Ever since I started working, hard work to create an end product took on a whole new meaning. Now of course, this was entirely in a technology context; but the process was exhilarating. Coming up with an idea, planning the execution steps, frustration over multiple trials and the final successful implementation were a roller coaster ride I rode every single day.
My curiosity about this innately human need to create led me to start applying this cycle to other professions and view the big picture of human creativity. And nowhere else was this more evident than in the process of creating handmade goods. Spending hours on a handcrafted item can only stem from pure passion and dedication to the art, where an artisan spends time, the most treasured resource, on creating a thing of beauty that gives both the maker and the buyer immense joy!
Once this realisation hit, shopping mass produced goods became a thing of the past. I began to search for unique handmade items, kinks and all. In them I saw the deepest human need – to create a work of art to share with someone else. I’m thankful that I now live in a world where such items are accessible online, by people and companies that make sure the artisans receive their due for their work.
I stumbled across Decora India’s collection soon after they launched, and was happy to see that there was a platform which brought Indian indigenous art forms to the global level. They were passionate about the artisans and their handcrafted treasures. I brought some products and was delighted with their handcrafted accessories, and the process by which they were made. They showcased the work of artisans creating works of beauty.
Decora India’s newest collections from south and east Indian artforms like Kalamkari, Ikat and Dhokra have been brought to life in bags, clutches and jewelry that integrate seamlessly into everyday use. For example: Kalamkari, I learnt, was an art that originated in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Kalam translates to pen, and kari means art. Kalamkari takes these simple everyday instruments and wields them into powerful tools of artistic expression. Using just this simple pen and natural dyes, artisans create beautiful designs on fabric. These delicate designs and block prints are beautiful additions to any ethnic decor theme.
Ikat is a patterning technique which involves multiple steps of dyeing a piece of cloth and creating patterns on it. This is seen in Andhra Pradesh, and is so versatile that many indigenous styles are spread across Orissa, Bihar, south-east Asia and even South America!
One of the oldest forms of wax mould casting is Dhokra, the method of casting non-ferrous metals into accessories and home decor items. It originated in east India and traveled all the way down south. It is still kept alive by local artisans who add their own local designs and styles to these pieces of art.
As I peruse each item in this collection, I imagine the love and effort that has gone into each one of them. And I’m also thankful to Decora India which makes sure that such artisan made products get a global platform to showcase their origins, evolution and beauty. Hopefully, many of these dying arts will come back into our modern homes, and that their quality and workmanship will keep us connected to our roots.
Guest Blog: By Akshata R, Portland.