Artisan Stories: Woodturners, India

Woodturners, India

Our wooden bowls are made by a fair trade workshop in India. The employees are mostly men from the local area who are masters in their craft. By being part of a workplace that adheres to fair trade principals, employees are guaranteed a fair wage, safe working conditions and job security.

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.

Mango Wood

Mango trees are initially grown for their fruit but, once they are no longer productive, they are cut down and can be used to make beautiful wood products. This not only gives new life to a waste material, it also allows mango farmers to plant new trees and provides them with a much-needed supplementary income.

How is it made?

Slices of mango wood are laminated together to form a large block. A lathe is used to shape the block into a bowl with smooth, curved edges. Finally, the wood is sanded and polished to bring out the natural grain pattern and warm colour.

How your purchase improves lives

Rajasthan has one of the highest rates of youth unemployment in India. This fair trade woodworking project provides men with training in a skilled craft, leading to secure employment. Employment is key to empowering disadvantaged people in developing countries, helping to build financial independence and self-belief.

"I have worked with wood for nearly three years now. My role is to polish the wooden items at the final stage. I like to see the finished product" Sunil

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Image credits: Nkuku