Artisans from across the country displayed a variety of products at ‘By Hand, From The Heart’, a farmers market, organised recently in the city

Fresh mangoes, rhubarb preserves, sun-dried tomato vathals, organic clothes and hand-woven baskets from all across India came together at Chennai's very own artisan and farmers market. The 13th edition of 'By Hand, from the Heart' took place over the weekend. Deepa Sekar, one of the organisers, says, “Each artisan has a story behind them. It is these stories we want to showcase." And these stories are as varied as they are many.

Jayanthi Somasundaram of Southern Living sources vathals and vadams. "I wanted to document these recipes as they are not available anywhere, but when we visited the women in Chettinad or any of the villages, they could not understand why I was asking them for it. Sometimes, they refused to give the recipe. That's when we began buying the vathals and vadams and began selling them," she says.

Parth Kothekar from Ahmedabad displayed his intricate paper cut work in the form of pendants and framed art. "I started just a year back. I sketch on paper and hand-carve the designs," he says, pointing to a piece that took him 18 straight hours to create. Black and white are the only colours he works with and silhouettes are his favourite design to create.

A pop-up store was presented by Jennifer and Smeetha of AMI. “It means ‘mine’ in Bengali. We get artisans from all over the country to work on decor items like these patchwork quilts. Not only do we source traditional designs from them, we also give them some contemporary designs and get them to make it for our clients,” says Jennifer. Also on display were stone ceramic hand-painted items.

Belaku Trust from Bangalore had a beautiful range of stationery, paper bags and jewellery and scarves with funky prints. The trust works with women from Kanakapura in rural Bangalore and helps them earn a livelihood by selling their products.

Screen-printed bags by Aurpera, organic food from Terra Earth and Trader Koshy and smoothies from Relish were also part of the market. The next edition of the farmers and artisan market will be held in August.