After fetching magnets, clear wood varnish and placing the order for springs I headed back home to pack my luggage. I have been hearing so much about Banaras from Chris and Manjari that I was dying to go there. The last trip to Banaras sounded a lot fun and was quite productive too but my mother planned to visit me (almost after one and a half year) and I couldn’t leave her by herself, so I decided to stay back and work on the characters instead. Now, I finally get to go to Banaras after all. I am way too excited about this trip…to visit the holy city of India, work with the artisans and stroll along the bank of the river Ganga.
We reached Banaras early this morning and the weather was just perfect. At first, we decided to visit the group of artisans led by Rakesh Giri, which is comparatively a smaller setup amongst all we have been in touch with. Since we couldn’t meet the artisans in person last time we tried to persuade Rakeshji to get us directly in touch with the artisans this time. Thankfully he agreed. He took us to the guy who works in turned wood and lacquer. We sat down with him and discussed our toys and he began to make the first set of prototypes for us. For four hours at a stretch he turned the wood and painted it with lacquer.
It was our first day and we have four sets of beautifully crafted prototypes ready. The next thing we had to figure out is how the magnets are going to be put together into the toys. Interestingly we accidentally fixed a magnet in one of the prototypes while we were discussing it with the artisans. Since it was already too late today he suggested we should fix the rest of the magnets tomorrow morning.