Crafts are our treasure and it is important to understand that the hands that create, keep these art forms going are even more valuable. It is these hands that practice the crafts as traditions for generations. It astonishes to identify the number of artisans depending on the crafts for their economy and also in return contribute to our economy. In the present times the factors like continually enhancing technology, the requirement of mass production and the manufacturing time being crucial have greatly affected the position of the artisans in the society. Yet what technology does not offer are the traditional skills that shell the authenticity of every craft of each region making it even more precious.

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We are fortunate that designers today realize the importance of the position of artisans, value their skills and are striving to reposition the role of our skilled individuals. A Balasubramanium of January Design is one such designer who amalgamates design thinking with the power of the artisans to deliver products that not only define crafts but also help in the development of the economy of the artisans and create their identity in the, oh so difficult, market!

A Balasubramanium is one of India’s valued designers who works with several skilled artisans in our country for many of his clients. He explains that the stories are same: Skilled craftsman, impoverished lives, lack of exposure to the markets that forces artisans to struggle to make their living. Speaking about his approach to his projects, A Balasubramanium expresses that before starting any project he believes in understanding the situation to create new ideas and develops prototypes, trains and helps in marketing the products.

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In his projects he has always tried to demonstrate the process of creation which also finely demonstrates the skills of the artisans, the empathy for individual situations, the brain storming that reflects the creative thoughts and solutions and the overall achievement as a final product that creates new livelihood opportunities through design thinking.

January design, with the help of local craftsmen encompasses numerous crafts from around the country into their products.

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Artisans view the world as their model. This means several things. It means that an Artisan sees the universe as the ultimate pattern after which he should shape his own created objects. It also means that the Artisan views the universe as an object which it is his job to mold, form, and fashion into a work of beauty or function.

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Spontaneous, innovative, and imaginative, the prodigious artisan is not only the most creative role, but the most eccentric. Viewing life as just one big canvas for their creative offspring, artisans can take you closer to reality and express themselves through their art in the truest forms possible.

Pooja Kshatriya

Pooja Kshatriya is an Interior Architect by profession and a stage artist by passion. Trying to strike the right balance of the two. So far so good. Hoping to take it forward. She can be contacted at pooja.vjk@gmail.com