Enabling artisans to take forward their crafts 2

Category: Education

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History of craft production The society was organized in such a manner that the artisans were more or less in control of various elements of craft production. Ownership/right over the raw materials. Knowledge of the process and tools involved. Knew their clientele and hence they could design. All these made craft making very enjoyable, creative, meaningful They had the possibility of learning and making sense of what change is happening and respond accordingly. Autonomous knowing As the societies became more and more hierarchical they began to loose control one by one.


Cratfs now The approach to artisanal revival after the independence has been top down. Experts – technologists, social scientists, designers etc etc took away his initiative and creativity He became a mere laborer and dependent on experts. The trend now is to establish more NIDs and NIFTs in various parts of India. We neither have an institutional mechanism nor understanding of the constituents for such an institution. There is a upsurge in the demand for crafts in the urban sector. The rural artisan, unaware of this is leaving his craft, migrating to cities to become wage earner


What is required A new approach that will link the potential user and the maker and enabling the artisan to understand and respond effectively Creating a dynamic, experiential learning situation


About me I began to work with artisan from 1989. Went to them to learn, to clean the impact of NID. Worked/ traveled in Nagaland, Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, UP, Kerala, Tamil nadu, Karnataka, Kashmir etc Worked with several crafts- pottery, stone, horn, papier machie, brass. Dhokra, 1993 to 2006 worked with a potters community in kerala


Working with Potter’s Children 2003 Support from CDS, TVM 8 potters children age 13 to 15, school drop outs 1 year duration


Materials, Techniques, Skills, Aesthetic sense


Threats to the crafts Children of artisans or any other children are not taking to craft, There exists a growing demand for crafts. Raw materials are becoming difficult to get most often due to wrong govt polices. The uniqueness of crafts is its locational identity- not only in the motifs, colour sense ( aesthetics) but also in the production process. The design intervention by designers are homogenizing this aesthetic uniqueness. New systems of awards, branding instituted by the well wishers of craft is destroying the integrity of craft making. UNESCO seal of excellence, master craftsmen awards , craft mark etc Meaningless crafts shops run by the government. All these help has crippled the artisan and made him powerless.


Enable Artisan This is a two year project designed for enabling the artisan’s children to take forward their skills as a viable livelihood option by equipping them with necessary skills- entrepreneurship, communication, designing ability, functional computer and accounting ability etc and also providing them with few basic tools and equipments and linking them with relevant players. The cost of the project is Rs 24,00,000


Plan of Action. Selection of 8 Potters children – 12th and above , 12th /gradudate/post graduate. Two months of training to equip the student to observe, research, document and communicate the findings. Six months of research/ travel in order to comprehend the existing scenarios in craft production-successful ones, not so successful as well as where craft has died out. Existing market- urban, rural, road side, changes in design, technology, new ways of marketing, new client, customer preferences, psychology, new forms of organizations, new players, internet aided market etc One month in analysis, discussions, looking for alternatives Six months of product development, market testing etc and in the course of doing this learn the fundamentals of design process, This period is to make the student understand materials, skills, technologies, consumer psychology, aesthetic sense, market, marketing methods and communication techniques and methods etc. {computer +web, design, Market Organisation, Accounts, Communication, Entrepreunal skills}.It covers everything related to making and selling of craft. The studenst will undertake production and also will exhibit their work in few metropolis in order to get a clear understanding how things sell or not sell. Three months to help them to specialize on some aspect of craft marketing. 6 months Handholding- helping the students to take the learning back to the villages where they came from and to help them reorganize production, marketing etc.


Concrete details of the program. Generating support Selection of students Preparatory programme Exposure trip Product development Exhibitions Production


Sunil kumar ,class 8 age 13

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