Mr Balakrishnan s/o Sadasivam learnt to make his first kavadi when he was 19 years old. Completing that project took him a year. He did most of the work in the evenings and on weekends, doing everything by hand, including measuring, cutting, altering, polishing, and grinding.
Though he started with rudimentary kavadi designs, his designs have evolved over time and become more elaborate. He has even invented a new technique for fastening spikes to a kavadi, by which threads are cut into the ends of the spikes so that they can be screwed securely into the structure. He adapted this method from the threading found in bicycle spokes. Since he believes that the making of kavadi is a religious undertaking and not a business, he has had no qualms in sharing this idea with others.
Mr Balakrishnan still makes kavadi for others, together with his son, godsons, and friends. He hopes that working together will help pass on his knowledge of the craft. Since parts of a kavadi are procured from India these days, he has also helped his family and friends connect with artisans there. When these parts arrive from India, the group assembles them into a complete kavadi.