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.
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.