Indian craftsmen, real Indian craftsmen, are very poor, very very poor. They have no place. They have no tools. They have no lamps. Maybe they have time. Maybe they like things that way. Maybe they’d like things to be different. It’s difficult to say.
Designing for Indian craftsmen is a very ambiguous job. It’s difficult to say to what extent all this energy of poverty and patience is being used. It’s difficult to say to what extent one can expect to make some aperture towards a vaguely more easy future for them. Yes, it’s difficult to say this, too.
I thought a good deal about all this, but I didn’t manage to get it clear.
So, I simply decided to dedicate these little designs to Indian craftsmen. Not only to the ones I’ve met, but to all the ones I’ve never met.
I know they are good people, and quiet people. Their eyes are attentive, serious, and not really all that worried, I know that they use all their mental and physical strength in order to survive. And I also know that their interminable encyclopaedia of rules, knowledge and nostalgia will disappear one day, softly, so softly, goodness knows where.
Ettore Sottsass, 1988