Subramanyam Garu as he is lovingly called is not just any other master weaver from Venkatagiri. He is one of the last remaining expert Jamdani weavers that works in the traditional style and has become an entrepreneur for the well-being of the craft and the people working in it. Hence, he prefers to be called an artist first, then a weaver and at last, an entrepreneur.
Patnam Subramanyam is a name that is slowly becoming famous throughout the country for the exquisite Jamdani textiles he weaves. He gained recognition through the portraits and illustrations he makes on the loom with extreme precision and life-like resemblance. Being from a traditional Jamdani weaving family, at 12 years of age, his father was his first guru in the craft and in the 30 years since then, he has not only mastered Jamdani but Jala weaving as well.
He is presently working towards reviving the fine cotton sarees of Venkatagiri, experimenting with higher counts like 120s and 140s and using real zari, a feat that hasn’t been done in Venkatagiri for over 50 years.
Today, what started off as a one-man venture with the single loom in his home three years ago, breaking from the tight grips of middlemen and master weavers, has ensured that the 8 artisans who have joined him since then stay in business and with them the dying art of Jamdani.
In the future, he aims to take the Venkatagiri Jamdani global, bring more artisans back to the craft, and incentivise the younger generation to join by creating an environment of holistic development and a time when he has the privilege to sit peacefully and weave his art pieces, without the worries of the world weighing him down. He has been honoured with the National Merit Certificate from the Government of India in 2019 for his efforts.
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