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Gautam Saraf

Artisan Organization: Gautam Saraf

Country: India

"I'm Gautam Kumar Saraf and I was born in Bihar in 1975. As a child, I would watch my father working with weavers and I really loved their craftsmanship. My father was a master of this craft.

"I was very interested in learning how to weave and learned from my dad and other artisans. The texture of the yarns, their lovely colors and the weavings inspired me to pursue this art and I've done so since 2007.

"After my father's unexpected death, I took over for him. I am still inspired by my father's efforts. Today, nearly 100 artisans collaborate with me and their talent gives shape to my imagination.

"We use all kinds of natural yarns to craft our scarves and shawls. Sometimes, we also use recycled fibers. I want to continue creating new and exclusive designs.

"My mother and wife help me with their design suggestions. When my children grow up, I'd like to teach them about the weaving arts. I want them to inherit this craft from me like I did from my father.

"The weavers of Bihar create beautiful works of textile artistry on traditional handlooms. Yet many are very poor and aren't aware of their skills. There is a lot of hidden talent here and I want to empower them, improve their income and lifestyle, and show their work to the whole world.""