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Entries in India (19)

Wednesday
Jan202010

one of a finds: singing bowl

On a recent buying trip to New Delhi, we ventured into Old Delhi, basically in search of a needle in a haystack. Other than walking, a rickshaw is the only way to travel so I and a guide hopped on and rode through narrow alleys until we found a metal shop they knew.

Inside we went through countless small rooms on four floors that were littered with lanterns, bowls, sculptures and puppets—there must have been thousands of metal items—my head was spinning like a kid in a candy store.

On the top floor we saw stacks and piles of beautiful brass bowls—all different sizes and some filled with wooden mallets. My guide explained the beautiful story of the singing bowl and knew instantly we had discovered a one of a find.

This bronze meditation instrument is hand-hammered and hand-finished of pure bronze in a centuries-old Himalayan tradition believed to date back to the pre-Buddhist 10th to 12th centuries.

Now almost a lost art, this Himalayan singing bowl is handcrafted by village craftsmen in the West Bengal region of India, bordering Nepal and Bhutan.

To experience the bowl’s mesmerizing harmonic overtones, hold the bowl with your fingertips and arm slightly outstretched. Hold the the tip of the wood mallet and slowly spin it around the metal rim a few times to release a magical frequency. Namaste.

Wednesday
Jan062010

london weights

We mixed business with pleasure on our recent trip to Old Delhi when we went grocery shopping with a friend. We were mesmerized by one of the oldest shops selling spicy munchies.

While a team cooked up savory treats, the man in charge took and weighed your order. Everything was packaged to measure—and calculated using an age old scale and the original version of these London weights.

And even though it was terribly hot, we were so hungry we snapped up some spiced cashews!

Wednesday
Oct072009

what goes around

taxi and mop shop DSC08540to market DSC09538best loaded DSC08993
Traffic as we know it is a mix of motorcycles, cars, trucks and buses. In India, it’s all that and more including tractors, camel drawn carts, auto rickshaws, pedestrians and sacred animals.

Here bicycles are a vital tool to fulfill ones’ livelihood—an elemental, low-tech solution to a myriad of needs. Literally thousands of bikes share the road with  all of the above transporting workers to work, foods to markets, or materials and goods to factories.

It was inspirational to see bicycles transporting recyclables and a sistern to collect rain water. The mindset of the culture is amazingly resourceful so just about everything gets reused—or used sparingly.

Some of these very bicycle tires have been selected and repurposed as spoke mirrors for CB2. Each is one of a kind and the iconic engineering mixes great with old or new interiors.

recycling
Sistern DSC09120

Wednesday
Sep302009

one of a finds: madhubani painting

madhubani painting

The naive art form of Madhubani painting has been passed down from mother to daughter, generation to generation, exclusively by the Hindu women in the remote Mithila region of northern India. For centuries, paintings were created on the walls and floors of village homes to designate auspicious spaces for festivals and rituals. After this agricultural region suffered a severe drought in the 1960s, the women began selling their paintings on paper to provide food, clothing and education for their children.

This one of a find is a limited edition of 440 original paintings by artist Lalita Devi. Lalita grew up painting at her mother’s side but has been paralyzed for the past 19 years. With the help of family members who steady her hand, she continues to work her craft and share her vision.

In this piece it’s of a jungle where prey and predator live together in harmony. The brilliant colors are made from natural spices, leaves, flowers and soot, and are applied with a cotton-wrapped stick.

It wasn’t easy choosing just one from so many wonderful pieces, but each time we view the painting we’re awestruck knowing there’s so much more to the story depicted and we’re thrilled to share it.

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