Hariyaw, India

An Ode to Weaving.

feat. —  Ram Prasad

An Ode to Weaving.

Craftsmanship is having a renaissance. Pick up an issue of Kinfolk magazine, or browse the culture section of the New York Times, and you will see headline after headline profiling woodworkers, potters, and even baristas. In our post-industrial age of automation, the romance of the modern-day artisan is back.

In India, however, respect for a hands-on approach and a commitment to craft is nothing new. Particularly with regards to weaving. For thousands of years, artisans have been hand-knotting rugs of extraordinary intricacy; steadfastly tying weft through warp, row-by-row, until the rug is complete.

While, all around us, the artistry of our forefathers is falling by the wayside, with hand knotted rugs the technique remains the same. Not out of some old-fashioned adherence to the ways of yesterday, but simply because there’s no better way to achieve a product of this exacting quality.
The work of a master weaver is painstakingly meticulous. We spent an hour watching Ram weave, in order to accomplish just one square inch.
One of the central characteristics of weaving is the superlative precision and impeccable eye it requires. The patience. The human touch. The steady hands of a surgeon dusted with the soul of a poet. These are the attributes that make Ram Prasad, a 40-year-old artisan with over two decades of experience, a master weaver. His fingers are astonishingly nimble, gliding across the loom with a rhythm that feels simultaneously instinctive and impossible. He makes the work look effortless and yet ethereal. Spell-binding in its intricacy.

The work of an master weaver is painstakingly meticulous. We spent an hour watching Ram weave, in order to accomplish just a single square inch. The product, however, speaks for itself. There's no shortcut to greatness.

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