Bamboo - For Joy Purposes

Bamboo is a grass. That a grass could be so versatile, so life giving and so artistic is something we related to the work we did with it.When eight of us from Aarohi (seven children and one ol' man) reached, the tranquility, the earthiness and the forestry of Auroville welcomed us with a subtle touch of dedication. It felt like a firm welcome, an eagerness to work dawned upon us.

All the above characteristics, were reflected by Walter, our workshop expert, his energy exuberated by contagious enthusiasm, both for bamboo and the work which he was so steeped in. His presentation, albeit about bamboo (its origin, properties, rewards and  joinery) was more about himself, his art, his passion for hand work and his joy of sharing with others what he humbly has acquired.

The afternoon session, after a hot lunch invited us to work on the story of fish mouth joint. Each creating own joint suddenly opened the doors to working with bamboo furniture, just as Walter had promised. We also explored bending bamboo (at nodes) using intense heat of a kerosene blow lamp and splitting the bamboo to get bamboo split flats.

The day ended with each one of us deciding our future for the two days: what will we like to make out of Bamboo. One team decided Table, one chair and our team wanted to make a bed with backrest.

For next tow days we were on a mission, powered by our greed to make, guided by competence of experts and in a workshop environment where bamboo, machines and tools of all types and sizes seducing us to create. The work lasted two days, the joy a lifetime.What we made was not just furniture, but friends with our own dexterity, acquaintance with tools, love for joints and finish and a deep regard to our guides who have spent a lifetime of making.

What was also beautiful for children to realise that they worked diligently from 9 to 5, while their shoulders ached, fingers got scraped on grinding machine, knees dropped by standing for long time, nostrils sneezed the bamboo dust and sweat made both clothes and skills stick to our body.

The workshop coordinator was so impressed by childrens assiduousness that he offered them job at Bamboo center ;-)