On a trip to India, the Global Shokunin team met Lohar Rasul, a metalsmith who has been making bells for over 40 years in the village of Nirona located in Western India. Rasul specializes in making copper bells which resonate different notes and were once used as the identifying mark for the cattle in the area. Bell-making is a specialized craft he learned from his father and he plans on passing along to his son and grandchildren. Each bell is a labor of love and it takes Rasul several hours to produce just one. Speaking to Rasul, we learned that he sells the bells to the occasional tourist that passes the village or the middlemen who resell the bells to large international companies.
Rasul knows that his bells can fetch much more money if he could get them directly to national and international customers who really appreciate his craft. With the little profit he makes, Rasul struggles to send his grandchildren to school and make ends meet on a daily basis. Upon doing some research we realized that there was a large markup on the bells and consumers were paying seven times more than Rasul’s market price. This is not just the story of one bell maker - this is a story of thousands of amazing artisans around the globe that lack the resources to sustain their basic needs or grow their business.
Inspired by Rasul and countless other talented artisans like him, our Global Shokunin team created the Shokunin platform to connect you directly to the artisans. The Japanese word Shokunin not only represents the tradition of skilled craftsmanship but also a moral sense of obligation to reach the epitome of one’s crafts for the benefit of society. At Shokunin, our goal is to bring you artisan stories and products from around the globe, provide educational opportunities and create transparency in the supply chain for both artisans and you, the consumer. Here you can read stories of courage, love,perseverance, beautiful cultures and unique crafts. So follow our blog as we take you on a journey to meet with highly skilled artisans around the globe. Bon voyage!