The handmade beauty - The New Indian Express

The handmade beauty

Published: 06th December 2012 10:20 AM

Last Updated: 06th December 2012 10:20 AM

The Handmade Collective, a collective of  artists and artisans all directly  involved in the creation of handcrafted products, is back for the second year in Kochi  from December 6 to 9.    “We are excited to come back again this year,” says the Bangalore-based Mala Dhawan, who runs the organisation with her sister Sonia. “The response last year was great. And we are hoping for a similar response this year.” This time, the focus is on Livelihood Projects developing contemporary handmade products.

Set up to showcase the beauty of handmade products in today’s world and to show that given the right platform, handmade can be a source of livelihood, The Handmade Collective by A Hundred Hands will see over 14 artists from across the country, this year presenting their work.

The livelihood projects for this year range from the psychiatric patients of Nimhans working with A Hundred Hands on a denim reycling programme to create trendy bum bags to the adivasi women of interior Central India from Kumbaya creating contemporary patchwork, to the differently abled in Munnar at Shrishti units creating handmade paper, natural dyeing and natural jams, to ahimsa silk ( the non violent silk), to delicate crochet work made by the women of Bihar at Samoolam, to tribal jewellry from the banjara tribes of North Karnataka.

Unemployed Youth Slum Development Programmes help create ceramics and terracotta toys at Kuprkabi, while the Belaku Trust working on women’s health issues creates block printing opportunities for underprivileged women.

In addition, there are some interesting traditional artists who are evolving their work into contemporary. Like Dileep who offers a different take on Warli from Maharashtra, Radhakrishna, who dabbles in mud paint recreating contemporary Hase Chitra from Karnataka and Ram Soni, a UNESCO award winner who reinvents and revives the dying Sanjhi Paper cutting art from Mathura.

“Being promoters of ‘handmade’, it was our duty to help many livelihood projects, which depend on handmade products, to get a platform for showcasing and selling their products. The Kochi audience is aware and interested in the process,” says Mala.

To spread the network, A Hundred Hands has started to develop a retail network of like-minded stores that will help sell their products.

The first retail partner in Kochi is the store, A Few Good Things. This is a commission-free programme with a 100% of the proceeds going directly back to the livelihood project and the artist. It is being supported for the second year by Jose Dominic of CGH Earth, as well as the AVT Group.

The exhibition is on from December 6-9 at ‘A Few Good Things’, 28/307 Plot no 16, Giri Nagar, Kadavanthara. Kochi.  Tel. 4019596.

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