Saturday, September 25, 2010

Indian Crafts.......Incredible!

I am so lost in my own bag making & crafting that I almost forgot that I belong to the land of immensely talented artisans & amazing hand crafts!
I just came across an Indian blog Gaatha which  means rhythmic poetic verse or a phrase in the ancient Indian languages of Prakrit and Sanskrit.Gaatha  means, to speak, sing, recite or extol. Hence gatha can mean either speech, verse or a song.
In their own words-

The ‘Gaatha’ project was conjured to play that key role of storytelling, and therewith bringing social and commercial benefits to the artisan settlements. We desire to become the instrument though which the artisans can directly connect with the global audience, we desire to be the resource which helps craft sell not as objects but stories and ideologies. We are vying to make not just ’sales’ but ‘dialogues’ between the craftsmen and their patrons, encouraging ‘co-creation’ possibilities and a collective growth. We are committed to keeping all the good practices intact and all processes humane, just and ecologically balanced. Above all, we want to identify and recognize the faceless artisan. .................~...................
~Gaatha Team - India~ 
While going through the blog I came upon the label "Handmade"..................& being a sucker for every & any thing handmade I clicked on it.I was overwhelmed by the lovely crafts featured which I have always seen around me but never bothered to observe & realize the beauty of the craft! 

It's probably because I have grown up seeing  women sitting out in the verandas chatting,having a cuppa & knitting away or crocheting without even bothering to follow any pattern or design & churning amazing things!
Almost all the women of my mom's generation can sew,crochet,knit,cook,paint etc etc.............
The handmade revolution has taken the western world by a storm now,but this is something which has always been a part of our world!
But now Indians are blinding aping the west & going for all mass manufactured,cheap "Made in China " stuff............It really really hurts me to see women of my generation shunning handmade things!
My kids are the ONLY ones who wear handmade sweaters..............all others prefer the branded commercially produced ones!
Well...............back to Gaatha,I  came across this lovely lovely cap I have always seen Bohra men wear.I had never ever wondered what it is made of or how it is made!
Gaatha goes behind the scenes on the creation of this.Imagine it is made with a  plastic or aluminum vessel of the required size as a frame for making this cap!!!
 See the deft hands working on the thread!!!!
I also came across Budni Lacquer Craft   ------ there is a small locality of craftsmen in a place called Budni Ghat in India, who make lacquered wooden articles
These are mostly illiterate  poor artisans who work in really appaling conditions like this
  And see what they create!
These hand made goodies are sold for peanuts in India because people prefer the gaudy shiny plastic toys dangerously coated with chemicals for their kids!!!!

My heart literally bleeds for these lovely crafts which are dying very fast in India .................all because of ignorance of my people:(

But with people like Gaatha Team around I am sure something can still be salvaged of the glorious craft culture of my country!


Mruna Mistry

We had electives in college where we could learn laquer work from these artisans...It was awesome!All this stuff is actually so much more beautiful in person...


I know....we have such amazing crafts in our country!

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