I am off and away to Nepal and India to continue my research into lost-wax casting in its most traditional form.
I have the great fortune of being awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship. This brilliant organisation was set up in Churchill’s name following his death, to support his belief that sharing knowledge globally will improve peace and understanding across nations.
Any person from any field of interest can propose a project- the idea being that you travel beyond the borders of Great Britain, and bring back from your voyage knowledge and information to teach and inform the British, so we may improve ourselves and have a better understanding of the world outside of our island; like the explorers of old.
I will be meeting the traditional bronze casters of Kathmandu valley, the great families who have passed down their skills for generations. I will visit as many workshops as possible and interview crafts and art people from around Kathmandu to gather a picture of the culture, as it exists now. My main aim is to learn how they are bronze casting.
In India I will travel between the tribal villages, hundreds of which are completely dependent upon lost-wax casting to sustain entire communities. The form of bronze art in these tribes is called Dhokra art, beautiful and recognisable in its aesthetic, figurative and fine in detail.
I won’t write more for fear of guessing in advance what my trip will reveal. I will report back along my journey with the truth of my discoveries.
Next post from Patan!