Rare Crafts of India
Amity School of Natural Resources and Sustainable Development (ASNRSD), Amity University, Noida organised a strategic workshop on “Traditional Knowledge and Tribal Handicrafts” (supported by DC, Handicraft, Min. of Textiles, Govt. of India). Iti Tyagi, Founder, Craft Village was invited as a keynote speaker for sharing her experiences on “Sustainable Development for Craft Sector”. Ms Tyagi focused on “Craft Trading can be limited to a generation, but training would empower many generations”, Craft sector has gone through a phase of distress with a desperate need to revive this sector that is connected with employability of millions of households engaged into Craft production activities. If this sector needs revival as a part of “Make in India” initiative, the time has come to renew its ‘4C’ focus for better and long-term results. Since 1990’s, 30% of artisans have left craft sector in search for low key jobs and have migrated as daily wage labour, which is bound to grow if an effective strategy is not implemented for 1) Change in Perception for Craft Items and Sector 2) Creating global brands & markets 3) Connecting Innovation & Design 4) Craft Technology by creating a 360 interface with consumers, stakeholders, artisans and industry.
MRID, MS University, Baroda invited Iti Tyagi Founder, Craft Village as keynote speaker for “Craft Management”, she interacted with the students and informed that if Indian Craft needs to be revived, everyone’s perspective needs to be changed from looking at them from “Cheap Objects” to “Objects of Desire”. She also informed the students that Craft industry needs disruptive thinking and a fresh approach for building sustainable future for Crafts and Artisans. At the moment Indian Crafts is only focusing on Supply Side where demand has been completely neglected, that means creating branding and awareness of the timeless value of crafts needs to be communicated effectively. One of such efforts can be accelerated by integrating industry in the process, where the new product development can be aimed for new markets and clients, rather than developing Craft products in isolation at craft clusters and later struggling to find markets and consumers. This model has not yet been recognised, as the industry looks at Craft Sector as some decorative object without realizing that Crafts can be real connect between consumers and products for better market success. There was also an exhibition on the world legend Dasrath Patel and his exclusive work.
Interactive Session at Pearl Academy, Delhi on “Crafting Strategies”- Iti Tyagi, Founder, Craft Village was invited by Pearl Academy of Fashion (PAF) for interacting with students on what could be future of fashion if crafts of India are explored, the initiative was taken up by pearl academy to connect crafts an essential tool for business success. Ms. Tyagi informed kids that “If they don’t adopt crafts as a designer they won’t be able to compete in global markets”, Craft today has emerged beyond mere configuration of decorative items to a strategic point that is essential for any fashion business success, and students in that process can bring contemporary perspectives and new approaches for its survival and growth, and on other hand can create globally competitive products.
International Linkages with Singapore Institutions: Ms. Iti Tyagi, Founder, Craft Village visited Lasalle College of Arts, Singapore, Temasek Polytechnic, School of Art & Design, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), Singapore & Urban Design, Singapore Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic and visit to Singapore Design Week. During her meeting with leading design colleges and universities in Singapore, Ms. Tyagi laid special focus on how crafts of India that has inspired the world and generation of Artists & Designers, from Charles and Ray Eames to Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, John Galliano, Saint Laurent and Michael Kors and many others. Craft Village is endeavouring into international collaborations bringing the special focus on South-East Asian Crafts to by connecting with these institutions through International Exchange & Research Programs, providing opportunities to art & design students & faculty who are keen in diving deep into Indian Art & Crafts. Many of global students & scholars have applied to Craft Village under ‘Design Residency’ linking craft-design-industry activities for sustainable development. During her visit she also interacted with international students on “Inspirational Crafts of India for Art & Design” who got benefited from her vast experience working in Crafts sector for last two decades.
Visit of Prof. Aftab Garda, Director, BIAD (Birmingham City University) UK: Prof. Aftab Gharda, the professor known world-wide for his design education, methods and practices visited Craft Village during January 2016. He termed the place as an experiential place for designers and artists to come and learn what they always wanted. He also advised that Craft Village can tie-up with UK Craft Council for promoting innovative strategies for development of Craft based industries in India and elsewhere.
Center for Science & Environment, New Delhi: Ms. Iti Tyagi, Founder Craft Village was invited by Center for Science and Environment, New Delhi to address 23 participants from all across India, during June 1 to 30, 2016, to address the concerns of Craft Sector as part of their certificate program 'Agenda for survival: Certificate course on the policies and practices of environmental management in India.’ The lecture was attended by students (some undergraduate and some post-graduate, from various backgrounds) and young working professionals, who were working on issues & challenges of the environment and development in India.
Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore: Dr. Himadri Ghosh, Mentor & Advisor, Craft Village was invited by National Institute of Advanced Studies, IISc, Bengaluru as a speaker at Inclusive Manufacturing Forum (IMF) during 6-8 April 2017. Dr. Ghosh spoke on Inclusive Manufacturing for Craft Sector through a major policy change and to change the outlook of Craft Industry to a mainstream industry that has its own dynamics. He emphasised “One of the biggest issues in India is that, the market does not recognize the true value of craft. If this value is recognized, people are willing to pay a higher price for craft-based products; this should translate into higher wages for weavers and craftspeople and act as a boost to millions of rural-based livelihood opportunities associated with this sector. If a timely initiative is not taken and crafts are not revisited, it would kill the rare crafts of India soon. Sustainable livelihoods will ultimately depend on finding a right balance”.
Faculty Exchange Program: A week long Craft & Cultural program was designed for Ms. Hazel Lim, professor at Lasalle College of Arts, Singapore. The program oriented professor Lim through a one of the most ancient culture of the world originated from Indus Valley civilization, the programs also had a blend of tradition and modernity by visiting Gallery of Modern Art, Crafts Museum and a day long visit at the Wonder of the World; Taj Mahal. She also worked on Natural dyeing, Printing, Weaving with Dr. Himadri Ghosh, celebrated textile designer and attended Tribal Art Workshop on Gond by world famous Bhajju Shyam.
School Workshop: 7-Faculty Members and 55 Students of 11th & 12th Standard from American Embassy School (AES) visited Craft Village for Gond Tribal Art workshop by world famous Bhajju Shyam, also renowned author of London Jungle Book on 3rd March 2017. The Master introduced the students and faculty members with Gondi tradition, and how the life skills can be drawn from this tribal form understanding the elements of nature besides learning various motifs, composition and techniques to create individual Gond Tribal Art pieces.
University Workshop: 20-Students and 3-Faculty members (including celebrated professors Prof. Trudy Landgren, Dr. Kelly Gage, and Dr. Anupama Pasricha) from Apparel, Merchandising, and Design School of Business & Professional Studies, St. Catherine’s University, USA attended a day long workshop on Kantha: Pride of Bengal conducted by Mahamaya Sikdar, National Award Winner & President Gold Medalist. The day long program oriented these participants on origin of Kantha, a form that originated from fascinating daily stories of Bengali women, journey through master’s work including Ramayana (that took three years to complete) various stitch types, patterns & motifs and other nuances of this world-class embroidery technique.
Craft Village encourages Schools, Colleges and Institutions to learn and know Crafts of India through various types of programs that ranges from a day long to week long programs. These programs are custom designed to suit the need of age group, country, and the profession through which these specially designed programs add value in terms of knowledge and awareness, world-view, cultural deep diving, and helping next generation to connect with timeless tradition and culture of world. It also make them more tactile, connect them with humanity, and helps them build a holistic perspective of creating fine balance between tradition and modernity, from being impulse consumers to more sustainable approach.