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Envisage Projects

India is a minefield of art and craft of various kinds that continue to inspire us. This knowledge is not something that can be learnt from a course or a workshop but is rather a legacy that is passed on from one generation to the other. As one of the most potent forms of emotional communication, it is only natural that we use art to evoke emotions in our homes. Traditionally most of the art and craft pieces have been part of our heirloom. Hence, they stand in our homes as a testimony to time, emotions, memories, creativity and of our ability to preserve something that we deem precious.

Exquisite sculptures from Kumbakonam (Tamil Nadu), hand-woven silks from Kancheepuram and Benaras, woven fabrics, metalwork from Moradabad, Tanjavur paintings from Tamil Nadu, block print weaves from Sanganer and stone sculptors from Rajasthan, Ikkat prints and kalamkari painting from Odisha, Chettinadu doors, tiles and pillars – these are all various kinds of crafts that can be incorporated in the interior décor of our homes one way or another. From an architect’s perpective, here are some tips to include art and craft décor, even in the contemporary design of your homes –

  • While undertaking an interior fitout, depending on the style adopted and the scale of the product, the location and position of the piece can be the initial criteria. Accentuating it with the right lighting and giving it a prominent location in the home is of utmost importance.
  • To ensure the focus lies on the artwork or the art piece, its surrounding should ideally by muted. This allows for the detailing and intricacies of the craft to stand-out. Accessorizing different corners of the house with artefacts is one way of doing it, and creating a specially designed feature wall for a larger collection is another way of displaying them.
  • The interior design style and the choice of the artefact must complement each other well. Most Indian/Bohemian themes are suited to weave in with the Indian art and craft For others, one might need to commission or customize the artwork according to their décor. For instance, pastel Indian handloom weaves can go extremely well with an American or Scandinavian theme.

The state emporiums in most cities are a good one-stop-shop for handloom and handicrafts. But, if one wants to interact with the craftsmen and get their artwork commissioned, places such as Dilli Haat, Dastkar, Surajkund Crafts Mela- are all an excellent start. As an architectural firm with design and build projects, it is indeed something we take note of, as a lot of these art and crafts which sell at a premium in the cities don’t fetch their creator enough money for even basic survival. This needs to be addressed before we lose out on our heritage.

It’s time we gave our craftsmen their due.