BENGALURU: Potters across Karnataka, wood crafters from Channapatna and women artisans from a SHG in Jigni – designer Suvarna Kamakshi’s creation, a Terracotta Mobile Amplifier, will see a small revival of artistes across the state. On the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5, Kamakshi has combined the principles of design and art to come up with this innovation. Use of clay makes it environmentally sustainable, while the handmade amplifier makes each piece unique. “It uses the principles of acoustics for amplification and does not use electricity, hence reducing the consumption of electricity in comparison to its more popularly used alternative – the bluetooth speaker,” says Kamakshi, the co-founder of Tamaala, a social arts organisation that supports livelihoods of over 145 village and tribal artisans, across 40 regions in India.
Designed for contemporary use since it amplifies the sound emitted from the mobile phone, they are appealing to the younger generation to show the possibilities that exist beyond machine-made electronics. “For us, in a world that is full of automation and machine-made products and reduced need for human employment, something like this is a way to get people to discover the possibilities in the handmade,” she says.
Kamakshi goes on to explain that the acoustic amplifier made of pond clay, which retails for `499, is designed to be aesthetic as well as effective for a home/office or small picnic setting. “The bangle enables balancing. It is made using ‘green wood’ from sustainable forests and natural lac turned and coloured,” she says, adding that the amplifier is available in four colours – red, terracotta, blue and black – and has hand worked art that varies from piece to piece.
Pointing out the cons herself, she says that though the amplification is not as much as a bluetooth speaker, it does amplify sufficiently for a small space outdoors (like a picnic spot ) or in a closed space like the living room of a home or an office conference room.
With potters having lost the summer season due to lockdown, co-founder Vinay Prashant says an innovation like this will generate multiple jobs for artisans across clusters. “Consumers would be generating livelihoods for three types of artisans in three regions of Karnataka, namely Ramanagara, Channapatna and Raichur,” he appeals.
He goes on to add that this
creation is a perfect example of using simple science to create something which meets all the needs of the hour – achieving sustainability goals, empowering and protecting rural livelihoods, enabling the merging of indigenous art and craft into mainstream economy, promoting handmade as the future of a stable circular economy and, of course, preserving and promoting traditional art forms of the country.