Printing patterns with wood blocks is the earliest , simplest and the slowest method of textile printing . The blocks have wooden handle and several small holes to release air and excess dye . Patterns are carefully carved by hand on teak wood using hammer and chisel .Before use they are soaked in oil for 10 to 15 days to soften the grains of the wood and to avoid the wood from cracking when exposed to dry condition .
Block carving is in itself an art requiring years of practice under the master wooden sculptor to gain knowledge and is done entirely by hand .
An ode to an unknown block maker :
At metaphor racha , we have been collecting old and discarded blocks from various printing workshops. Some of them discarded siting the chipping and cracking problems but most of them because the designs are not fashionable anymore. As we went through these vintage blocks we were stunned by the craftsmanship and an unique aesthetic language it had .
In an effort to retain these heritage craft , we decided to integrate all these vintage wooden blocks in our work . We have juxtaposed these old floral blocks with new geometric designed ones and have created a new vocabulary which we hope brings dignity and respect to that unknown wooden sculptor .