InnerAsia works with a wide range of artisans in Tibet to produce our Tibetan rugs, paint Tibetan miniatures, wood carvings and shrines, and weave our Tibetan flat-weaves and textiles. We work collaboratively with other artisan groups in Tibet, Nepal, India and Bhutan to produce handmade paper, decorative textiles and tapestries, hand crafted jewelry and metal crafts of brass and bronze.
In Tibet, rug weaving was always learned under the watchful eye of a master weaver. Lasting for as many as 5-6 years, young apprentices studied all aspects of wool yarn production- carding, washing, dying and spinning- and all the techniques associated with weaving and finishing. In the early days, apprentice weavers worked side by side with more experienced weavers. As they became more experienced, they began to work independently. At InnerAsia, the men and women who weave our rugs are trained in our own apprentice system and learn all aspects of rug production in our weaving centers. At Khawachen Lhasa, the only sound that interrupts the cheerful hum of our weavers' voices in song or conversation is the regular beat of mallots tamping the knots of each row of the growing rug.
Tashi is the creative force behind Innerasia and he is responsible for our rug designs, new product development and cohesive design vision. He often works in collaboration with other designers and master craftsmen from the US, Tibet, India and Nepal to introduce new ideas and design concepts. Peter Gluck, for example helped InnerAsia create a contemporary collection of rug designs with a strong architectural influence of angles and lines. Lizi Boyd created the Simple Path Collection with its unmistakable New England motifs. Renowned fiber artist and weaver Mary Zicafoose introduced her bold colors and primal designs in the Grasslands and Counting Cloth Collections and Sara Goodman introduced her subtle mastery of vegetal colors and dye techniques in the Shibori Collection.
Inspired by Mughal miniatures from India that depict life of the Mughal Court, or scenes of the hunt, InnerAsia works with traditional Tibetan thanka painters to create colorful images of Tibetan secular life and history. These traditional painters bring their years of training, sure hand and attention to detail to a wealth of important historical and semi-historical topics that are painted for InnerAsia. The construction of the Potala, scenes from the Jokhang and Samye, the life story of Milarepa, the fabled Tea Caravan Trade route of Eastern Tibet and Tibetan medical plants and practices are some of the subjects InnerAsia carries.
Our Master Carvers
Tibet's treasure trove of hand painted, carved wooden furniture includes portable shrines, foldable miniature tables, and beautifully painted carved ceremonial offering containers. InnerAsia provides training and has worked with master carvers and painters to retain this illustrious tradition and ensure that it is passed along to new generations of artisans in Tibet.
"Kantha" is a distinctive style of embroidery and textile art produced by village women from Bengali women in India and Bangla Desh. Kanthas capture the color and vibrancy of rural India and the creative practicality of local women working from their homes to "repurpose" torn saris, into blankets, coverlets, wraps and bed spreads joined together by the distinctive "Kantha" running stitch. Our kantha artisans are enterprising village women from Bengal who juggle busy lives as mothers and managers of their homes to produce these beautiful textiles for InnerAsia.
Newari Metal Craftsman
The Newars, a major Buddhist ethnic group who live in Kathmandu Valley, are known for their remarkable talent as painters, wood carvers and skill in metal craft and jewellry. Their beautiful bronze icons and array of perfectly mixed alloys used in bells, cymbals, bowls and other religious implements, are found in the temples and monasteries of Kathmandu Valley and Tibet.
Nepali and Rajasthani Jewelers
Innerasia brings you The Raj Collection; hand crafted jewelry from Rajasthan, land of the Rajas in India. Renowned for their subtle use of amethysts, citrone, rose quartz, chalcedony, onyx and other semi-precious stones set in silver and gold, the Raj Collection showcases the talented work of some of India's finest jewelers. From Nepal, we bring you the necklaces and creative work of Newari jewellers who are masters of Tibeto-Newari Buddhist designs. Innerasia is eagerly awaiting the arrival of a new collection of jewelry that is the collaborative work of Tashi and Newari and Rajasthani artisans. Look for an announcement near the Holiday season this year.