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Spoon feeding the painter

We are persistent clients. Seriously. We stop at Nothing. We even woke the painter up in the middle of the night yesterday. (I’m sure images of Garuda and Jatayu are going to haunt him in his sleep for many more weeks before he finds peace again!) Finally after many delays and rescheduled meetings, and braving … Continue reading »

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Enter the Carver

Today was very slow to start. We were supposed to meet up in the morning to look at the models from yesterday with magnets added, but he didn’t have them done. Then we were supposed to see a new carver to look at his work and get some new prototypes made, but he wasn’t available … Continue reading »

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Banaras, at last!!!

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 … Continue reading »

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New character sneak peek!

Something we’ve been battling with internally is the balance between artistic style and emotional connection. The existing characters have a style we all really like, but Vasuki seems to have a lot more going on behind his eyes than Garuda and Jatayu. Vasuki has this sinister, clever look that seems like he is about to … Continue reading »

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Carving a new direction

Finally, we got the one piece we’ve been dying to have a look at, the one piece we were absolutely sure would turn out to be incredibly awesome, painstakingly carved by hand and delicately ornamented. Here’s the piece I’m talking about. So, the quality is amazing. The face is perfectly symmetrical, and there’s a lovely … Continue reading »

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Hand crafting in India

Working alongside so many amazing craftsmen has really humbled me. Seeing their handmade tools and attention to detail has been completely fascinating. I came across this video the other day, and it gives a great example of what it’s like. You see these motorcycles all over the streets here, and each one is hand-painted like … Continue reading »

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Varanasi Day 4: What a birthday gift!

Today was probably the most exciting day in Varanasi, and not just because it was my birthday. We spent the entire day inside a very high quality shop that not only does a lot of local crafts, but does work for export. They had Russian matryoshka dolls, Danish vikings, and even Emily the Strange. It’s … Continue reading »

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Varanasi Day 3: First finished Prototypes!

The day started off with us getting our first painted prototypes from the Prajapati brothers. I was excited, apprehensive, very nervous too. But it turned out well in the end as some very interesting stuff has come out of the first camp. There is some lovely detail work on the Vasuki heads and textures on … Continue reading »

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Varanasi Day 2: Painting and Carving

Today was a slower day, which is a nice change of pace from how hectic things were yesterday, running from place to place in a brand new city. We started off by going back to the painters from yesterday and sitting with them while they worked on the figures we gave them. They had already … Continue reading »

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Varanasi Day 1: Introductions

What a unbelievably productive day its been. Phew! Our first stop today was one of Varanasi‚Äôs biggest toy shops – Agrawal Toy Shop. Our city guide, Mr. Ajay Pandey (or Pinkoo Bhaiya as I like to call him) had already spoken to the owner of the shop about us and our project. We met him … Continue reading »

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