When we first began exploring the idea of Nuywa it was very important to us to go the source. To understand where the products came from and the history behind them. The first time we traveled to India we quickly learned that many of the techniques that were used in the production of furniture and textiles were rooted in long held traditions that were passed through family lines or mother to daughters or fathers to sons. We loved the idea of helping to keep these traditions alive and learning as much as could about the makers, where they lived and how they made the beautiful pieces that they did.
We took the trip from Jaipur to Bagru to visit some of the small block printing makers that created some of our products. A scenic trip across the Indian country, the road is small and as you get further from the city of Jaipur the density quickly disappeared opening to dry fields, more and more cows and less and less traffic.
When we finally arrived we were ushered from a large open field into a neatly kept walled off city where the houses were painted in sun baked pastels. Blues, yellows and pale greens. Piglets and stray dogs wandered along the narrow streets, barely noticing our presence. It was still and warm, the sky bright blue and the quiet surroundings a stark contrast to the energy of Jaipur.
Walking into the block printing studio we were immediately inspired by the space clearly occupied by artists. The walls were covered with years of color testing, each hand carved wooden block was adorned with marigolds and candies, an offering to that which is sacred. We were quickly treated by family by the block printing masters and offered chai tea and water before being shown the right pressure to apply and how to pick up the ink efficiently on the rough hewn block.
We were shown the pools of indigo ink derived from natural leaves and the incredible process of creating patterns with sand and letting it bake in the hot sun leaving behind beautiful impressions of art.