At 39, Ganesh Wadke is one of the younger craftspeople in the Tambat craft community fold. He took up the mantle of the craft after completing his 10th grade of schooling while a lot of his peers went to work in factories and pursued other professions. At the behest of his father, Ganesh says, he took on the 'paaramparik' or ancestral work.
Very actively involved in community activities and enthusiastic about nouveau designs, it isn't surprising when Ganesh says he enjoys making 'new designs' the most. He crafts one of the trickiest and most skilful Coppre wares, the Nature-Inspired Floater. He also makes traditional wares with brass and copper; silver and gold-plated adornments for temples and deities.
Ganesh feels the current group of young craftsmen (referring to his group) would be the last set of craftspeople as youngsters today have no interest in the craft; everyone prefers a higher paying, white-collar job. He says it is hard to imagine that this craft should exist at all in the next 30-40 years.
In a craft that can be called an all-male craft, it is heartening to hear Ganesh say that he will teach both his daughters, currently age 8 and 10 respectively, the Tambat craft. Irrespective of whether or not they would pursue it in the future, he considers it his onus to pass on what he inherited. If both or either one of them decides to pursue, they would probably be the first of Tambat 'craftswomen'.
Ganesh with the Nature-Inspired Floater
Ganesh crafting the Nature-Inspired Floater at his workshop
A sheet of the Nature-Inspired ready to be crafted
Ganesh's daughters at the top and bottom of the ladder