A Hundred Hands Collective Is Back, This Time With Some Cool Cross Country Collaborations

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The Scoop

For the last 7 years, November has been the time when the annual A Hundred Hands Collective hits town. A Hundred Hands Collective is a bright, joyous bazaar with a very Bangalorean personality. You can buy functional art pieces from artisans across India and eat yummy food made by the city’s famous home chefs. Bonus! You can complete your Christmas gift shopping too.

AHH

The Style

A Hundred Hands is a platform for artists and craftspersons  to interact with discerning patrons and sell directly to them. The collective, started by Mala and Sonia Dhawan from their charming front lawn, has grown to include a few 100 members. Membership is exclusive to artists and NGOs supporting artisans — the idea being to support those who work with their hands and create magic! All proceeds from sales go directly to the craftspeople.

What We Love

This year, A Hundred Hands’s special plan includes the ‘ME to WE’ project. A voluntary initiative for artists from different parts of the country, working on different mediums, the collaborations have some stunning outcomes. The craftspersons interact with others and evolve their styles. Traditional craft workers gain an understanding of the needs of the contemporary market, while staying true to the ethos of their craft.

There are 50 collaborators in the ME to WE project this year. You can expect handmade dhurries with Ajrakh prints, terracotta pots with Kerala murals, Bastar rain sticks with Kali Ghatti art, and much more. Besides these collaborators, a number of the usual members of A Hundred Hands will be around too. Some of the cool collaborations we are looking forward to include papier mache and crochet jewellery by Aranya Earth Craft, Delhi and Samoolam a crochet group empowering underprivileged women, Susan of A Sunny Disposition and Chirtrika Handloom Weaving for contemporary handmade handbags. Recycled denim from old jeans from The Denim Project by A Hundred Hands have been made into a first-of-its-kind denim juttis by Ravi Gehlot & family, traditional jutti wallahs from Haryana.

What’s more? There are 47 other such stories to be explored.

Who Is It For

Everyone! That discerning person who loves all things artisan. The little ones can also get hands on experience with cool crafts and skills by participating in the special workshops that run through the five days.

Where: United Theological College, 63, Millers Road, Benson Town, (Near Jayamahal Palace Hotel)

When: Wednesday, November 30-Sunday, December, 4

Price: INR 100 upwards

Contact: +91 9845008482/ +91 9880714405

Check out their website here for more.

Photos: A Hundred Hands

Media: https://lbb.in/bangalore/hundred-hands/

 

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Comments Off on A Hundred Hands Collective Is Back, This Time With Some Cool Cross Country Collaborations / April 26, 2017 /

Crafting Mojaris out of used Denims, Lending a Hand

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Crafting Mojaris out of used Denims, Lending a Hand

Indian Express  04 JAN – 2017

Media : Print

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A splash of colours

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A flower rangoli welcomes visitors to the seventh Handmade Collective, put together by A Hundred Hands. Despite it being a weekday morning, the crowd has started trickling into the United Theological College premises where close to 90 stalls have been set up.
Kites, curios, terrariums, food, clothes…everything vies for attention, and upon a closer look, you find that some are indeed innovative.
Among them is Chennai-based Amrita Giriraj’s creations — jewellery such as earrings, finger rings and pendants as well as home decor items, with colourful dried petals sandwiched between glass. “This is my first time here,” she says. However, that seems to be working to her advantage. “Lots of people are coming up to me because they see that I’m new,” she adds with a laugh. The highlight of this edition is a collaboration between its members, the organisers say. Of 85 members, 50 have collaborated with a fellow member. So you see a Madhubani artist’s work on a tussar silk sari; a miniature artist who has painted buttons for men’s kurtas in a neighbouring stall; and even a juti maker who has used recycled denim in his shoes.
Some of Susan John’s bags, wallets and pouches sport a lively checked fabric, “handlooms from weavers in Andhra”. Educationist Reshma Shariff can’t resist picking up a ceramic hanging “to hang in the garden,” as she told her mother.
“Everything here is so interesting,” she gushes. “This is my first time and I’m so glad I came.” Bhavana Ananth, visiting the fair for the second time, says she sees more variety this year than she did in the last. “But I love my glass miniature guy, sitting at the entrance,” she says. The Handmade Collective will continue till December 4 at United Theological College, Millers Road.

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Comments Off on A splash of colours / December 1, 2016 /

Fusion in the world of handmade

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The Handmade Collective is back this year with 50 craftspersons collaborating to create a whole innovative range of products
Are you bored of seeing the same craft and clothing at all exhibitions in Bengaluru? Apparently even craftsmen are. Which is why there was much excitement when A Hundred Hands, the popular handcrafting Trust proposed to their craftspersons that they collaborate and innovate new products. So now you can ogle papier mache jewellery of Delhi incorporated with Uttarakhand crochet, leather jutis re-styled with recycled jeans, Mughal miniature paintings on kurta buttons, and traditional wooden combs turned into statement neck pieces.

The 7th annual Handmade Collective launches this “Me To We” collaborative initiative. And Mala Dhawan, co-founder of A Hundred Hands says it all worked thanks to technology — the magic of Whatsapp.

When the 85-odd artisans and craftspersons of the Trust met in Mumbai in January this year, they were handed out a theme. And in an effort to support the artists to build their own brands, they were asked to collaborate and come up with new ideas.

“After all, selling better is about designing better and innovating,” points out Mala.

So over the year, the crafts groups scattered all over the country fervently messaged each other, learnt from the other’s craft, came up with new ideas and worked on them, and 50 of them will showcase the results of this confluence at The Handmade Collective this year. A group of weavers from Andhra Pradesh came over to Sandur in Karnataka — while the Karnataka group decided to use the other’s fabric, the Andhra group decided to try the traditional Lambani embroidery on their fabrics to make bags.

 Kanjivaram cotton saris got a new twist with the Porgai Artisan Association Centre in Tamil Nadu’s Sittilingi area doing embroidery on it. Varnam, that’s leading the Chennapatna toy revival collaborated with Porgai to create board games. “There’s also been urban-rural integration as well. It’s been invigorating, the whole process. We hope it makes craftspersons look at things differently. This project has taken them away from repetitiveness and isolation,” says Mala.

The idea was based on their willingness to share their craft, points out Mala, and a sense of community born out of their common love for handcrafting. Catering to a contemporary audience isn’t easy. And not losing the ethos of the craft while doing so, far harder.

There are handcrafted dhurries with Bagru and Ajrakh prints, Bastar rain sticks with kali ghatti art, and many other products covering garments, furnishing, household and garden ware, and gifts.

The Collective will be held at the United Theological College, Miller’s Road, Benson Town (behind Cantonment Railway Station) from November 30 to December 4, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. For details, visit www.ahundredhands.com.

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Comments Off on Fusion in the world of handmade / November 29, 2016 /

Bringing traditional crafts closer

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An initiative fosters collaborations between traditional artisans to create new aesthetics, which will be on display at an upcoming exhibition in Bengaluru.

Mughal combs with finely latticed edges become exquisite pieces of jewellery when suspended on thick black string. A chequered, finely embroidered cloth transforms into a board game—its pieces are composed of finely carved lacquer ware from the town of Channapatna.

At the 7th edition of The Handmade Collective in Bengaluru, which begins on 30 November, there will be such curiosities and more: handcrafted dhurries with bagru and ajrakh prints, papier mache jewellery incorporated with crochet and Bastar rain sticks with kali ghatti art.

According to Mala Dhawan, co-founder of A Hundred Hands, a not-for-profit organization that is organizing the event, these products are the result of the organization’s ME TO WE initiative; it encourages member artisans work together and create a new product that is an amalgamation of two crafts.

“We created a platform for our members to brainstorm with one another to understand how to blend two different materials and processes to create a new handmade product,” Dhawan said. The result: a range of products that are distinctive and new, yet bring out the uniqueness of each craft. “It not just brings in a sense of community but the product itself will be enhanced,” Dhawan said. For a craftperson who is often a one-man show working from home, it fosters a sense of being a part of a larger community and aesthetic world, while at a design level it forces them to look at things very differently, she added.

“Collaboration is a brilliant idea. This involves lot of thinking and brainstorming on how to combine different materials, the process involved and the outcome,” said Vanmala Jain of the Kuprkabi Foundation, which teaches Pottery and Ceramic to unemployed youth in Bengaluru. “Unless you fuse and combine, the craft won’t move forward,” she said.

There are some challenges—geographical logistics being one, as two collaborating artists are often located in two far-flung locations. ‘WhatsApp has been a lifeline to us,” laughed Dhawan. Harder to conquer is the mind-set of a traditional artisan who find it hard to let go of the old ways of doing things, ‘It is an uphill task—I think this needs to be a three-year project at least,” Dhawan said.

The 7th Annual Handmade Collective will held at the United Theological College, Bengaluru from the 30 November to 4 December 2016. The entry donation of Rs49 can be paid on bookmyshow.com. Card facilities will be available.

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The Fascinating World of Artisans

In The News

A Hundred Hands’ will launch ‘Me to We’, a unique collaborative initiative at its annual Handmade Collective to be held from November 30 to December 4 at United Theological College.
‘Me to We’ encourages member artisans of ‘A Hundred Hands’ to interact with each other, learn from the other’s craft and innovate to create a new product that is an amalgamation of two crafts. There will be handcrafted ‘durries’ with ‘bagru’ and ‘ajrakh’ prints, paper mache jewellery incorporated with crochet and ‘bastar’ rain sticks with ‘kali ghatti’ art.

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Comments Off on The Fascinating World of Artisans / November 25, 2016 /