Over the past five years, Handwork Studio has been honoured to work with ancient Ajrak producing communities based along the banks of the River Indus in Sindh, Pakistan, supporting them in reviving their cultural heritage.
These communities are made up of exceptionally skilled artisans with specialized knowledge, including block carvers, block printers and natural dyers, all expert in creating the mordant + dye rich layers typical of traditional Ajrak textiles. Using natural Indigo and Madder root dyes, artisans work in harmony with the environment to create this complex cloth; sunlight, water, plants and mud are all part of the process of creating Ajrak.
Ajrak making is a unique cultural heritage and is deeply rooted in the identity of these communities. The skills are passed down through generations and represent important cultural knowledge that is becoming ever more important as we look for ways to work in harmony with nature and to build community-based production models that support traditional craft skills and knowledge.
The global economic shutdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is adversely impacting the fragile economies of these rural craft communities. Most of the artisans have little in the way of saved resources, and a lack of work directly impacts their access to food, cooking fuel, medicines and other necessities. They need support to get through this difficult time.
These are challenging times around the globe, and we know many of you are already stretched thin, but we urge you to make a small contribution to help support these communities through tough times. Your contribution will go directly towards necessities for everyday life, such as food, clean water access, cooking fuel and medicines, and will help to keep specialized craft skills alive so that the communities can go back to work once the situation improves.
$20.00 contribution buys food supplies for a family of 5 for a week.
$50.00 contribution buys food supplies for a family of 5 for a month.
$100.00 contribution will pay for one person’s medical and hospital expenses.
In thanks for your contribution, we will send you a small handmade gift if you wish. We have beautiful bandanas made by this community dyed in natural Indigo blue.
A small contribution by many makes a huge difference for the community
Handwork Studio is dedicated to supporting slow design and strives to create awareness of the potential of sustainable artisanal production methods. We work towards building a sustainable future with our partners in ways that include care for each other and the environment.
- Anne Gehman
- Ruth Wickremesooriya
- Vibeke Jensen