A pair of hands. Apparently that’s all it takes to join the Chennai Crafters, a Facebook group of like-minded Chennaiites. That and a little bit of creativity. Started by clay artist Shilpa Mitha (popular for her angry bird earrings) and friends Shruti Das (bottle lamp creator) and Vineetha Naval (upcyled home decor) the forum is six months old and running 400 members strong. But when the group decided to announce Urban Hands, touted as Chennai’s first ‘handmade’ exhibition, one had to ask what set it apart from the barrage of handwoven-handloom-hand carved exhibitions the city witnesses on a day-to-day basis. “For starters we turned away people who approached us with commercial stalls where more than one person’s labour was involved,” Shilpa responds. No handloom saris, no pots and pans from another State, no boring junk jewellery. “Basically nothing cliche,” Shilpa adds confidently.
Instead one can expect knick knacks that are one-of-a-kind like a miniature clay moulded dosa fridge magnet, warli painted coasters, quilts and even crocheted booties for babies! “This came together after a couple of us visited similar exhibitions in Bangalore and Mumbai. That’s when we started the Facebook group,” explains Vineetha, who is an architect by day and craft enthusiast whenever time permits. She goes on, “So this showcase of products is really an experiment to see how people respond.”
With 15 handpicked crafters putting out their individual brands such Sueño souvenir, The White box, Touch of glass, Madras Motif, The Verve Trinkets, Madras Mambalam and Crochet corner – gear up for a versatile range of aesthetic buys this weekend.
Urban Hands will be held at Spaces, No.1, Elliots Beach Road, Besant Nagar between 10 am and 7 pm on April 21. The prices of products range from Rs 50 to Rs 2,000. For details, contact 8754566165