In Praise of a Fine Yarn

In Praise of a Fine Yarn

The Weavers’ Service Centre promoted collaborations between traditional weavers and trained artists with the aim to revitalize the handloom sector and transform traditional weaving skills and design vocabulary, notes Meera Menezes.

Printing blocks as part of the exhibition display

Prabhakar Barwe. Printing blocks as part of the exhibition display of Inside the Empty Box at NGMA, Mumbai. 2019.
Image courtesy Bodhana Arts and Research Foundation, Mumbai.

When cultural activist Pupul Jayakar was trying to set up the design centres of the All India Handloom Board in 1955, one of the persons she approached for help was the young painter K.G. Subramanyan. He readily agreed. In his essay “Do hands have a chance?” brought out in a volume to felicitate Jayakar on her 70th birthday, Subramanyan detailed what attracted him to this cause. “Though I subscribed to the idea that creative artists and craftsmen are rare and especially endowed individuals, the idea of maintaining and presenting familial traditions of refined craft practice from one generation to the next intrigued me no end.”