Salman Khan

Imprints of

Interview with block print master artisan SALMAN KHAN

Mr Kahn, how did you start in your profession? Was it a family tradition, and was it expected that you would continue the craft? If it wasn’t a family trade, did you learn later, and who taught you?

The job of block printing is our family livelihood. I learned the trade from my father.


Are you proud of your craft? Are you proud to be an artisan? How important is excellence and the quality of your product for you?

I enjoy working in my craft a lot. I am very proud to be a master craftsman.


Would you like to see vocational training with certification for your craft, or do you feel that the current system of training on the job is sufficient?

I really think that we should have certificates for master craftsmen. This is something I think is necessary.


"New ideas and innovations have influenced my work descisions and play a central part for me."
Salman Khan

When you work with a designer, do you have the opportunity to influence the design? Is it an exchange of ideas and a collaboration?

When I am working for a designer, I know I have to do my best work. It is a shared effort together with the designer to deliver a new kind of work and to learn new things in the process. The goal is to produce a good design together.


Innovation has always been an important part of craftsmanship. For a technique to survive in the future, it has to adapt. Is this a relevant topic for you?

Yes, my work has always been influenced by new handcraft techniques. New ideas and innovations have influenced my work decisions and play a central part for me. We must try to excel to our best abilities in order to bring our family forward. This is one of the most important duties I have.


Do you work in a fixed relationship with one designer, or are you working for several different labels?

I am working with several designers, but I do mainly trust my own abilities.


Is your work as an artisan well respected, and is it possible to earn a living wage with your craft? Do you think there needs to be a stronger political program to further the cause of crafts?

Yes, I am respected as a master craftsman by everyone. I can earn my livelihood with my work. The effort and hard work necessary for that is shaping my future.