flowing ink onto fabric for around 40 years now.
After Prem, the pattern master, kind of just showed up when I began to think of looking for someone with his talents, he brought me straight home to meet the fam. He's one of the first of his family to leave the little village where he was born and has been blazing a trail ever since. He keeps a good sewing crew and will even give people from back home a job during their visit to the city so they can stay a while to spend time with their family. He's quite a creative guy and always provides me with options and solutions when I find my self lost in the labyrinth of ideas and possibilities. This last trip, Prem took me back to his village to meet the rest of his family, which is honestly one of the most beautiful and rootsiest places I've ever been.