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Go Pachchai

An exhibition of well-designed products made of natural fibres starts today



Bihar's award-winning Madhubani artist Shanti Devi works on a large painting depicting the recent floods and the devastation they left in their wake.

CAN YOU imagine that the water hyacinth that clogs up lakes with its thick foliage can be fashioned into exquisite cushions and bags? Or that the bark of the banana tree growing in your backyard can produce laundry boxes and table mats?

If you're incredulous, visit Pachchai. Sounds very green, earthy, and rustic huh? Like right out of a Tamil movie almost!

A group of young designers is working with the Bangalore-based IndusTree Crafts Foundation to design and develop this green craft.

Co-operation

The Foundation is also working with other craft-based NGOs, co-operatives and small entrepreneurs in design development and marketing of their craft, says Netra Patodia, one of the six designers from the Indian Institute of Crafts and Design (Jaipur) working with the Trust. "The Foundation was set up to develop market-led livelihood means and micro enterprises. As a crafts consultancy, we have primarily been involved in lending our design skills to a variety of craft and providing support for market linkages, resource management and quality control," says Patodia.



Young designers of IndusTree get an impromptu lesson.

"We have been through a two-year design and development process to come up with the products to be featured in the exhibition, specially the natural fibre products," says Shyam.A, another designer with the group. IndusTree also has a retail outlet in Koramangala, The Design Store, which provides direct sales avenues to the artist.

Pachchai (meaning green in Tamil) is an exhibition that will bring together cane bags and kauna (bulrush) grass products from Manipur, bamboo work from Kerala, natural fibre products, screw pine (kewda) boxes and bins, palm leaf engravings and storage units from Orissa, shola craft from West Bengal, jute and natural fibre products from Karnataka and Andhra, banana bark bags and bins from Kerala and much more looking out for eco-friendly designer accessories.

In addition to these greens, on display will be handloom textiles, Kalamkari art and products, miniature paintings, lac ware products, tie and dye fabric, Kutchi embroidery, kantha work, thread-worked jewellery, Dhokra bell metal craft, Kolhapuri footwear, wooden toys, woollen products, block prints, ceramics, jewellery and more from Rajasthan, Mahrashtra, and Gujarat.

Demonstration

The exhibition will also provide visitor the unique opportunity to interact with the crafts communities and participating artisans. Award-winning master artisan of the Madhubani painting form from Bihar, Shanti Devi, will present special demonstrations.

Pachchai will be on at the Safina Plaza from August 30 to September 5 between 10.30 a.m. and 8 p.m. Contact IndusTree on 25711225/30622530.

B.K.

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