Design Education for Traditional Artisans in Kutch

 
$8,807
$16,193
Raised
Remaining
Jan 14, 2014

KRV COMPLETES ANOTHER WONDERFUL YEAR

Best Collection winner Adil walks the ramp
Best Collection winner Adil walks the ramp

KALA RAKSHA VIDHYALAYA COMPLETES ANOTHER WONDERFUL YEAR 

On 24 November 2013, the eighth class of Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya graduated, bringing the total number of graduates to 124. 

THE YEAR IN REVIEW

The Convocation is always a time to look back and see what we all have achieved in the year. This year, we also looked forward, to building the program to a true institution.

It was a busy year for KRV. 

In addition to our ongoing design education course, with the support of Anjana Somany, we coordinated a major, successful program in Mumbai- Co-Creation squared-which included a fashion show, exhibition and short film - thus taking Artisan Design to the world.

Director Judy Frater, Artisan Designers Jayantibhai Bokhani and Khimjibhai Siju were invited a think tank in Bagalkot to envision a future that will include development of weavers.  This event will now blossom into a project that will engage our graduates as professional designers.

 Judy Frater and Permanent Faculty Member Dayalalbhai Kudecha had the wonderful opportunity to represent KRV at Tinkuy, an international weavers conference in Cusco, Peru.

 Irfanbhai Anwarbhai Khatri was invited to a prestigious think tank in Goa- Think 2013.

In December Project Leader Nilanjanbhai Mondal and Irfanbhai will represent KRV at Samanta, the final meeting of the Australia- India Sangam project. 

 KRV is definitely on the world map.  We are showing the world where artisans can reach.

All over the world traditional crafts are struggling to survive, and seeking solutions for sustainability.  KRV is being recognized world wide precisely because it has been an important development, offering a successful and forward thinking solution.

 It is time to build this program to a true institution, to expand to reach more artisans and develop world-wide value for traditional arts. 

 The immediate goal is increased respect and income for artisans.  We have proved that because our artisans know craft, they can learn design. We now need to insure their success. Because these artisan designers know design, they can do business.  An artisan designer needs both design and business.  So as a first step to growing from a program to an institution, next year we will launch a new MBA course- - Management and Business for Artisans!   This will be a post-graduate course for KRV artisan designers.  Look for the Vidhyalaya re-inventing itself…..

THE CONVOCATION MELA

November 22- 24 marked this year's KRV Convocation Mela. The event, generously sponsored by Adani Foundation, Bestseller Fund, and CGPL-Tata Power, began with a final jury conducted by experts in craft and design, including Radhi Parekh- founder of Artisans Gallery, Subrata Bhowmick- internationally renowned designer, Abhay Mangaldas, Founder and CEO of House of MG, and Shilpa Sharma, co-founder of the online high end design retail portal Jaypore.

The jury culminated in the fashion show we await every year, choreographed by Utsav Dholakia, Compered by Shweta Dhariwal, and styled by Sanjay Guria.  This year's fashion show was inaugurated by our Special Guest Anjana Somany, Founder and Director of Mango Tree, and producer of Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya's debut in Mumbai.

This year's graduates presented collections of contemporary styled traditions, ranging from the home furnishing to resort wear.  The collections were designed in collaboration with students from M.S. University, Baroda.

As ever, our KRV alumni made set the bar with their sophisticated Artisan Designs.  The grand finale was a sampling of the Co-Creation Squared collection that debuted in Mumbai.

The following day, Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya welcomed Jaya Jaitly, Founder of Dastkari Haat Samiti, Creator of Dilli Haat- and long time friend and supporter of Artisans of India, as our Chief Guest.  Jayaji delivered the keynote speech, encouraging artisans to work collaboratively and creatively to triumph over challenges. Jury member Radhi Parekh and KRV Advisor Shyamji Vishramji delivered speeches.  Graduates Sangitaben Pirabhai Bhati, and Soyabbhai Abdul Karim Khatri spoke about the importance of design education in their  lives, exemplifying the confidence and poise that education builds.

This year's jury awarded best collection to Zakiyaben Ayubbhai Khatri and Adilbhai Mustakbhai Khatri, both bandhani artisans.  Awards for Best Presentation, Most Marketable collection, Most Promising Artisan, and best student were also presented.

And the KRV Staff were honoured. The convocation launched the public Mela, which once again enjoyed visitors from around the world and all over India.  A number of people planned their visit to India around the KRV Mela. Artisans met and exchanged news and ideas. 

Visitors purchased all-new artisan designs.  Many graduates recovered their annual fees in a few hours-- confirming that their year of design education will launch successful careers.  Everyone enjoyed Kutchi folk music, food and hands-on demonstrations of weaving, printing, roghan painting and pottery.

This year's music program was held in the intimate space of the Exhibition Courtyard, and welcomed the addition of dandia ras for the crowd.  And of course, the grand finale was our jam session sanedo, pulling together artisans, graduates and the public to celebrate the flourishing culture of Kutch, and the welcome of our newest Artisan Designers. 

As we look to building a true institution, we think of sustainability, expansion, and the ethical fiber that will be essential for this growth.  The message, again, is not to compete with machines, to do what the human artist can do.  And not to compete with each other.  When each artisan can follow his or her individual identity, the diversity will insure success --for everyone. Self reliance and genuine self respect are essential to sustainability, and will contribute toward a world without unhealthy politics and competition. Together Artisan Designers will create a sustainable future for craft traditions.

STAFF AND ALUMNI NEWS

Director Judy Frater was a keynote speaker at Tinkuy, an international gathering of weavers in Cusco Peru.  Permanent Faculty member Dayalalbhai Kudecha also represented KRV and India, with demonstrations and a presentation.   

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya focuses on building links through which KRV graduates can develop their capacity as designers and find new and better markets.  The second project with a team of students from Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne has progressed to the prototyping stage. Project Leader Nilanjan Mondal met with Swinburne Project Director Katherine Bissett- Johnson at the final Sangam Conference in Bangalore, and KRV graduates will implement the products. The exchange has enabled KRV graduates to learn to work from paper concepts, and young Australian designers to appreciate artisan capacity and to work in more collaborative ways.

KRV has engaged students of MS University Baroda for two years in it Collection Development Course.  In December, M.S. University celebrated its 30th Biennial Conference on 100 Years of Home Science, with exhibitions and a fashion show of textiles of Kutch.  Four KRV graduates participated, and represented KRV.

KRV WORKSHOPS TO THE WORLD                                                                            

By now, KRV has conducted 23 workshops taught by KRV graduates, and we have 5 more in planning.  We hope to expand this opportunity for artisans to serve as visiting faculty in the coming year. 

Most recently, a group of fourteen graduate students and faculty from Kansas State University participated in a two and a half day workshop to learn "standard operating procedures" for textile arts.  For information on offerings, please download our workshop proposal or contact judyf@kala-raksha.org.

KRV in print and online

Visit KRV on our Facebook page!

Director Judy Frater and Dr. Mary Littrell co-published a chapter on KRV, "Artisan Enterprise, Cultural Property, and the Global Market," in The Handbook of Fashion Studies, Edited by Black, de la Haye, Entwistle, Rocamora, Root and Thomas.  London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013.

In September 2012, Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya enjoyed a feature by Jessica Marati "Teaching Design," in Hand/Eye magazine.

THANKS TO GLOBAL GIVING!

The Indian financial year spans between April 2013 and March 2014. Through Global Giving, since 2010 we have had 56 donations, and raised $8,807.  This has amounted to 6 to 10% of our annual budget.  In addition, through Global Giving we have been able to raise our international visibility significantly.

THE NEXT PHASE

As KRV has focused on becoming more self-sustaining, opportunities as well as challenges are coming our way. In the coming year we envision change in the Vidhyalaya's programming, and significant and positive growth for KRV.

Financial sustainability is always a huge challenge for an educational institution.  We welcome from our supporters entrepreneurial ideas –and ideas for increasing visibility.

Again we thank you, our supporters.  With your support, KRV will realize its mission of relevant, genuine education for traditional artisans, and its dream of growing from a program to an institution!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The class of 2013
The class of 2013
KRV Graduates present their collections
KRV Graduates present their collections
Jivaben with her playful children
Jivaben with her playful children's collection
KRV Graduate Sangita makes a speech
KRV Graduate Sangita makes a speech
Zakiyaben receives the Best Collection award
Zakiyaben receives the Best Collection award

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Attachments:
Sep 6, 2013

KRV TAKES ARTISAN DESIGN TO THE WORLD

Monghiben walks the Mumbai fashion show ramp
Monghiben walks the Mumbai fashion show ramp

KALA RAKSHA VIDHYALAYA TAKES ARTISAN DESIGN TO THE WORLD

 

"There was excitement!  We had visibility and came closer to our goal of being own designers.  We should have a fashion show every year!"

-Ramjibhai, KRV graduate 2008

 "You need enthusiasm to make something new. The workshops helped people learn the value of hand work."  Monghiben, KRV graduate 2010

PROJECT REPORT  MAY 7 - SEPTEMBER 7, 2013 

In 2010, Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya launched the concept Artisan Design, to raise the value of artisan creativity.  On 17 August 2013, KRV made a dramatic debut in Mumbai.  For the first time, women embroiderers and men weavers, block printers, bandhani and batik artists worked together consciously to co-create contemporary work-- full circle on their ancient collaborative traditions.  And for the first time, KRV took our annual fashion show out of Kutch. Twenty-one KRV graduates presented thirteen new collections at a fashion show held at Good Earth, Lower Parel, followed by an exhibition at Artisans' gallery, Kala Ghoda. Titled Co-Creation Squared, the events fulfilled Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya's desire to re-integrate concept and execution in textile arts, on multiple dimensions.

Many creative, dedicated and generous people contributed to our success in Mumbai.  Anjana Somany, long time supporter of Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya, dreamed of bringing artisan design to the world- and worked tirelessly to produce it.  Designer Anju Modi gave the artisans inspiration with silhouettes and patterns. Anita Lal made it possible when she offered our team the beautiful Good Earth venue.  Utsav Dholakia gave the show its rhythm and form, and Ilesh Shah shot footage for a new film, which was screened. And of course the design graduates of KRV joined minds, hearts and hands to create all new collections.

Artisans' Gallery hosted KRV's first exhibition in Mumbai, and helped organize a selection of KRV workshops with artisan designers.  We thank Radhi Parekh and her team for their dedicated, passionate efforts. Artisans' has succeeded in raising the profile of craft to the level of art, infusing the craft sector with appreciation and economic well being.  Sales were excellent and, significantly, new designs clearly outsold older ones.  The workshops were over booked. Two small but important breakthroughs indicate the success we have enjoyed.  At the end of the show, we realized that very few customers had felt the prices too high; some even commented that prices were reasonable.  On the long continuum of hand craft, KRV artisans' work is now being compared not to production craft but to designer work!  The second triumph came when both Monghiben and Hariyaben shyly said they wanted to make collections for this year's KRV fashion show-- and that they were considering starting their own production!

The highly successful events fittingly launch a plan to concentrate on marketing the work of KRV artisan designers next year.

 

YEAR EIGHT AT KRV: COLLECTIONS IN CONSTRUCTION 

By now, five of six KRV courses are complete and the artisan students are earnestly working on their final collections.

Course 4- Concept, Communication, Projects was taught by NIFT graduate Anuja Goel and KRV veteran visiting faculty member, LOkesh Ghai.  In the men's class, the artisans learned about fashion trends, chose a theme, and delved into it

Sajanbhai- "I learned you find design in anything if you concentrate on it."

Adilbhai- "I actually dreamed my theme board!"

Then, they experimented in the KRV studios.

Shafikbhai-  "I've worked many years, but I never did so many experiments.

If we do it ourselves, we understand, and can change it as we like."

In the women's class, Lokesh made several important innovations, which enabled the women to bypass the tendency to express theme in a narrative manner. 

This year, the women created new motifs for their themes in a larger, tableau format- more like their traditional way of working.  And they sketched layouts in full scale before beginning studio work.

Lakhuben- "When we try something new, things come from inside to out."

Zakiyaben- "Working in larger scale, we understand how it will work."

Hasuben, this year's Course 4 mentor, summed up the importance of design:

"Before any work we have to think, compose, choose colours.

Next, we do the work, keeping it in reasonable quantity, but insuring that it shows more, and is good quality.

But first is thinking."

Course 5- Finishing, Collection Development was taught by Sanjay Guria, NID Faculty, and veteran KRV visiting faculty member Shweta Dhariwal.  This year, the KRV men students collaborated with graduates and fellows from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Ankita Patadiya, Arpita Desai, and Sneha Limbadiya. The design students from diverse backgrounds quickly came to the common ground of design, and creatively developed collection concepts.  Learning from each other, seeing with fresh perspectives, the teams cam up with some simple twists on traditions.

As they made patterns and prototypes, the excitement built until each KRV student eagerly went home to take craft to new dimensions.  We now anticipate fresh innovations on age-old traditions.

Sajanbhai, KRV -"Planning is necessary.  In this class I understood planning."

Arpita, MSU- "Partnership required understanding. Both partners have to be interested and happy."

Shweta was also joined by students from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda- Bhargavi Modi, and Mansi Shah.  The team took the women from their homework experiments on apparel and home furnishing to determining and planning a collection.

The women learned machine and hand finishing, and decided the products they wanted to make. The MSU students created patterns and test fits, which were finally edited.  Then, together, the KRV and MSU students worked on colours, fabrics and layouts. We await their final products as well.

STAFF NEWS

KRV welcomes Nilanjan Mondal as the new KRV Project Leader. Nilanjan comes with the experience of the Kaivalya Education Foundation Gandhi Fellowship, hands-on training in development organization and leadership.   He came to KRV in May for an orientation, in which he was introduced to key philosophies, programs, and associated personnel.  In July, he joined the institute and launched straight into coordinating the Mumbai events, proving himself a team player and a valuable addition to the KRV staff. 

2008 Graduate and Permanent Faculty member Dayalalbhai Kudecha has been invited to represent India in Cusco, Peru in November at Tinkuy de Tejedores: an international gathering of weavers. KRV Director Judy Frater will be a keynote speaker at the event.

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

 

As the final course of the year began, KRV enjoyed a visit from a group of students of the National Institute of Design.  The teacher, a supporter of our work and sometimes KRV faculty, saw the homework of a current student and commented, "He must have worked with a Fashion Week designer."  In reality, he is a fresh artisan, son of a traditional artisan who chose not to practice the hereditary craft!  This defines our challenge: to change perceptions to the depth that people no long find good artisan design surprising.

Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya continues to focus on building links through which KRV graduates can develop their capacity as designers and find new and better markets.  This year, women graduates worked virtually with a team of students from Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne to develop products. The exchange was mutually beneficial-- KRV graduates learned to work from paper concepts, and young designers working with KRV them learned to appreciate artisan capacity and to work in more collaborative ways. Building on this experience a second group is set to work with KRV graduates.

Four workshops are planned for Fall 2013-winter 2014, and a range of new programs is under consideration. For information on offerings, please download our workshop proposal or contact judyf@kala-raksha.org.

In July, Anjana Somany of Mangotree, and KRV Director Judy Frater directed Co-Creation Squared: Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya Takes Artisan Design to the World, a ten minute film focusing on developing the concept of Artisan Design. Screened at the fashion show, the film is now available.

ALUMNI AND OUTREACH

Aakib Ibrahim Khatri, graduate of 2011, has been invited to participate in an Artists Residency in Australia, as a follow up to an Australia-India residency held in Delhi last year.

KRV online

KRV has a brand new Facebook page!

In September 2012, Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya enjoyed a feature by Jessica Marati "Teaching Design," in Hand/Eye magazine.

THANKS TO GLOBAL GIVING!

The Indian financial year spans between April 2012 and March 2013. This year, we have the challenge of raising over $62,000 to operate our program.  Last year, nearly 6% of our annual budget was raised through individual donations. As we move into the second half of 2013, with the major expense of our annual Convocation Mela coming in November, we thank Global Giving and hope that our supporters will think about making a tax deductible gift!  

THE NEXT PHASE

After Kala Raksha's board of Master Artisan advisors met and brainstormed on the future of KRV, the newly constituted KRV Futures Committee held its inaugural meeting to discuss options. As KRV has focused on becoming more self-sustaining, opportunities as well as challenges are coming our way. In the next year we envision significant and positive growth for KRV.

Financial sustainability is always a huge challenge for an educational institution.  We welcome from our supporters entrepreneurial ideas –and ideas for increasing visibility.

Again we thank you, our supporters.  With your support, KRV will realize its mission of relevant, genuine education for traditional artisans, and its dream of growing from a program to an institution!

KALA RAKSHA VIDHYLAYA ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS

Ismail Mohammed Khatri - block printer, Ajrakhpur

Shamji Vishramji Vankar- weaver, Bhujodi

Lalji Vankar - weaver, Nirona

Gulam Hussain Umar - tie dye, Bhuj

Ali Mohammed Isha - tie dye, Bhuj                                                                    

Umar Farouk - tie dye, Badli

Qasimbhai - batik, Mundra

 

KALA RAKSHA TRUSTEES 

Prakash Bhanani, Kala Raksha Co-Founder and Chief Executive

Judy Frater, Kala Raksha Co-Founder & Project Coordinator, KRV Project Director, Ashoka Fellow

Ashoke Chatterjee, Previous Director, Crafts Council of India

Nita Thakore, Textile Artist, Faculty Pearl Academy of Fashion, Jaipur  

K.V. Raju, Faculty, Institute of Rural Management

Rajni  Patwa, Architect  

Mira Poonam, Artisan    

Hariya Uttam, Artisan

Babri Moru, Artisan

Haku Shah, Padmashree, Artist & Historian

Jayanti Nayak, Faculty, National Institute of Design

Daya Dohat, National Awardee, Artisan

Rai Singh Rathod, Tracer, Gujarat Electricity Board, Local Guide

Jivaben and Jayantilal, Artisan Designers
Jivaben and Jayantilal, Artisan Designers
KRV graduates thank the Mumbai audience
KRV graduates thank the Mumbai audience
Namaben presents her concept, Summer Garden
Namaben presents her concept, Summer Garden
Adil and Ankita with a kaftan prototype
Adil and Ankita with a kaftan prototype

Links:


Attachments:
May 10, 2013

RETURN TO TRADITION: KALA RAKSHA VIDHYALAYA YEAR 8

Namben final Colour presentation
Namben final Colour presentation

KALA RAKSHA VIDHYALAYA PROJECT REPORT

24 DECEMBER 2012- MAY 6 2013


"We leave everything and come here.  We can concentrate.  At home there are many distractions. We saw the benefit to Hasuben and Kuverben and we were convinced." -Namaben, Rabari Embroidery artist 

 YEAR EIGHT AT KRV

As Kala Raksha Vidhayalaya proudly publishes its 2012 Annual Report, Year Eight at KRV is halfway completed.  This year we welcome an unusual group.  All of the male weavers and bandhani artists are from traditional families who in the previous generation left craft to work in industry.  Several of the young men had also taken jobs in factories or private businesses.  But they found that working for a company brought little satisfaction.  So they came home.  This is the year of Return to Tradition. 

 Courses one and two, Colour and Basic Design brought insights.  After years of teaching, we realized that the colour theory we teach does not match dyeing methods.  So, next year we will include a dyeing expert and dye theory as well.

 "I never thought of dyeing yarn. I used what was available. I will take a year but I will make a super piece," -Sureshbhai, tangalio weaver

 "This will be really useful.  I will think what to highlight, how to show it.  I liked movement."  Shafikbhai, bandhani artist

 Course Three, Market Orientation, opened new worlds. The men traveled to Ahmedabad to explore a range of shops and visit a variety of craft connoisseurs. The experience was both inspiring and motivating.

 "In 10 years you will see tangalio in all my work.  I want to see my work in all stores- different types in each store."- Sureshbhai, tangalio weaver

 "Our traditional work is dying.  We want to give it new life, new form.  I had a mental limitation that bandhani is for wearing. But when we went to Ahmedabad, it vanished.  In Anarben's house I saw the curtain and realized there are many ways bandhani can be used.  Traditional work can't be used everyday.  I want to make new things for new uses.  The art is the same, but design changes."- Adilbhai, bandhani artist

 In this year's women's class, we find the classic gap between unmarried young women and elders with grown children, but with a twist: for the first time we have a woman bandhani artist who is educated to 12th grade.  So we welcome new challenges that will bring growth to KRV-- not only young men with less depth of knowledge of their own traditions, but also the need to re-think how to teach the course content for women.

From course one, Colour, everyone learned.

"From sketching I learned to see shades of colours.  In nature you can see how to make harmony from contrast. My sight and understanding have changed.  I want to do something no one else has done."  Zakiyaben, bandhani artist

 "I never held a pen - ever.  Here, I had my first chance.  I learned and now I want to learn more."  - Lakhuben, Rabari embroidery artist

 By Course 2, Basic Design, the women began to transform, and take their work seriously. "I understand same weight but different motifs.  Balance is important…If you show me the road I'll run on it." Jivaben, Rabari embroidery artist

 In the third course, Market Orientation, the women explored Ahmedabad with their livelihoods in mind. 

"We went to Ahmedabad and we saw it ourselves.  That made a difference in understanding."- Namaben, Rabari Embroidery artist

 Different people like different things. If we make one thing it is only useful in one place.  We have to make different things.  We have to think what colour?  How expensive?"Lakhuben, Rabari Embroidery artist

 "If I like it in a cheap store I'll buy it.  But if not, I'll go to a more expensive store.  If we want to sell something, it has to be good.  That is the bottom line."- Jivaben, Rabari Embroidery artist

 The year was jump started with an extended craft workshop with students from the Institute for Apparel Management, held during the Colour course. This was the first time KRV held a workshop and course simultaneously.  The challenge of accommodating a large number of people and several activities on campus was superseded by the benefit of collaborative exchange.

 "The Delhi students came so far to learn.  I watched them and thought we should also learn and preserve our traditions."  Sajanbhai, tangalio weaver

 

 ARTISAN DESIGN

Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya has taken a big, important step forward in developing the concept of Artisan Design.  This year, the institute has been working on a pilot benefit fashion show, directed by Anjana Somany.  Renowned designer Anju Modi provided garment patterns, which  women graduates imaginatively embroidered. KRV then asked men graduates to draw inspiration from the embroideries and complete the ensembles with woven, printed, bandhani and batik accessories. This is the first time men and women artisans have worked together in this way.  The project was managed by Noopur Kumari, NIFT senior student.  Noopur presented the collection for her graduation jury, and they were impressed.  The fashion show will be presented in collaboration with the prestigious company Good Earth in Mumbai on 17 August 2013.  Such projects contribute to the growth of KRV in several ways.  Excellent products are produced, KRV visibility is increased, and artisans are encouraged to develop new work.  This year, women's internships will be sponsored by Reena and Neeru Nanda.

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Kala Raksha continues to focus on building links through which KRV graduates can develop their capacity as designers and find new and better markets.  During this period, women graduates working in Kala Raksha enjoyed creative guidance from Sara Lawton, MA student of Manchester Metropolitan University, UK; Ananya Rai, Anisha Ahuja, Shivangi Agarwal, students of the Indian Institute of Craft Design, Line Jorgensen, a student from Denmark, and Cadi Mathews and Lucy Darling, British exchange students at Pearl Academy Jaipur, and a team of students from Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne- who are developing products virtually.  The exchange is mutually beneficial.  Young designers working with KRV graduates also learn to appreciate artisan capacity and to work in more collaborative ways. 

 During this period, Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya also hosted four workshops under our financial sustainability program.  These workshops foster exchange, and appreciation of artisan capacity, in addition to raising funds.  Through them we hope to build long term relationships between institutions. Jeni Allison and Lindsay Roberts returned to work in depth with KRV through the Scottish ReSide program, and we enjoyed a visit from their supervisors Louise Butler, Shona, and Britta.  The amount raised through workshops this year was 9% of our annual budget.

 Another step for our sustainability program was finishing of home furnishing samples developed with COMO Foundation funding.  The sale of these design theme products will be dedicated to support of KRV.  IICD interns Cadi and Lucy assisted in the project.

 By the end of the financial year, KRV significantly added to its design education equipment with funds from the Development Commissioner Handicrafts.  This year's students will enjoy use of a Pantone system, new sewing machines, a light table, sample looms, and purified water for dyeing, among other facilities.

 In March Nilanjan Mondal was selected as KRV's new Project Leader.  He comes to KRV with the experience of the Kaivalya Education Foundation Gandhi Fellowship, hands-on training in development organization and leadership.   Nilanjan is undergoing orientation in May and will join KRV in July. 

 ALUMNI AND OUTREACH

An update assessment of progress of KRV's fifty male graduates was completed in April.  Through interviews of alumni, we ascertained that:

 100% of artisan graduates have benefitted from the course.  All have gained a new perspective for their craft, and learned to be open minded and observe design in everything they see.

 100% of KRV graduates have gained confidence in terms of understanding the requirements of clients, creating new designs based on themes, and experimenting with colours and materials.

 56% of KRV graduates have grown in their designing capabilities.

25% of KRV graduates have started their own independent businesses post graduation.

9% have helped their family businesses take new directions.

 13% have had an increase of 10% to 20% in income.

7% have had and increase of 21% to 40% in income

7% have had an increase of 40% to 60 % in income

5% have had an increase of 61% to 80 % in income

5% have had an increase of 100% in income

9 % had an increase of 300% in income

 About 80 % of the artisans are aware of various schemes and organizations that can help them with their work, but only about 20% know how to apply for theses benefits.

Most of the graduates are not aware how to benefit from the KRV website.

 85% feel that KARVADA must be streamlined for it t be useful to all artisans. Unity within the organization is critical at this juncture.

 100% feel that the campus of the Vidhyalaya should be shifted from its present location.

 KARVADA, the KRV male alumni organization formally registered as an entity.  This opens possibilities for funding and other facilities.

 In February, 2010 graduate Khalid Amin Khatri worked with Manchester Metropolitan University faculty member Helen Felcey to develop art pieces for the Cotton Exchange project.  The Cotton Exchange, an exploration of the heritage of the cotton industry focusing on he links between Lancashire and Manchester in the US and Ahmedabad and Gujarat in India, culminated in an exhibition held first in Manchester and in Ahmedabad this April.  Artworks from designers and artisans from UK and India were installed in the abandoned Rajnagar cotton mill in Ahmedabad.  KRV was well represented with works from Graduates Khalidbhai, Hariyaben, Varshaben Pratap, Varshaben Uttam, Damyantiben, Sajnuben, Ramiben Rama, Monghiben, Lachhuben, Kuvarben, and Jivaben Ratna; and KRV Advisors Shyamji Vishramji and Ali Mohamad Isha. 

 KRV online

In September 2012, Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya enjoyed a feature by Jessica Marati "Teaching Design," in Hand/Eye magazine.

 In October 2011, Annie Waterman published "Empowering the Artisans" an article about KRV in Hand/Eye. Articles on Artisan Design have also been published in three important online craft journals: Hand/Eye  www.handeyemagazine.com 3 February 2010; Craft Unbound www.craftunbound.net 27 January 2011, and the Craft Revival Trust Newsletter www.craftrevival.org vol 110, issue 2 Winter-Spring 2011.

 Kala Raksha is on Facebook

 

THANKS TO GLOBAL GIVING!

The Indian financial year spans between April 2012 and March 2013. Our seventh year was completed with a balanced budget! KRV relies entirely on donations.  Nearly 6% of our annual budget was raised through individual donations this year.

 In the coming year, we have the challenge of raising over $72,000 to operate our program.  As we complete 2012 and look to 2013, we thank Global Giving and hope that our supporters will think about making a tax deductible gift!  Your generous contribution can help! You can make a difference in the lives of our very creative constituency!!

 THE NEXT PHASE

Today, Kala Raksha's board of Master Artisan advisors met and brainstormed on the future of KRV.  Their full support gives us strength and hope.  As KRV has focused on becoming more self-sustaining, opportunities as well as challenges are coming our way.  In this year we expect to focus on ensuring the viability of the institute.  In the next year we envision significant and positive growth for KRV. We hope to earn well through participation in the tenth annual Santa Fe International Folk Art Market and a subsequent USA tour of lectures, workshops and trunk shows.  Find details of locations at www.kala-raksha.org.  And we hope to raise funds through our Mumbai fashion show. Financial sustainability is always a huge challenge for an educational institution.  We welcome from our supporters entrepreneurial ideas –and ideas for increasing visibility.

 Again we thank you, our supporters.  With your support, KRV will realize its mission of relevant, genuine education for traditional artisans!

 KALA RAKSHA VIDHYLAYA ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS

Ismail Mohammed Khatri - block printer, Ajrakhpur

Shamji Vishramji Vankar- weaver, Bhujodi

Lalji Vankar - weaver, Nirona

Gulam Hussain Umar - tie dye, Bhuj

Ali Mohammed Isha - tie dye, Bhuj

Umar Farouk - tie dye, Badli

Qasimbhai - batik, Mundra

 KALA RAKSHA TRUSTEES

 

Prakash Bhanani, Kala Raksha Co-Founder and Chief Executive, Member, National Planning Commission

Judy Frater, Kala Raksha Co-Founder, KR Project Coordinator, KRV Project Director, Ashoka Fellow

Ashoke Chatterjee, Previous Director, Crafts Council of India

Nita Thakore, Textile Artist, Faculty Pearl Academy of Fashion, Jaipur  

K.V. Raju, Faculty, Institute of Rural Management

Rajni  Patwa, Architect  

Mira Poonam, Artisan    

Hariya Uttam, Artisan

Babri Moru, Artisan

Haku Shah, Padmashree, Artist & Historian

Jayanti Nayak, Faculty, National Institute of Design

Daya Dohat, National Awardee, Artisan

Rai Singh Rathod, Local Guide

Adil with first colour range
Adil with first colour range
Suresh shows tangalio weaving
Suresh shows tangalio weaving
Lachhuben and Zuberbhai collaborate
Lachhuben and Zuberbhai collaborate
Artisan Design ensemble
Artisan Design ensemble
Soyab teaching printing
Soyab teaching printing

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Attachments:
Dec 26, 2012

Kala Raksha Vidhyala Celebrates 7th Convocation

Salmanbhai walks the KRV fashion show ramp
Salmanbhai walks the KRV fashion show ramp

KALA RAKSHA VIDHYALAYA CELEBRATES 7TH CONVOCATION

PROJECT REPORT 30 OCTOBER-24 DECEMBER  2012

THE SEVENTH ANNUAL KALA RAKHA VIDHYALAYA CONVOCATION MELA

"Nobody will be able to copy us. We are always looking ahead and we are interested in doing new designs, " Lachhuben Raja Rabari, KRV graduate 2006

The Convocation is always a time to look back and see what we all have achieved in the year, to appreciate, and to give thanks.  This was the Year of Emergence of The Artisan Designer.

After seven years of KRV we have began to see the blossoming of Artisan Designers. KARVADA members impressed an international audience at the "Make it New Again" Symposium held at NID in November; they had fresh work, and they could talk about it.  Women graduates initiated and created collections for this year's fashion show. Graduates who had gone back to production work, for several years, began to show new collections.  They had gathered all that they had learned and made it their own, and they started making new designs. 

 It reminds us that things take time. 

There is a movement in the world today called Slow Cloth.  The idea comes from Slow Food- a response to the realization that satisfaction is missing in fast food.  Slow cloth values quality, meaning, beauty and the time it takes-- the human dimension of craft. 

Craft is essentially human- and that is the part we love.  Machines are needed to make many things faster, cheaper, more standard. But craft is different.  It is about the hand, the mind and the heart. 

Craft is also about the uniqueness of each crafts person.  This year, we realized that in educating artisans you begin to see each person as unique-- not as an example of a group. At KRV we strive to nurture the special quality of each individual. 

November 30- December 2nd marked this year's KRV Convocation Mela. The event, generously sponsored by Adani Foundation, CGPL-Tata Power, and Somaiya Group, began with a final jury conducted by experts in craft and design, including Radhi Parekh- founder of Artisans Gallery, Subrata Bhowmick- internationally renowned designer, Sonal Chitranshi, designer for Fabindia, Sangita Shroff, designer and former Director, Indian Institute of Craft and Design, and Lesley Mitchison-faculty Manchester Metropolitan University (UK).

The jury culminated in the always popular fashion show, choreographed by Utsav Dholakia Compered by Shweta Dhariwal, and styled by LOkesh Ghai.  This year's fashion show was inaugurated by our generous sponsors and our Special Guest, the vivacious and avante guarde Australian designer, Rebecca Paterson.

This year's graduates presented collections of contemporary styled traditions, ranging from the bold to the beautiful.  The garments were designed in collaboration with students from Pearl Academy, Delhi, and M.S. University Baroda.

As ever, our KRV alumni made us proud with their sophisticated Artisan Designs.  The grand finale was Rebecca modeling Parmaben's wedding collection stole. 

The following day, Kala Raksha proudly received Professor Pradyumna Vyas, Director of the National Institute of Design, as our Chief Guest.  Mr. Vyas delivered the keynote speech, affirming that design education for artisans was an important step for the invigoration of both traditions and contemporary design.  Graduates Lakshmiben Kalyanji Puvar and Hiteshbhai Dayalal Vankar spoke eloquently and sincerely about the importance of design education in their lives, embodying the confidence and poise that education builds.

This year's jury awarded best collection to Hansuben Mohan Rabari and Soyabbhai A. Karim Khatri. 

The convocation inaugurated a public Mela, which drew visitors from UK, Australia, Scotland, USA, and all over India.  A number of people planned their visit to India around the KRV Mela. Artisans met and exchanged news and ideas.  Visitors purchased fresh artisan designs.  Many graduates recovered their annual fees in a few hours-- incontrovertible proof that their year of hard work was worthwhile.  Everyone enjoyed Kutchi folk music, food and hands-on craft demonstrations.

Finally, artisans, graduates and the public joined in our traditional sanedo jam session- the grand finale of a wonderful celebration of the flourishing culture of Kutch, and the welcoming of our newest Artisan Designers. 

As we look forward to another year, a lasting image of this year's Mela is Jivaben walking the fashion show ramp.  Her 1,000 watt smile makes her seem 20 years younger.  She is the ambassador of Artisan Design.  The message is this: do not compete with machines.  Do what the human artist can do- take time to think, to play.  What the artisans, young and old, have learned at KRV is a seed. It will grow and bear fruit.  And together all of the individual Artisan Designers will create a Movement of Slow Craft-- Artisan Design!

ARTISAN DESIGN

Kala Raksha women Artisan Designers showcased their collaborations with Indian Fashion designer Anju Modi, and the suf group inaugurated one of a kind dupattas.  These collections were tested in Mumbai at Artisans Gallery, and the public voted yes. 

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Kala Raksha continues to focus on building links through which KRV graduates can develop their capacity as designers and find new and better markets.  In December 2012, Kala Raksha and the Vidhyalaya hosted the seventh workshop of this year, with faculty from Kansas State University.  These workshops foster exchange, and appreciation of artisan capacity, and we hope to build long term relationships between institutions. 

Participants in workshops since January 2011 have included international design students and faculty from Colorado State University, Missouri State University and Kansas State University, students from Oregon State University, who earned college credits in the USA, students from the University of New South Wales Australia, and the National Institute of Design, art and design professionals from UK studying the Cotton Story,’  and many interested travellers.

ALUMNI AND OUTREACH

KARVADA members held a group show in Artisans Gallery in Mumbai, a landmark in visibility. KARVADA and KRV women graduates are all working together toward a major event in Delhi.

KRV online

In September 2012, Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya enjoyed a feature by Jessica Marati "Teaching Design," in Hand/Eye magazine.

In October 2011, Annie Waterman published "Empowering the Artisans" an article about KRV in Hand/Eye. Articles on Artisan Design have also been published in three important online craft journals: Hand/Eye  www.handeyemagazine.com 3 February 2010; Craft Unbound www.craftunbound.net 27 January 2011, and the Craft Revival Trust Newsletter www.craftrevival.org vol 110, issue 2 Winter-Spring 2011.

Kala Raksha is now on Facebook 

THANKS TO GLOBAL GIVING!

The Indian financial year spans between April 2012 and March 2013. Our seventh year of classes is completed. KRV relies entirely on donations.  This year, we have the challenge of raising over $75,000 to operate our program. We are happy to announce that KRV has raised $53,354 to cover the academic year of 2012, with another pledge of  $21,000.  Of this, 11% was earned through the sustainability program, and 9% was raised through individual donations, primarily Global Giving! This is the equivalent of five and a half scholarships.

Kala Raksha is very close to achieving this year's goal. As we come to the end of the year, we thank Global Giving and hope that our supporters will think about making a tax deductible gift!  

Your generous contribution can help! You can make a difference in the lives of our very creative constituency!!

THE NEXT PHASE

As KRV has focused on becoming more self-sustaining, opportunities are coming our way.  In this year we will institute the sale of educational materials to raise funds, in addition to workshops for which we steadily receive clients.  We also hope to raise funds through our major event at the end of the financial year.  Financial sustainability is always a huge challenge for an educational institution.  We welcome any entrepreneurial ideas –and ideas for increasing visibility-from our supporters. In the next year we envision significant and positive growth for KRV.

Again we thank you, our supporters.  With your support, KRV will realize its mission of relevant, genuine education for traditional artisans!

Kanchanben in her final jury
Kanchanben in her final jury
Soyabbhai
Soyabbhai's jury
Graduate Lakshmiben delivers a convocation speech
Graduate Lakshmiben delivers a convocation speech
Kanchanben receives KRV certificate
Kanchanben receives KRV certificate
Jivaben walks the KRV fashion show ramp
Jivaben walks the KRV fashion show ramp

Links:


Attachments:
Oct 29, 2012

Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya Shines

KALA RAKSHA VIDHYALAYA SHINES AT INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM

PROJECT REPORT

9 JULY-29 OCTOBER  2012

FROM CULTURAL IDENTITY TO INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Kala Raksha demonstrated its cutting edge approach in a paper presented at the Textile Society of America's 13th Biennial Symposium, held in Washington DC in September 2012.  As part of the panel Artisan Enterprises: Challenges for Sustainability, Project Director Judy Frater used the example of Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya to illustrate how artisans could utilize their cultural identity as a key resource to increase the value of their traditions in the contemporary market.  In a three day event attended by delegates from over 30 countries, the panel was one of the best attended.  A synopsis follows:

In Kutch, ethnic communities have embroidered for centuries.  This traditional art was never assigned commercial value.  It was created for social exchange and, above all, proclaimed identity. Yet, each piece was always unique; the concept of repetitive production was completely alien.

Commercialization of traditions provided a viable income to artisans, but ultimately its industrial model—a goal of faster, cheaper and more uniform—and its disregard for tradition, insidiously eroded the artisans' sense of aesthetics and self worth. This threat to cultural heritage motivated Kala Raksha to take the challenge of creating work with cultural integrity for the contemporary fashion market.  The Trust began with a museum of local textiles, and encouraged artisans to draw from their traditions.  Yet, artisans were still considered laborers. 

 

Kala Raksha observed that in their own living traditions, artisans created exciting solutions for design problems.  An experiment with a bag designed by Pabiben

proved that these artisan designed works were highly marketable.  The Trust was clear that income could not justify the loss of cultural heritage; empowerment must be cultural as well as economic.  We knew that we needed to think of alternatives to the industrial development model, and to take into account intellectual property—not only skills but also knowledge, and transfer these important assets to new arenas. We returned to the challenge of maintaining cultural identity and increasing value for handwork, with the understanding that the artist is the steward of tradition. Thus, in 2005 Kala Raksha launched Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya- the first design school for artisans-- as a sustainable solution for the survival of craft traditions.

KRV encourages artisans to draw inspiration from their traditions and nature, to see, and to think. The curriculum guides artisans to appreciate the unique aspects of their traditions in the context of the world. Students have expanded their cultural knowledge about the global market by learning to segment markets and to interpret and evoke trend forecasts.

The year-long course teaches artisans to use a variety of media, to work with different ethnic groups, and a range of ages.

Graduates have gained confidence as well as the ability to effectively reach new markets. They have expanded their capacity to create, their prerogative to collaborate, and their ability to connect to clients. 

Each artisan makes a final collection, which is juried by craft and design professionals and presented in a fashion show with a public attendance in thousands.  The fashion show has highly motivated artisans, and has been an important instrument in educating the public to think about craft and artisans in other ways. 

In 2010, Kala Raksha launched the concept Artisan Design, a trademark to certify that a product is an artisan’s own creative innovation.  Subsequently, Kala Raksha has employed graduates to design a new line of Art to Wear garments.  So we find we have come full circle, to the original concept of each piece as a unique work of art!  The concept Artisan Design eventually accesses intellectual property to raise income and respect above the level of manual labor. 

Kala Raksha's challenges now are to reach markets that appreciate and value products with cultural integrity, and to equip artisans to effectively tap cultural heritage for contemporary markets. As fashion draws worlds closer, this becomes very possible. When a Pabi bag sells briskly in New York and a village artisan purchases a top from Fabindia, Kala Raksha artisans can think of wearing the garments they make-- as they always did.

ARTISAN DESIGN

In July and September, Kala Raksha tested two collections of one of a kind art to wear jackets.  The market response was unanimous: both sold out!  And each collection is better through the continued experience of design.  The Artisan Designer group has been institutionalized at Kala Raksha.

YEAR 7 AT KRV

July to October saw the grand finale of KRV classes. From 15 July to 2 September, the students worked to complete their collections.  Course 6- Merchandising, Presentation, was taught by Sanjukta Roy from 3 September to 13 October, with a two week break in between for local holidays.  Sanjukta had taught the men's section last year, and utilized her experience to enrich the curriculum.             

In the men's class, artisan students learned to photograph their own work and organize it as portfolios.  Each student created a brand identity and logo.  They focused on the always important skill of editing and learned to display and present their work.  For the final presentation, KRV graduates as well as family members gave important feedback that will help put the final touches on each student's collection.

The women's class made great efforts in the final class of the year to overcome chronic shyness.  The progress in this two week intensive session was clearly evident in the final presentation.  The women used the course as an opportunity to review the year's work, as well as learning photography, graphic design, and editing.

Each student created a logo and brand identity.  Sanjukta also taught them the simple, traditional technique of wrapped packaging.  At the final presentation, the class enjoyed a great sense of achievement. 

THE SEVENTH ANNUAL KRV CONVOCATION MELA

Mark you calendars for our annual graduation party!  This year, 18 artisans will graduate on 2 December 2012.  The final jury will be held from 30 November to 1 December, and the gala Fashion show will enthrall visitors on the evening of 1 December.  Chief Guest and keynote speaker for the Convoation is National Institute of Design Director Pradyumna Vyas.  For details see the home page of www.kala-raksha.org

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Networking and collaborating with established design institutes is a goal for KRV.  A proposal for establishing an MOU with a major design institute is under discussion. 

In August, Kala Raksha hosted workshops for students of the Maret School in Wahsington DC.  KRV Director Judy Frater met the students and faculty in September.  We hope to develop an annual program with this very progressive school.Also in August, Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya held a workshop with Jennifer Varekamp

Associate Professor, Fashion Design Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

In October, Kala Raksha and the Vidhyalaya hosted a two week program with Lindsay Roberts and Jennifer Allison, Scottish artists participating in the ReSide residency program of Creative Scotland's ‘Creative Futures.’ The first of two exchanges, this trip was to gain maximum experience.  Lindsay and Jeni spent time with the women's final course at KRV, offering feedback and insights, and did workshops in weaving, printing and bandhani with KARVADA tutors.  Exchanges went several ways and the women students learned knitting and indigo dyeing along with Lindsay and Jeni.  Finally, the Scottish artists attended a KARVADA meeting, where they shared their art work and experiences in Kutch.  KRV graduate Murjibhai Hamir, who had been to Scotland on the same program, shared his experiences with the group as well.  We are all excited to see the creative results of this enriching program.

ALUMNI AND OUTREACH

KRV Visiting Faculty member LOkesh Ghai and KRV Advisor Shyamjibhai Vishramji participated as Artists in Residence in the Cotton Exchange Project in Manchester, UK.  The program centered on four stories, two of which were Kala Raksha and KRV graduate Khalid Amin Khatri.  Exhibitions of work were held at the Manchester Art Gallery and the Harris Museum in September, and the Gallery of Costume in October. 

KARVADA president Juned Ismail Khatri participated very successfully in the Crafts Council of India's sari exhibition in Delhi in September, underscoring the importance of design in tradition.  KARVADA is now working toward a solo show in Mumbai in December, and KARVADA and KRV women graduates are all working together toward a major event in Delhi.

KRV online

In September 2012, Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya enjoyed a feature by Jessica Marati "Teaching Design," in Hand/Eye magazine. 

In October 2011, Annie Waterman published "Empowering the Artisans" an article about KRV in Hand/Eye. Articles on Artisan Design have also been published in three important online craft journals: Hand/Eye  www.handeyemagazine.com 3 February 2010; Craft Unbound www.craftunbound.net 27 January 2011, and the Craft Revival Trust Newsletter www.craftrevival.org vol 110, issue 2 Winter-Spring 2011.

You can find Kala Raksha Artisan Designed work online at www.equalcraft.com

Kala Raksha is now on Facebook 

THANKS TO GLOBAL GIVING!

The Indian financial year spans between April 2012 and March 2013, and our seventh year of classes is completed. KRV relies entirely on donations.  This year, we have the challenge of raising almost $75,000 to operate our program. We are happy to announce that we have reached about half of our goal.

Global Giving has made a substantial contribution.   Prompted by the October Matching Day, Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya received an additional $900, bringing the total to $1,700 this year. As one donor wrote, “The Global giving website is easy to navigate. It makes giving so much easier.” Your generous contribution can help! You can make a difference in the lives of our very creative constituency!!

THE NEXT PHASE

As KRV has focused on becoming more self sustaining, opportunities are coming our way.  In this year we will institute the sale of educational materials to raise funds, in addition to workshops for which we steadily receive inquiries.  We are also planning a major fund raising event in the February.  Financial sustainability is always a huge challenge for an educational institution.  We welcome any entrepreneurial ideas –and ideas for increasing visibility-from our supporters.

And again we thank you, our supporters.  With your support, KRV will realize its mission of relevant, genuine education for traditional artisans!


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Funded

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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Organization

Project Leader

Judy Frater

Ms
Kutch, Gujarat India

Where is this project located?

Map of Design Education for Traditional Artisans in Kutch