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The Art of the Block

Crafting of woodblock

Crafting an intricate wood block




Blockprinting was invented for storytelling, created as a medium to record history and legacy. Beginning in China around 220, it started as blocks cut from wood used to print textiles and then used to reproduce short Buddhist religious texts that were carried as charms by believers. The technique is found through Japan, India, East and Central Asia, Egypt, and Europe.

We searched through heritage blocks, textile museums and books to find those with enduring cultural stories and history. Visiting over ten printing workshops in Rajasthan, India, we found one man who still knew the meanings behind the prints. Working together with the block carvers, we created modernized versions that still contained the essential stories and spirit.