For the Love of the Blocks

Textile designer & printmaker Elizabeth James fell under the spell of hand block-printed textiles on her first trip to India in 2001. Before leaving India, she had already teamed up with a fair-trade block-printing workshop in the pink city of Jaipur and began work on her first home goods collection.

Working from her California studio, her ideas and experiences are
downloaded and distilled into her unique design recipe that includes
riffs on classic Indian Mughal motifs, a Fauvist inspired color palette,
and a playful California sensibility. Her designs are sent to the
workshop, where skilled artisans carve the printing blocks by hand. With
each collection, Elizabeth travels to Jaipur to oversee the color
mixing and sample making. After lots of tweaking to get everything just
so, production begins.

It takes up to 12 weeks as master printers meticulously block-print each
design by hand, while seamstresses cut and sew each piece with loving
care. Like a finger print, a block-printed textile reveals the
individuality of the artisans who created it. With every stamp of the
block, something unique and magical emerges, one small batch at a time.