The timeless skill of leather crafting is greatly under-appreciated - it's a specialised trade that few venture into, and even fewer know about. However, when you sign up for a NOMAD Crafters Workshop, we equip you with a steaming cup of chai, the necessary tools and a priceless ticket to the workshops of Rajasthan.
All in a single day.
Assuming the role of an Indian artisan, our participants begin seated on mats and provided with traditional tools, such as penknives. As the workshop proceeds, participants are supplied with wooden slickers, burnishing gum and other, more modern leather crafting tools. This provides a rich, hands-on experience where participants make use of cumbersome traditional equipment, just like our artisans do. Many artisans are forced to use these traditional tools to eke out a living due to their lack of financial resources. At the end of our workshop, participants are not only able to bring home their very own personalised leather item, but can also take with them a glimpse into the life of an Indian artisan.
Currently having completed three public workshops, a workshop cum booth at Kilo, and a workshop at Temasek Poly, NOMAD aims to educate as many as possible on the lack of opportunities for the Jaisalmer artisans, whom we partner with to provide higher living standards for both themselves and their families. We also hope to create more awareness for the valuable art of leather crafting - an art that struggles due to the lack of access to a greater market, and which is fuelled by those who spend most of their lives in poverty.
A normal consumer who purchases a leather bag is ignorant of the toil and dexterity required to create that single product, only concerned with obtaining the most fashion-forward bag possible. But the NOMAD consumer makes the same purchase knowing that his wants have addressed the needs of others - through his purchase, he or she has helped to make a difference in the lives of someone else.
So the next time you stop to admire a leather bag, bear this in mind:
Don’t be normal, be a NOMAD.