Enabling artisans to take forward their crafts 1

Category: Education

Presentation Description

‘Enabling Artisan’ is a two year long project designed to enable , equip and empower a group of young potters so that they can take forward their craft as a meaningful livelihood activity.


Presentation Transcript


Enabling Artisans Initiating collaboration between artisans and society


Ingenuity and creativity are the ultimate source for KNOWING and BEING A wholistic approach which addresses the economical, cultural, ecological and spiritual well being


Crafts has the potential for not only for economic returns but also for realizing the human potential of creativity, self initiative. The most important aspect of being human is that they can make knowledge autonomously When a craft dies, it's not only the artisans and their business that dies. With it dies an entire history, a legacy, a tradition, a knowledge. Crafts: A meaningful livelihood option


‘Enabling Artisan’ is a two year long project designed to enable , equip and empower a group of young potters so that they can take forward their craft as a meaningful livelihood activity. The main aspect of this lies in exposing them to the modern urban craft situation –New user-new ways of using, new products-new delivery mechanism. Link the customer and the producer in a collaborative way than a mere buyer seller relation by making the customer part of the enabling process. In the process the customer gets sensitized to the issues of craft, true potential of hand made produced craft in humanising the modern sanitized and mechanical environs etc There is a large section of customers who value and are concerned about the survival of this centuries old traditional crafts.


My journey into the world of the rural artisan communities was not with the intention of 'developing' them or educating them. I went to them to regain that which I had lost in the process of getting educated. To learn from them. Having escaped 'education' and 'development' they were still original and authentic and were holding on to the culture and world-view, which sustained them for centuries. I perceived the rural / tribal communities as being wise and evolved. And recognized that only by learning from them could we lead sustainable lives. When I found that Design education in India totally neglected the age old practice of Craft making traditions, drew inspiration solely from the western institutions like Bauhaus, Ulm etc and in the process getting ourselves alienated from our historical, cultural continuity. From 1989 to 1992 I have traveled to many traditional craft making villages in Nagaland, Bihar, Bengal, Orissa engaged in various crafts like brass, stone, horn, papier-mâché bamboo, pottery, cane, wood etc and worked with several of them getting a first hand knowledge of various aspects of craft making.


Kumbham at Aruvacode, Nilambur, Kerala is a unique example in reviving an almost wiped out pottery tradition. I came to this village in 1992 October after I read about them in a news paper, initially supported by Oxfam and later by Dastkaari Haat samithi, New Delhi. After the funded project got over in 1993 November I continued to stay in the village without any financial support, worked with over 150 artisans and in the course of 13 years I initiated development of more than 2000 designs/ products, using a novel way of initiating creativity among artisans. From 1998 onwards I have steadily supported around 40 artisans and set up Kumbham, an organisation for women for independently pursuing pottery.


K u m b h a m Aruvacode Nilambur Kerala


Kumbham Experience Self respect of the artisan was the primary issue I dealt with by respecting his knowledge, technology, skills and creativity and self initiative. Business approach right from the start. Do nothing training method Linking and collaborating with users 1992 to 2006


Principle behind the method of ‘No method’ Trust in peoples abilities Creating conditions for self initiative Freedom to do, No tools were given Enhancing observation Taking responsibility and love for what they do.


Results Original and beautiful products.


Triangular tiles


Hundreds of new products. www.kumbham.in


Happiness and confidence among the artisans


Continuous knowledge creation


Exploring different materials for burnishing the leather hard product


Road is used for getting the clay ground


Do Nothing Method




Rolling and coiling clay


Craft in Architecture

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