The teapot maker

Ishey Namgail has dedicated his entire life to an art form that’s been in his family for generations. Working out of his centuries-old workshop in India’s mountainous Ladakh region, the 83-year-old Namgail crafts ornate metalworks using the same techniques as his ancestors – right down to his goatskin bellow. More than just a master of his trade, he’s one of the last artisans of his kind on the planet. For his short film The Teapot Makerthe UK director Duncan Parker travelled to Namgail’s remote village of Chilling to capture his intricate process, as well as its exquisite results. This includes the creation of a copper teapot with a dragon-shaped handle traditionally used to serve kings or high-ranking monks. And, as Parker documents, even though Namgail’s craft is very much endangered, its flame will likely burn for at least two more generations, as his son and grandson have taken up the family trade.


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