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Block Printing

Artisans apply block print patterns to 'kora' - unbleached cotton fabric. To start printing, an artisan evenly applies dye to a hand-carved wooden block. The fabric, which has been prepared for printing, is then hand-stamped, firmly and steadily. This is a deceptively simple art - each piece features dozens, if not hundreds of careful impressions. Once the artisan has finished printing with a specific color and block, the artisan cleans the block and must often wait for the cloth to dry before continuing. They first stamp outline colors and shapes and then use blocks designed to precisely fill in parts of the pattern. The nonprofit artisan group we work with in South India, employs individuals with physical disabilities. The artisans are provided with medical care and are given a choice of crafts in which to be individually trained to best utilize their abilities, including block printing.

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