We live in the era of the crossover. Every furniture designer also seems to have a clothing line, handbag designers branch out into jewellery or sunglasses, and hell, even writers can't just be writers any more, you need to understand production layout, web architecture, search engines, and a million other things. So it's refreshing to come across old-school craftspeople. Artists who make just one product in a carefully curated selection, but makes them so beautifully that it's impossible not to immediately covet every piece.
Enter Block Shop. Artists and sisters Lily and Hopie Stockman, set up this Indian textile company that uses centuries-old techniques of using hand-carved wooden blocks and natural dyes to make simple, elegant scarves. Not bags, not cushion covers, just the most ridiculously beautiful scarves. As an added feel-good bonus, the company donates part of its profits to improving the healthcare of the Jaipur community that works for them.
What so freaking lovable about their work is that these aren't business people who have just flown over to India to co-opt a village to churn out the same old designs everyone else makes; they're artists who design one of a kind patterns that are inspired by their own life adventures in places as different as New York and the Mojave desert. The end result? A look that's totally contemporary and yet utterly Indian at the same time.
Once you see Lily's own artwork though, it all starts to make sense. She seems to have such an instinctive understanding of colour and form, plus she writes one of the funniest, most personality-laden, blogs I've ever read.