Indian handicrafts get contemporary twist

July 20th, 2011 - 3:17 am ICT by IANS  

Gurgaon, July 20 (IANS) Modern clutches with zardozi embroidery, halter-neck kurtis with kantha work, handblock print lampshades with stylish stands - arts and crafts from the length and breadth of India are now being mixed with modern designs by an organisation that hopes to keep the charm of Indian handicrafts alive.

“We work with over 400 artisans from all across India right from the beginning of the design process to conceptualising of the colour schemes and traditional prints… and try to mould them into modern sensibilities,” said Indu Sabharwaal, chief executive officer of Craft Traditions.

The company has joined hands with skilled artisans, weavers, craft societies and even self-help groups like SEWA, Sadhna and Sandur Kala to produce handicrafts ranging from ethnic jewellery, home linen, garments, paintings, wall hangings, carpets and decorative items in wood, marble, stone, papier mache and Dhokra craft.

“We source handicrafts from Hoshiarpur to Karnataka, as far as we can through the country, and pick those craftsmen whose families have been involved with the handicrafts business for three to four generations,” said Sabharwaal.

The collaborative effort of the design team with the artisans helps create artifacts with a fresh new look, design and pattern to suit contemporary and urban homes and tastes.

“The colour combinations used in old times were very typical. We use those colour combinations sometimes, but style them differently. We use vegetable dye for printing and basically try to marry the traditional and the modern to make it more appealing to the urban people,” she added.

These handicrafts are available at live entertainment destination Kingdom of Dreams as well as at the newly-launched flagship store at The Galaxy Hotel and Spa here.

Sabharwaal hopes to launch such a store in “three to four” more metros.

Several emporiums in the capital offer a wide variety of artifacts and handicrafts too, so what is the edge that Craft Traditions provides?

She claimed: “Our quality and price point is better. Our items can be as cheap as Rs.100 and our costliest item is a bronze statue which is priced at Rs.800,000. I am sure even if the price is same, our quality is better.”

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