It’s no secret that human determination has the power to create some of the most mesmerizing things ever possible. Since centuries, we as humans have persevered to enhance our skills in various art-forms to showcase what our enigmatic human mind is capable of. Of the many intricate and delicate skills based art-forms, engraving Wooden Blocks for Hand-Block Printing is the one that requires genuine skills and experience.
It takes years, sometimes decades to master the art of delicate carving on wood with nothing more than just a hammer and couple of chisels. Modern machines may be precise and accurate, but it’s the surreal experience of Hand carving stories with your own hands which makes our master craftsmen pursue this art-form since several generations. Our love for their creativity and respect for their passion is presented below in the form of a short ‘Photo Story’. Hope you enjoy your journey through the “Thak-Thak” gully.
Chapter 01 – It’s in their Genes
Gopal Chippa of Sanganeri, Jaipur, is excited as he prepares to hand carve a block of rosewood – today’s pattern is beautiful floral arrangement, filled with intricate and detailed carvings. A master carver, he knows exactly what to do; after all, he is a descendant of the Chippa family, the forerunners of the centuries old hand block printing!
Chapter 02 – The Toolkit
Alongside his fellow woodcarvers, painstakingly carving complicated design after design using a multitude of chisels, each one for a different purpose. After the carving process, these blocks are put into mustard oil and allowed to rest for at least a week. This prevents the wood from cracking in dry weather.
Chapter 03 – Precision is the Key!
You’d think that making these blocks could be an easy process! Often, it is not just one block that is repeated over and over again. It is a series of blocks that fit into each other to create a beautiful pattern, with minute variations which make every piece of block unique. After all, there are no mistakes allowed – and seldom are any made!
Chapter 04 – End to an adventurous day.
After hours of thak-thak, it is time for Gopal and his workshop to relax a bit, as they wait for the sun to set and time to meet their family and enjoy a well-deserved hearty meal. Once a block is complete, it is checked for any imperfections and then they are sent out to printing workshops all over India where they will be used along with dyes to craft beautiful fabric stories.
And Finally, if you have another 15 secs to spare, sit back, relax and enjoy the quick process video below!
Let us know if you liked our story. Stay tuned for more such stories in the coming weeks for your dose of authentic handmade goodness!