Artisan Stories: Wire Crafters, India

Wire Crafters, India

Our wire pieces are hand-crafted by a group of skilled metalworkers in India. It is a fair trade project employing mostly men. They are trained in the art of bending, welding and soldering humble metal wire into sculptural animal heads and functional wire baskets.

Rajasthan is India's largest state, located in the north-west. It's one of most economically disadvantaged states in India and youth unemployment is particularly high. Despite these challenges, Rajasthan has a strong artistic heritage and handicraft tradition. It is famous for the beautiful 'Pink City' of Jaipur and 'Blue City' of Jodhpur.

Recycled Metal

Our wire products are made from recycled soft metals, including steel, aluminium and iron. Recycling uses less energy and produces fewer emissions than primary production. In India, gathering, sorting and selling waste materials that can be recycled provides a source of income for many of the poorest and most marginalised people.

How is it made?

Flexible recycled metal wire is bent into shape using specially-made templates and all the joins are welded by hand. The finishing depends on the item. The wire animal heads are allowed to oxidise naturally to give them a rich colour, while the kitchen items are given a touch of white paint to enhance their distressed vintage look.

How your purchase improves lives

Rajasthan has one of the highest rates of youth unemployment in India. This fair trade project offers young men a good wage, job stability and career progression in an area where opportunities are limited. Using recycled metal also has an economic ripple effect further down the supply chain, where some of India's poorest people make their living collecting and selling waste materials.

"Four of my friends work here too so I enjoy my job. I operate the electric welder and like making large items most because they involve multi-point welding" Maan

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Image credits: Nkuku