Art

CONNECTING with craft

There is no dearth of imagination or materials to create something beautiful with your hands

There is no dearth of imagination or materials to create something beautiful with your hands  

Adults in the city are taking to crafting with as much gung-ho as they did when they were children. Crafting plays a therapeutic role, allows for me time and gadget-free time, finds BHUMIKA K.

Folding paper into Origami swans has never been so comforting for a generation otherwise hooked to gadgets. Bengaluru is blooming with craft studios, workshops, craft meet-ups, and enthusiastic crafters who are making anything from masts and dream catchers, to glass bottle lamps and recycled paper table-runners.

Crafting has taken on a therapeutic role for adults who indulge in a weekend of craft after high-strung weekdays at work in the corporate world. Many have given up high-flying jobs to indulge in craft full time, turned craft entrepreneurs and brought others into the fold.

Crafting for many serves as “me time”. For most it is a return to a basic instinct to create with hands. For many others craft is seen as a good way to spend time away from gadgets. Adult crafters are on the rise. And children are not far behind either. With Internet access, crafting ideas are easy to find and online tutorials make life easy.

Sowjanya Cherukuri and Vinutha Rajendren who run iCraft, a studio in J.P.Nagar, felt that being weekend crafters after slogging five days a week in the corporate world was just not enough. The colleagues turned their passion into an enterprise and set up the studio, “to quench their thirst for crafting.”

They have had kids as young as four as well as 60-year-olds approach them. School children, collegians, doctors, teachers and special educators are most often participants in their workshops. “Art and craft is therapy. It provides me-time. Crafting is educational, explorative and most importantly, fun,” says Sowjanya.

“During our interactions in workshops, people often express how crafting helps them break the monotony, keep their creative side alive and bring out their inner artist. It helps explore something new everytime and most importantly provides a strong sense of accomplishment. With the current tech pollution, crafting also allows individuals their tech/gadget-free time and engages them at a physical level, which one rarely does these days,” adds Vinutha.

Aparna Vinod, founder, The Craft Caravan loves putting things together “from stuff that is lying around. I like refurbishing old bottles, loofah handles, painting on furniture, making jewellery. Anything with colour excites me.”

She in fact started The Craft Caravan with the belief that children need to learn by creating and exploring, and not by rote. When it comes to children, we still only look at crafting as a hobby space, not a learning space, she stresses.

“The need to work with your hands is primal to all human beings. So making, creating, engineering is a part of us. This maybe a sort of going back to the roots, to witnessing the need to connect deeper and dwell within your self. Also, our lives these days are so full of technology and social chatter, it is only when one sits down and creates, writes or silences the mind, that we realise how therapeutic it is.” She also uses arts-based learning in training programmes for adults.

Manveen Kaur is the founder of Hobby In A Box, a startup that was incubated at IIM-Bangalore while she studied there. It caters to people who want readymade craft kits with materials and instructions delivered at their doorstep to pursue a craft of their choice.

Their workshops could range from candle making, to batik work or mosaic making, or a cross of craft and DIY, where, say you bring an old glass bottle and turn it into a lamp. “At our workshops we have an average of two elderly people, two housewives, and around six of them who are from the corporate sector -- weekend crafters who are bored of pub hopping or watching movies,” Manveen sums up her demographic.

She has also successfully organised craft meet ups, where a theme is set, people bring in their own materials and everyone sits together and crafts. She says she was inspired by the crafting marathons that take place in countries like America, but was a little disappointed not to find matching enthusiasm here.

Popular crafts:

* Glass art, mosaic making, glass painting

*Mask making, Origami, decoupage

*Making gifts, knick-knacks for homes

*Jewellery making

*Using recycled or waste materials to create useful or beautiful handmade products

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Printable version | Mar 22, 2020 5:13:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/art/CONNECTING-with-craft/article15859431.ece

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