We love everything you do! Please tell us a bit about yourselves?
We’re sisters Hopie and Lily Stockman. Lily is the liquid and I (Hopie) am the container (analogy borrowed from this great book on creative partnerships). We started Block Shop as an art project when we were in grad school and now it’s our whole world and spans our team in LA and Jaipur.
We grew up in a big family on a farm in NJ without much oversight and spent summer days building stage sets out of painted cardboard, building forts, helping make dinner for six+ people every night, and pitching in in the garden. We’ve always loved making art, food, and, um, flower arrangements together. Block Shop is essentially a grown-up version of those pursuits.
Your studio is in Los Angeles, whats your lifestyle like there?
A friend said our studio is like a Waldorf school for grown-ups. It’s a big open lofted warehouse space along the train tracks in the little hamlet of Atwater Village in northeast LA. Constant designing, lots of dog-eared textile books lying around….and music and babies and dogs and snacks and Friday happy hours.
We are entirely women-owned and staffed, and our goal has always been to create an ecosystem of support and decency within our business. We believe in flexible hours and working remotely in order to accommodate domestic work schedules– block printing in Jaipur is built around the schedule and ecosystem of the family, and we’ve modelled our LA studio similarly. This of course may change in the future, but it’s how things have organically evolved.
Needless to say, we’re all deeply missing the energy and connectedness of our studio during the Coronavirus lockdown in CA.
How did you first get involved in the process of Indian hand block printing?
Block Shop stemmed less from our interest in the textile industry and more from our relationship to one particular family of printers outside of Jaipur, India who Lily got to know while she was living there studying Indian miniature painting. Six months after Lily left, I came to visit to learn more about the master printers’ use of natural dyes and apprenticeship method of passing the trade down over generations.
So Block Shop really began as a passion project, with the goal of honouring and celebrating the tradition of hand block printing, while creating products in our own geometric design vernacular.