Saturday, April 18, 2009

Let's Sum it up a Little

Yes, that's toothblack guy, returned to something close to his origins, a rubber stamp. One could think of this adventure as the Rubber Stamp Expedition, due to the number of times we've heard a rubber stamp fall on a document, for good or other. But until now I've missed the other side of the rubber stamp: having them made. It only costs about 2 dollars. The other foot falls here. I'd planned to commision instruments, but no one makes instruments in my town. We went to Kambhat with our friend Gregg Jamison to see beads made from stone, and I ordered a slide, for slide guitar. It works and sustains like the wait in a public building in India. The key concept here is stumbling on what people make and personalizing it. Hello, toothblack.

Across the street from the stamp maker, which is, sweetly, very close to the State of Gujarat Documents office, I found a sign painter. He is of the old style, painting on metal or wood, illustrating dentures and rubber stamps and heating stoves. The guess was that the rubber stamp maker would know an old-fashioned, non-computer based sign painter. He did. And he sent us across the street. One of my most profound delights in the land of the Taj Mahal (we didn't bother) and the floating palace from Octopussy ( we did ) , has been the hand painted advertising signs in the bazaars and old sections of town. So, like fine artists everywhere, I'm hiring someone to complete my work. A jellyfish. A mighty vitamins poster. A cell from a plant.

To summarize. In India, you don't find what you thought what you were after, but you find possibilities you hadn't considered that extend that thing you thought you were after. I couldn't ask for more, and it is more work, in the form of relentless attention, than I had anticipated.

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