Why do you bow before you start work?

Harsh Kumar is warm and humble, with an unmissable twinkle in his eye. “This is a form of Namaste,” he explains. “This particular position shows direction towards God. I’m asking for protection, to be watched over,” he smiles, somewhat shy. “So that I don’t make a mistake.”

 

Pouffe, contemporary style in blue and white

He moves the carved rosewood block up and down the fresh white dhurrie, dipping it in a special clay mixture, a recipe that has been in existence for hundreds of years. “In our village, the people have been block printing since the 16th-century.” He tells us. “People come here especially for our textiles.”

 

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The second table in the workshop is for Harsh Kumar’s wife who prints alongside him. “Sometimes we talk, sometimes we work quietly. But I like to have her here beside me,” he says. “The company is nice, even when she’s teasing me.”

Harsh Kumar, block printer, 42

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