Walking through winding narrow alleyways in the old city of Ahmedabad, the din of metal being struck by a wooden mallet becomes louder. Turn a final corner and you arrive at Mukeshbhai Chauhan's house where he lives with his wife and three children. Surrounded by the blue walls of his home, he sits on the floor and methodically beats a circular sheet of iron and steel into a round bowl shape. This is one half of a lamp that he will construct.
Mukeshbhai lives among a community of metal workers and until recently has spent his life making simple steel cooking utensils. In 2011 he began the artist residency program initiated by the House of MG. JaneBlease, a designer from the UK came and spent every day for three months with Mukeshbhai and his family in their home. Together they designed a beautiful, modern hanging lamp that merged both their skills and aesthetics. Through this venture, Mukeshbhai learned new metal working techniques, enjoyed recognition for his work on an international level and has a new found respect in his community. Mukeshbhai still makes cooking utensils to sell locally but he spends most of his time hammering out the round forms that will become lamps that will eventually find themselves hanging in homes around the globe.