Syed Izaz Hussein from India
"I was born in the Kashmir valley, where the tradition of carpet weaving and chain stitching is as old as the land itself.
"For chain stitching, we use a hassle cotton base, sketch out the design or impress it with a wooden die prepared by me and our master designer. Then, four artisans begin chain-stitching with pure wool giving rise to a well-prepared structure. It takes around 8-10 days to make a rug.
"Demand for chain-stitched rugs has increased however, most people have been mistakenly led to believe that such sophisticated products are woven on a machine and they are thus hesitant to purchase.
"I have not only taught this art to many people but also helped them in developing their own self-sufficient units. I have participated in several fairs in India and Singapore, where he received an award.
Syed also demonstrates superior skill in the realm of papier maché. Some 700 years ago Shah Hamadan, the Persian Sufia, came to Kashmir and introduced the art of papier maché. Since then, generations of Hussein's family have perpetuated the art. Hussein holds a copyright in certain teal-colored designs and patterns, which he incorporates into select papier maché works.