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As a popular go-to platform for discovering almost anything these days, Instagram has even become a makeshift gallery of sorts for art and crafts. While India is celebrated for its handicrafts and handlooms across the globe, finding a well-crafted object or piece of art that’s affordable and easily accessible can sometimes be a bit tricky. As a starting point, we’ve narrowed down a tiny selection of Indian creators that recently caught our eye. With unassuming sundry materials and sustainable practices, these art-makers sew, mould, paint, photograph, collage and weave intricately designed crafts that can brighten up your home or inspire a thoughtful gift for a loved one.
A YARN OF SURPRISES
Fondly calling themselves the macramé sisters, fibre artists Febin George and Merin George founded Mac Studio in Kerala last year. While pursuing their graduate degrees, the duo decided to spend their time during the pandemic exploring macramé art to hand weave décor pieces such as hanging pockets for flowerpots, lanterns, Christmas ornaments, and even a wigwam-stye tent for children! Using pastel-toned three-ply rope, each knotted macramé article can take up to nine hours to craft and is available in an interplay of shapes, patterns and styles such as mandala art.
Prices start at ₹1,000
For orders, contact @macst_udio
Image courtesy, Mac Studio
Image courtesy, Kaimurai
BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR
After a 15-year career as a fashion designer, today Abishek Ganesh J spends his time researching and painting art at his studio Kaimurai. With natural indigo pigment painted in a meditative process on handmade paper, handloom textiles, khadi or canvas, the ebb and flow of his strokes create a silent conversation within his work. Inspired by the Western Ghats, ancient South Indian art, rituals, architecture and Carnatic music, his monochromatic craft focuses on a single element or movement. From bold details that glide into sheer streaks in a capillary action, each expressive painting echoes a sense of balance and fluidity; and it’s hard to remember that it’s all created in one single shade of blue.
Price on request
For orders, contact @kaimuraiofficial
A WORLD FOR TOYS
As children, it was our toys that animated the world around us. Probably our very first companions, a favourite plaything doubled as a best friend, the sibling we may not have had or an empathetic confidante. For many of us, our imaginations ran wild with thoughts of make-believe scenarios where toys came to life and lived among us. For advertising professional Surojit Dev, Toytales played out as the perfect way to alter reality with toys. With the outdoor landscape as his blank canvas, he shoots mini objects and toys (such as Lego characters or Hot Wheels cars) from trick angles or against strategic backdrops to make them look life-sized. The
Image courtesy, Toy Tales
result is photography that’s available in limited edition prints depicting a series of dramatic events that brings a part of our childhood to life.
Prices start at ₹10,000
For orders, contact @toytalesofficial
Image courtesy, Thaiyal
THE THREADS THAT TIE A MOTHER AND DAUGHTER
From landscapes that come alive in a three-dimensional way to life-like portraits—you wouldn’t think this has anything to do with embroidery. Yet those are some of the charming needlepoints the mother-daughter duo Meera Bai and Aditya Lavanya have stitched together. Started by Lavanya, who is also an architect, Thaiyal (which means stitching or a beautiful, empowered woman in Tamil) served as a project to escape the boredom of the lockdown last year. Having learnt embroidery from her mother Meera, who is also a professional artist, the duo spend close to eight hours a day working on orders. To recreate photographs of nature, pets and people, several unique and skilled embroidery techniques such as the French knot, spider stitch and beadwork are sewn onto fabrics ranging from net to organza.
Prices start at ₹950
For orders, contact @thaiyal.by.aa
THE BEAUTY OF NATURE
Described as a small business set up in Auroville since 1980, Shradhanjali is an eco-friendly handicrafts organisation co-founded by Abha Tewari. With a 21-member team comprising mainly women, several being the sole breadwinners of their family, the label creates thoughtfully and delicately made objects such as décor knick knacks and jewellery pieces. Pressed flowers like jatropha and ixora adorn tabletops, lampshades, and stationary products, while gulmohar and eucalyptus seedpods are sanded and shaped into incense-holders or polished to create beaded jewellery.
Most of the flowers, plants and botanicals used are grown organically using drip irrigation and recycled water, handpicked and dried in cardboard presses. Each product is made with handmade paper, which is processed by recycling cotton rags and adding other natural fibres like straw, wool or gunny.
Prices start at ₹110
For orders, contact @shradhanjaliauroville
Image courtesy, Shradhanjali
Image courtesy, Divvy_upp
FOR THE LOVE OF ANIMALS
Founded by a Bangalore-based pottery and puppy enthusiast, Divvy Upp moulds together ceramic figurines and miniature objects that can be customised and inspired by your pet or favourite animal. From clay bowls and catch-alls to stamps and bite-sized replicas of your furry loved ones, each intricately detailed piece is uniquely moulded according to images and specifications shared by you. Keep an eye out for new collections and styles that are announced regularly. The wait time, however, for each order can sometimes go up to two months.
Price on request
For orders, contact @divvy_upp
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