Bengaluru: Crafts collective gives artisans a helping hand | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Krishna Pandey from Almora in Uttarakhand specialises in creating products out of jute and recycled material and is among the many artisans whose livelihood was hit by the pandemic over the past two years.
“Our work stopped as we didn’t have access to raw material. As a result, artisans working in our group had no income for over six months. We had to eat into our savings,” Pandey said.
Now he and over 120 other artisans from across 25 states are pinning their hopes on the ongoing Handmade Collective by A Hundred Hands to find their feet again. After a gap of two years, the 11th edition of Handmade Collective is under way at Bangalore International Centre in Domlur. It began on November 24 and ends on November 28. All the proceedings from sales at the bazaar will go to the creators.
Another artisan, Rehmat, a filigree artist from Odisha, says the platform has come as a blessing. Filigree is a 500-year-old delicate craftwork where silver strings are modified in the shape of jewellery and showpieces. “With no orders, the closing of temples, no travel and skyrocketing silver prices, I was forced to give up my craft and work in the fields. Now that we can travel, I am depending on the bazaar to support me in selling products and continuing my family’s traditional craft,” she said.
City-based Sarah Thomas, a former Srishti student and proprietor of Umoya Designs, said the pandemic made her rethink the product line of her brand, which used to focus on luxury items. Sarah specializes in Shibori, an ancient Japanese manual tie-dyeing technique. In the last six years, she has trained eight women from conservative families of Kambipura village in the art with the aim of employing and empowering them. “During the pandemic, the demand for luxury products plummeted. But we had to make sure the women continued to be gainfully employed, so we started making masks, kaftan tops and comfort wear,” she says.
A Hundred Hands, an NGO, was launched by sisters Mala and Sonia Dhawan to help those involved in handmade art, crafts and homemade food earn a fair and sustainable livelihood. Since they began in 2010, they have helped close to 10,000 artisans.
Cotton and coffee
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Adding to the vibrant cultural events restarting after the pandemic is a workshop showing the connection between cotton and coffee. The workshop, organised by homegrown brands Araku Coffee and Yali, will be held from November 27 to December 18 at Araku Coffee in Indiranagar. Entry is free.





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Sagar Biswas

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