Discover Artisan Stories — On the Blog RSS



The Unicorn Tapestries

Art and artisans have transcended regions, cultures and time and one never has to travel far to find either. Our team Shokunin loves exploring different traditional arts and crafts together, and a few days ago on a beautiful spring afternoon, we decided to make the trek to the Cloisters Museum, right here in NYC. Source The Cloisters is dedicated to medieval art and boasts an impressive collection, but the real draw that brought us there were the lush gardens and the Unicorn tapestries. The Unicorn tapestries are permanent exhibits at the Museum and we were most curious about them not just for their construction but also for the unicorns in these tapestries as these fabled creatures have been a topic of scholarly discussions...

Continue reading



Amirugumi: Our Crocheted Friends!

Team Shokunin recently had the joy of going to ResoBox, a Japanese Cultural arts center in New York City.  Walking around the exhibit was like walking into a wonderland of toys just waiting to come to life! Many cultural centers are dedicated to presenting traditional cultural experiences, reminding expatriates and their descendants of the beauty and pride of their heritage.  Image source However, ResoBox is a little different as it is dedicated to infusing the world with Japanese art and culture, and to see how it changes and influences the world around it. The 3rd Annual Amigurumi Exhibition was held between Dec 9, 2016 - Mar 31, 2017 and it was called “World Amigurumi Exhibition vol. 3: Mixed Materials Made Mini Monsters! The exhibition required that each...

Continue reading



Curry Queen of Queens, New York

Nupur Arora is as vibrant as the delectable dishes she serves up from her kitchen in Queens, NY where she has lived for a couple of decades. She is gregarious, full of incredibly entertaining and funny stories, and a woman of many talents. She is the kind of person who lights up the room she enters. On our recent visit she cooked up this incredible lamb stew  and served it with fragrant rice that made us swoon. Here is Nupur's recipe served up with a tale, in her own words: __________________________________________________________________ MEMSAHIB’S COLONIAL LAMB STEW A slow-simmered, aromatic stew of bone-in lamb, potatoes and carrots In the days of the British rule or “Raj” in India, the officer’s wives would personally...

Continue reading



Crafting for a Cause

No matter what you think of the US Presidential election, there was something pretty amazing about the crowds gathered on January 21st, 2017. A sea of oddly shaped hats emerged in Washington DC and throughout other major cities across the US. Most of these hats were in shades of pink but also appeared in various other colors. What was most noticeable was that nearly every one of them was handmade.  The hats themselves had an unusual design. Take them off the head and you see they really are not very sophisticated. Actually, each hat is just knitted into a simple square shape. Yet when you fit them on a head, you notice the top two points of the square are suddenly...

Continue reading