Arty-Facts about Indian Handicrafts

  • Orissa Diaries - 1

    My Odisha visit, this year was special for another reason (other than the fact that I had a great time sourcing new products) - I visited my  village - Aul (Patamundai) after exactly 20 years. For the past 2 years I have been visiting Odisha to source for Advaita Handicrafts. At Advaita Handicrafts, we work with artisans based in Odisha and source our products from them. The idea is to help generate work for the artisans & popularize local Odiya handicrafts outside in India as well as overseas. For more information on our products, you can visit http://advaitahandicrafts.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/Advaitahandicrafts I started in...

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  • How the value chain can really add value

    In continuation to my previous blog on 'Sustenance - what impacts it?', I've put down my views on how various challenges to sustenance such as high prices, low inputs on design & production processes etc can be tackled by various players in the value chain.  The government has to act quickly and save these endangered art forms by creating & developing markets (state handloom & handicraft corporations/ exhibitions/ fairs/ Trade shows) for these. It in turn has to buy from these artisans ensuring fair remuneration & livelihood generation. It has to actively employ qualified designers to train of artisans in product...

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  • Sustenance - What impacts it?

    Maya Angelou - the famous american poetess who passed away on 28th May 2014, wrote - "When members of a society wish to secure that society's rich heritage,they cherish their arts and respect their artists.The esteem with which we regard the multiple cultures of our country, enhances our possibilities for healthy survival & continued social development." She wrote this about the USA, but it's so true for every country including ours (India) . I've highlighted some key words in blue & these words lead to mean 'sustainability'  So, will just cherishing and feeling an affiliation for arts & crafts originating...

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  • Handicrafts make Happy Gifts

    While shopping for gifts, there are options galore; so why choose Handicrafts over the others?  Here's why -  - Handicrafts are hand made & thus no piece is similar to the other. These are not machine produced by the hundreds with smooth finishes & zero flaws. They are each unique - each with its own beauty and maybe its own imperfection. Each having been made painstakingly, one piece after another.  Many people appreciate the effort that's gone into making these & thus these gifts are almost always valued over their market price.  - Handicrafts are always based on an exquisite traditional craft which...

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  • An ancient Indian craft form, but thriving still!!

    There are many ancient craft forms especially ones that have originated in India, but the one I'm writing about today is one of my favourites since the intricacy & detailing in this form can be paralleled by few others only.  I'm referring to Palm leaf Etching art, also called Talachitras. The Oriya word 'Tala' stands for Palm and 'chitra' as we know stands for Picture in Hindi as well as Oriya. Thus,Talachitra means - picture on Palm leaves.Though it is one of the most ancient forms of art in the World, it thrives in Orissa with a considerable following overseas...

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  • Fair Trade buying - How is it impacting Indian manufacturers/suppliers

    Most of us are busy in our lives with our jobs, families & other commitments, but it takes only a little bit of awareness (& zero trouble) to be able to make a small but significant difference to the lives of the needy. The small purchases you make, can go a long way in creating sustainable livelihoods for India's artisans. HOW? - Buy from sellers who work directly with Artisans & (SHGs) Self Help Groups or buy from firms that are Fair trade members.Fair trade awareness is still low in India and in some cases organisations that are aware are in the...

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  • Why did we decide to get into the handicrafts space?

    I'm an ex-banker by profession and when I decided to quit I didn't know what I would do with my time.  I was sure that I'd start off with my own venture, but what shape it would take was something I couldn't fathom, no matter how hard I tried. So, I decided to let go forcing myself to arrive at a decision or an idea to take up. I knew eventually it would come to me.  It happened when I visited my hometown - Bhubaneshwar after many long years with my mother (to meet up with relatives & generally take...

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  • Small purchases BIG impacts - Follow Fair trade in spirit & not blindly by letter.

    Most of us are busy in our lives with our jobs, families & other commitments, but it takes only a little bit of awareness (& zero trouble) to be able to make a small but significant difference to the lives of the needy.  The small purchases you make, can go a long way in creating sustainable livelihoods for India's artisans.  HOW? - Buy from sellers who work directly with Artisans & (SHGs) Self Help Groups or buy from firms that are Fair trade members. Fair trade awareness is still low in India and in some cases organisations that are aware...

    Read more →