I have been traveling through India for the past 19 days with hopes of finding, learning from and possibly working with the various metalsmiths in the towns and cities I visit.
So far it has been difficult to track them down as they seem to all work on the outskirts of the cities. My questions about where to find them are most commonly met with confusion which usually marks the beginning of the end of our conversation.
Varansi is a town full of musicians and small concert halls. It is also known for the instruments that are made here like sitars and tamblas. The bodies of the tambla drums are formed from bronze sheet and soldered together in two pieces. After several attempts I was able to convince the owner of a concert hall to bring to the tambla maker’s workshop. I rode on the back of his bike while he weaved through chaotic traffic then down small cobble stone alley ways barely wide enough for two people to walk side by side.
We arrived and, after some explanation as to why I was there, the tambla makers smiled and offered me tea. Sadly, the power cuts out often in this city so photos and video were difficult to shoot.
These shots are of the coke burning forge set into the floor, a set of forming stakes leaning in the corner and one of many special hammers scattered all over the floor.
They invited me back on a day when the power was working.