When containers come in - first things that catch the eye...
We just received a container from India this morning - and it's funny, but I tend to focus on the little things we unpack first. Of course when these shipments come in, this is due to the fact that our store is so insanely jam-packed full of new things that one cannot walk, much less take charming vignette shots... but I digress.
First highlight today is vintage brick molds. When we first saw these in India months ago, we were walking in the yards outside of one of our favorite vendor's warehouses.
It looks something like this late in the afternoon...
In stacks, leaning against one another in the shade of tall trees, are thousands of old doors, gates, and windows taken from old homes razed for progress as modern India marches on. We buy dozens of gates, nailhead studded teak doors, and long carved trim molding that we have turned into our sideboard bookshelves.
My mom, Linda, walking one of the rows.
Stacks and stacks of "dog gates" in varying degrees of decrepitude.
Also among the big things are odd little piles, now and then, of things like these - vintage brick molds with metal bands holding the wood sides together. Inside plastic names indicate the company - there are some with HIND, or AHR - which would be imprinted in the brick when it was molded. We bought the whole stack of them, envisioning them with succulents in the store.
And today - months later (all previous images were taken on our November trip 2015) - they arrived!
Had to pop a few succulents in them to see how they look - and yes, I think we were right.
I was all set to have this cute little post just about re-purposing vintage finds, turning rustic toss offs into planters - but then I googled Indian bricks to see if I could find anything on the use of these molds.
So instead I do have to say the story of making bricks in India is a tragic one. I ran across a BBC article about the conditions in seasonal brick factories - and it is horrifying. There is a link to the article below. There are so many stories like this one, and each time I read one it just makes me sick all over again. Buying things in India makes me ask so many questions of myself.
While the people we work with are known for treating their workers well, we do not have knowledge of things outside of the well run factories and warehouses that we frequent. We continue to try and educate ourselves, and ask questions, and donate to those that seem to be helping - but it is such an uphill battle.
I still love these brick molds, but now they have a significance to them - a reminder - to keep asking questions - to keep trying to make some small difference. India is a great country - the more I explore and learn about it the more I love it. But it hurts.