Design Education for Traditional Artisans in Kutch

 
$8,807
$16,193
Raised
Remaining
Jul 9, 2012

KRV STUDENTS GO FROM AHMEDABAD TO THE WORLD

Eager women students in class
Eager women students in class

KALA RAKSHA VIDHYALAYA

STUDENTS GO FROM AHMEDABAD TO THE WORLD

 "I learned a lot from Tanvir!" Prateek, student of Pearl Academy, Delhi

"We will never see textile arts in the same way; we have learned to appreciate them," Niharika, student of Pearl Academy, Delhi

 PROJECT REPORT

14 APRIL- 8 JULY 2012 

YEAR 7 AT KRV

April to July saw the majority of KRV classes in action. In the men's Market Orientation course, taught by veteran KRV Faculty Lokesh Ghai, artisans took a three day field trip to Ahmedabad city.  There, they considered art as well as design, visiting artists, galleries and shops and absorbing experiences with great intensity.  On return, they created designs for individuals and shops they had visited.  As always the individual catapulted them beyond known limitations.  Craft remains essentially personal. 

"I learned that people want quality and are ready to pay; I saw it everywhere." Tanveer, class of 2012 

"We learned from the Chitaras that if you work carefully, you can create your own work and name," Salman, class of 2012

In the Women's Market Orientation course, taught by veteran KRV Faculty Shweta Dhariwal, the group also visited shops and homes in Ahmedabad, many for the first time in their lives. This year we saw a clear indication of a narrowing of the gap between artisans and contemporary consumers, when the women purchased garments, household decorations, ornaments, organic tea and underwear from a range of shops they visited. The students felt the prices were appropriate.  More important, their taste coincided with urban offerings, and they demonstrated concern for issues such as natural and organic fibers. By the end of the course, the women realized they had underpriced themselves, and began to calculate the value of their thoughts as well as efforts.

  "We visited Carminaben and Shimolben's homes to see how they decorate; we don't do that in our homes," Parmaben, class of 2012

"At House of Mangaldas, they created new things from old!" Hetalben, class of 2012

The men's fourth class, Concept, Communication, Projects, taught by Neha Puri, began with learning to stylize- and most importantly not to stop with "It will do." As permanent faculty member Dayalalbhai says, "'It will do' always means just the opposite!" The next step in learning to express a concept was reflecting on professional trend forecast boards.  Though we have used these boards in a number of classes before, each person sees through his own experiences.  This year, Snow Palace became Vijay Vilas, and Tropical Tango became the Bhuj railway station! The group took a field trip from KRV to Banni and back to Mandvi.  On return and much further pondering, Vijay Vilas evolved to Treasure Hunt…. And the railway station became Life's Journey.

The men worked earnestly in finalizing their colour palettes, creating a motif bank, and thinking of appropriate layouts. This was a tough class of long hours thinking, a realm not preferred by men who work with their hands.  But by the final presentation, they realized they had come a long way in developing new directions for their work. 

 KRV alumni Shakilbhai and Anwarbhai gave invaluable input in the final presentation. 

Anwarbhai- "A concept is the basis of a collection.  The effort starts here.  Until you get into it, you have to persevere." 

Shakilbhai- "You have to get so into your theme that you see it everywhere.  I started buying clothes in the colours of my theme!  You can't get the original look, texture from a picture.  Nature is the biggest treasure house."

Soyabbhai agreed, "When the leaf dried, the colour changed and the texture emerged.  That is the specialty of nature.  In making motifs, I began to understand."

  Since KRV's inception, the women's Concept course has had the challenge of having fabric appropriate to different embroidery styles ready in the colours the students choose for their themes. This year, Visiting Faculty Sanchari Mahapatra decided to begin with the colours and create a theme from those selected.  While practical, the approach needs some fine tuning to insure that the themes lead to visual imagery and experiences to which the artisans can directly relate. The use of international trends in craft is itself challenging and controversial.  But ultimately it takes artisans beyond their colour comfort zones to fresh explorations.  A note on this observation to renowned trend forecaster LA Colours resulted in a generous donation of new trend books, which we will relish next year.  This year, the women went on a field trip to Mandvi, and when they could not go to an inspiration, they brought one to KRV.  For her theme "children," Jivaben called nearby Vandh children and interviewed them on our campus.

The women revised their theme boards, made some sketches, and finally began working on a motif bank in embroidery. 

 KRV's fifth class: Finishing, Collection Development, is the most complex of the year.  Since 2008, KRV has incorporated collaboration with urban design students to create patterns for new designs.  In this year's men's course, taught by Shweta Dhariwal and Shital Naik,  four students from Pearl Institute worked with the KRV weavers, printers and bandhani artists.  The brief for the project was for KRV students to indicate the basic range of the collections they wish to create.  The Pearl students would collaboratively decide on silhouettes, and create patterns and prototypes, and the KRV students would be responsible for the surface/ craft design, and ultimately for the products.  A basic pre-requisite of collaboration is mutual understanding and respect. A key goal for the project was to provide an intensive one-to one experience with traditional artisans in an educational environment, so that the Pearl students could learn how artisans think and work, learn to assess technical strengths and limitations, and thus learn to design to capitalize upon a craft, rather than use craft to embellish a design

On day one, when all of the students introduced themselves and presented their work to date, the vast difference between the rural and urban worlds was starkly clear.  Further, it was clear that the institutional environments, methods and pace were very different.  Pearl students shared that they made a several garments in a year.  At KRV they were going to make eight to sixteen garments in two weeks!

By the second week, teams were intently working on patterns and test fits.  The delight of Australian visitors cheered everyone on. And by the end of the class each team had developed a visible harmony.  As the Pearl students prepared to leave, they said they would never look at textile arts in the same way again; they had learned to appreciate how they were made and would think in terms of creating garments to best use them.  This was a clear indication of success.  

 Lokesh Ghai taught the women's fifth session.  Beginning with a review of theme development, he then taught some basics of finishing techniques. Using the humble bori button, he illustrated how each detail of finishing can support a theme, and guided the women to creatively and practically explore their themes further.  The women's section collaborators this year are students from MS.University, Baroda.  Building on last year's experience, the MSU students were asked to familiarize themselves with Kutch embroidery traditions through a visit to the Kala Raksha museum. This will equip them to highlight the strengths of each tradition in their designs.

As we go to press, the younger KRV students are meanwhile taking tutorials in their traditions from mentor and KRV graduate Hariyaben, and studying further finishing techniques with Kala Raksha master tailor Rameshbhai.

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Networking and collaborating with established design institutes is a goal for KRV.  This year we are happy to be collaborating with both Pearl Academy in Delhi and M.S. University, Baroda. 

KRV's April natural dye workshop with Jagada Rajappa was pronounced the best so far by its participants.  Held on the KRV residential campus over a six-day period, the workshop worked because of sustained input- one of KRV's core strengths.  We look forward to see implementation of new skills in this year's KARVADA collections.

 Design and craft workshops are planned with students of Maret School, USA, in August, The ReSide residency program of Creative Scotland's ‘Creative Futures’ in October, and Dr. Gabriele Tautscher, Kultur Institut für SA, in February. 

 ALUMNI AND OUTREACH

Mark your calendars!  You can meet 2006 Graduate Lachhuben Raja at the 2012 Santa Fe International Folk Art Market- 13-15 July 2012.  After this wonderful event, the Kala Raksha team will teach workshops in Rabari traditions in Los Angeles and Seattle.  The trip is generously sponsored by Coastal Gujarat Power Limited- Tata Power.  Look for details on www.kala-raksha.org

KRV women graduates collaborated with UK fiber artist Alice Kettle in an exhibition in the Queen Street Mill, Burnley, BB10 2HX as part of the Cotton Exchange Project Global Threads from May 31-July 15, 2012.

 2008 KRV Graduate Murjibhai Hamir has been selected to participate in ReSide, a four month residency in Scotland.  In September he will travel to Scotland for the first round. 

 KRV’s website www.kala-vidhyalaya.org is gaining a following.  The men's e-portfolios have been instrumental in short listing participants in a December event in Mumbai, and securing participation in an India-Australia residency with Happy Hands for graduates Aakib Khatri and Hanif Khatri.  The women's portfolios are in the final stages of production. 

 The current Kala Raksha women design interns have finished a series of art to wear garments for the USA market.  They benefited from input from Rhode Island School of Design faculty and students, and fellows from the organization NEST.  In an amazing critique of works in process, it was clear that the Kala Raksha Artisan Designers and the RISD Design Faculty were not only speaking the same language, but also following very similar trains of thought.  The review strengthened the work and we are anticipating a great response. 

While the USA garments were being finished, the next project began.  KARVADA and KRV women graduates are all working together toward a major event in Mumbai.  NIFT students Divotsana from Bangalore and Nisha from Kunnur  are facilitating development of all new collections for this event.  Look for details in the next KRV News.

 A beautiful colour feature on Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya has been published in the March 2012 Marg Magazine

KRV online

 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 

Project Director Judy Frater will present a paper at the September meeting of Textile Society of America in association with a chapter in the forthcoming Berg Publications Fashion Handbook.

 THANKS TO GLOBAL GIVING!

The Indian financial year spans between April 2012 and March 2013, and our seventh year of classes is well underway.  KRV raised $72,309 to cover the academic year of 2011.  Of this, 5% was earned through the sustainability program, and 7% was raised through individual donations- the equivalent of four scholarships.

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 June Matching Day, Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya received $750 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 fall.  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 art

Homework review begins the next class
Homework review begins the next class
KRV students collaborate with Pearl Academy
KRV students collaborate with Pearl Academy
Collaborative garment!
Collaborative garment!
Women learn traditions from graduate mentors
Women learn traditions from graduate mentors

Links:


Attachments:
Apr 16, 2012

KRV BEGINS TO UNDERSTAND ITS MISSION

Salman Superman presents
Salman Superman presents

KALA RAKSHA VIDHYALAYA BEGINS TO UNDERSTAND ITS MISSION

"I didn't like the other school, but I enjoyed this school!" Sangita, class of 2012

"I learned to get inspiration," Jaishri, class of 2012

PROJECT REPORT 20 DECEMBER 2011- 12 APRIL 2012

Kala Raksha, Parkar Vas, Sumrasar Sheikh, ta. Bhuj, Kutch 370 001, Gujarat, INDIA tel. +91-2808-277237/277238 fax +91-2832-255500/250410

www.kala-raksha.org

THE LICENSE TO LEARN

Not long ago, Faculty members from the Manchester School of Art came to Kala Raksha to initiate collaboration. They showed our members the technique of cyanotype--- so old that it seems new. As everyone observed, a difference in Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya graduates was clear: they were open about their interest, and voiced their observations with excitement. We realized that one gift of the course is the license to learn! The good news is that Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya won an award for social innovation.

However, when we reached the stage of finalist and presented our project, the jury decided that our category should be changed from "education" to "livelihood." One jury member commented, "Why do you have to teach design to artisans? Companies have designers who come and give designs, and that way everybody earns." And so we return to the point from which we began: people see artisans as being able to do and not think, hands severed from the head. Most people understand them as workers. The extension of that concept is that if one offers design courses to those workers, it is not education but livelihood.

And this leads us to the ancient system of caste: Varna and Jati. According to the Laws of Manu, education of the working class was a sacrilege. Perhaps at a deep, even unconscious level this attitude persists. So we realize just how innovative Kala Raksha's approach to education is. Kala Raksha aims to deliver quality professional education directly to people with little formal education, but for whom the material is important and useful. It is an example of how the under educated can be empowered to extend and utilize their traditional knowledge and participate more equally in the contemporary world. And the reason why we offer this education is so that artisans can utilize their rich resources to earn at a more equitable rate than they will if they simply produce a company's designs. When we see the intensity with which our new students absorb all that they can from their experiences, we know that this is genuine education. The fact that the jury did not share this vision defines our challenge.

KALA RAKSHA VIDHYALA begins its Seventh Year In January, Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya began its seventh year of classes. This year we welcome seven weavers, printers and bandhani artists, and eleven women embroiderers. As ever, these talented artisans embarked on a year of design education with great enthusiasm and high hopes.

Progress Observed For women, just getting here, being away from village and family is a huge and courageous step. After six years we realized that we no longer hear women complaining that the "wages" (stipend) we give are less than standard wages. They have come to understand education as other than labour work. They no longer feel the need to have a chaperone for young artisans to stay on campus. And they no longer say "we are uneducated."

Course 1- Colour, Sourcing from Heritage and Nature, was taught by National Institute of Design graduate Sanchari Mahapatra and University of Mumbai graduate Pavitra Shyam, KRV's new Project Leader.

Course 2 - Basic Design, was taught by Nita Thakore, fiber artist and educator, and NID graduate and designer Aditi Prakash. In just two classes we experience the transformative power of education. Artisan students have learned to see nature and their own traditions with new, appreciative eyes. As societies change and artisans become distanced from their heritage, our program assumes value and even urgency. This year's men asked probing questions while viewing our museum collections and discussing with Master Artisan advisors, wanting in a sentence what it takes a lifetime to learn. On completing his second course, bandhani Artist Sohail said, "We worked so hard on colour presentation, absorbed the material, and now when we start to work on Basic design, we feel we can do colour in our sleep!"

One benefit of our residential program is the extracurricular experiences that accommodate the academic and technical courses. The Vidhylaya prides itself in the barriers we break. This year, the men, Hindu and Muslim, are sharing one dormitory room, out of choice. They have already formed bonds that will extend beyond the year's program, and help them continue to innovate in their traditions. The harmony and support among the group is apparent. They call themselves the "Seven stars." Among the women, caste barriers are gently nudged, while age becomes a more effective divider. Aditi Prakash, who had not taught at KRV since 2006, was impressed with how the institute has grown. "I came to learn and be inspired," she confided. She observed that the experience of teaching artisans above all enables you to see them as individuals. By the end of Course 2, the women were enjoying the process of thinking before doing, were already confident in presentation, and could make jokes using design terminology- owning the meaning of terms.

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT In January 2012, continuing with our plan for financial sustainability, KRV held workshops with Liz Williamson, professor at the University of New South Wales Australia, as part of an elective course at the the National Institute of Design. Teaching a course on Cultural Textiles at NID, Dr. Williamson brought NSW and NID students together to learn traditional block printing with KRV graduates at Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya. One student will return for more in-depth work. In the same month, Barney Hare Duke brought a group of 16 art and design professionals from UK who have keen interest in the 'Cotton Story.' At Kala Raksha, the group learned patchwork with KRV graduates to understand how the cotton story extends into Kutch, and to experience the end of the long process chain. In March, a group of artisans from an NGO in Rajasthan came to Kala Raksha on an exposure trip. They were all bundled in their colourful veils. KRV graduates from Sumrasar came to address them. Miraben, who had enrolled in the course last year with great trepidation, compounded by doubt from the community, confidently began to explain Kala Raksha, the design school, and our philosophy to the group. No senior staff were needed. Miraben and her colleagues held a lively discussion that lasted hours.

ALUMNI AND OUTREACH KRV women graduates created a series of narrative works depicting their memoires of traditional life, and the rapid changes they have experienced. The exhibition, Deserts and Mountains - East and West of the World, a collaboration with students of the Art Institute Vittoria of Trento, won a prize for peace dedicated to Giancarlo Bettiol. The exhibition was shown at Spazio Archeolgico Sotterraneo del Sas in Trento , Piazza Cesare Battisti from 9 February through 15 April www.trentinocultura.net/archeologia.asp Project Director Judy Frater conducted a number of lectures in conjunction with the exhibition.. She also inaugurated a series of discussions of issues in contemporary crafts at Dastkar Andhra in Hyderabad in January. 2010 graduate Khalid Amin Khatri held the first solo exhibition of a KRV graduate in the prestigious Artisans Gallery, Mumbai, from 9-11 April. The show was highly successful for several reasons. Khalid's work was acclaimed by the press and visitors, he earned well in his first solo experience, and most important, the show was a landmark as it succeeded in crossing the boundary between "craft" and "art."

The KRV website is progressing! Nearly all of the men graduate portfolios are uploaded. We now look for active interaction with the market. Under the able leadership of current president Juned I Khatri, , KARVADA, the Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya Artitsan Designers Association, is seeking appropriate market venues, defining policies, and planning workshops. The fourth group of KRV design interns, sponsored by the COMO Foundation, got off to a great start with products for a recent exhibition in Mumbai. New design enabled good sales despite the dates being soon after the previous show at the venue. The interns will now focus on work for a trip to the USA in July. A beautiful colour feature on Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya has been published in the March 2012 Marg Magazine In October 2011, Annie Waterman published "Empowering the Artisans" an article about KRV in Hand/Ey 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. Artisan Design Online 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 has begun. KRV succeeded in raising the funds to cover the academic year of 2011! We raised $72,309. Of this, 5% was earned through the sustainability program, and 7% was raised through individual donations- the equivalent of four scholarships. This year, we have the challenge of raising almost $75,000 to operate our program. KRV relies entirely on donations. Global Giving has made a substantial contribution. 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 the next 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 fall. 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!

Sangita observes in morning sketching
Sangita observes in morning sketching
Hansuben and Chandrika work together on a project
Hansuben and Chandrika work together on a project
Hansuben final presentation course 2
Hansuben final presentation course 2
Miraben and Champaben address SURE women
Miraben and Champaben address SURE women
Khalid
Khalid's e- portfolio

Links:


Attachments:
Dec 27, 2011

KALA RAKSHA VIDHYALAYA CELEBRATES ITS SIXTH WONDERFUL YEAR!

KALA RAKSHA VIDHYALAYA CELEBRATES ITS SIXTH WONDERFUL YEAR!

PROJECT REPORT 25 AUGUST- 20 DECEMBER 2011

The Convocation is always a time to look back and see what we all have achieved in the year. This was most certainly the Year of Co-Creation.

Lakshmi- "We took this course to be better prepared to serve the market. We learned to think in another way. Now we can do our own work, as per the market."

Jivaben- "The difference is day and night."

KALA RAKSHA VIDHYALAYA'S 6TH CONVOCATION

About half way through the year, someone commented, "It's all very well for artisans to learn design, but who is going to do my work?"

Our mission is to change that attitude toward artisans, and the best way to do that is through experience. This year, we collaborated with NID apparel students. It required discussion, sharing knowledge, and resources. Whose design was the result? It was a process, a co-creation! Both designers had to learn from each other. For this to happen, each person must acknowledge and respect each other's strengths. And Kala Raksha's premise is that an artisan's greatest strength is knowledge, not simply skills. Anyone can learn skills. It takes generations to learn a tradition. We are here to value and strengthen traditions.So what we achieved this year was creating an opportunity for experience, to pave the way for increased appreciation for artisan designers-- in addition to stronger products! When this is realized, designers can work collaboratively for the best product and the question of who is going to do whose work vanishes.

November 25-27th marked this year's Convocation Mela. The program began with two days of jurying by experts in craft and design, including Priya Kishore- founder of Bombay Electric, Radhi Parekh- founder of Artisans Gallery, Subrata Bhowmick- internationally renowned designer, Anuradha Kumra- head buyer Fabindia, Krishna Patel-faculty National Institute of Design, and Alison Welsh-faculty Manchester Metropolitan University (UK)

The jurying culminated in a fashion show inaugurated by the dazzling actress and social activist Shabana Azmi. Drawing a record crowd, the show was in important statement about the value of art and artisan.

The following day, graduates received certificates and awards were conferred. Miraben Poonam, who had joined the course with trepidation, received the award for best collection for women, while Hansraj Devji, a weaver from Bhujodi village received the award for best collection for men. Ms. Geetha Narayanan, Founder and Director of Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology gave the keynote address, stressing the importance of working locally and with respect for the natural environment.

A public fair drew people from UK, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Korea, and the USA. The artisans had a chance to test new collections on a range of buyers, made direct sales and took orders. Local, national and international visitors examined the collections and learned the importance of good design.

Over 6,000 visitors enjoyed local craft demonstrations, folk music, and of course Kutchi food. This was a wonderful celebration of the culture of Kutch, and creators and Co-Creators, the Artisan Designers.

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

In October 2011 KRV Project Director Judy Frater was given the Ojaswini Alankaran Award for work in Women's Empowerment. Simultaneously, the article Empowering the Artists, by Annie Waterman appeared in Hand Eye Magazine. http://www.handeyemagazine.com/content/empowering-artists

Launching its plan to become more financially self sustaining, KRV recently held a workshop for seven students from Oregon State University in December. The workshop built on last year's pilot programs, and will earn the students college credits in the USA! The students took a four day tour of Kutch, and then decided the theme "Transition" for their collections. They spent four days working with women embroidery and patchwork artisans, and four days working with men weavers, block printers, batik and bandhani artists. The American graphic design students co-created collections of innovative scarves with the KRV graduates. They all learned new processes.

Christin- "I enjoyed the creative energy of working in a group." Danielle-"This was the best experience of my life so far!" Tod-"We learned so much more than in a classroom at home."

Bhagvatiben- "Working together was a whole new experience."
Champaben- "They learned a lot, we learned a lot- new products, new aesthetics. If they learn, we learn."
Zuber- "At home I procrastinate. Here, I learned to put ideas into production!" Irfan- "I learned enough for a whole new collection."

ALUMNI AND OUTREACH

The KRV design community is growing. The enthusiasm with which they practice their traditionsisthebestinsurancethattheywillflourish. Excitingco-creationwasclearlyevidentin this year's alumni fashion show collections.

Last year we launched the KRV website. This year, The Victoria and Albert Museum in UK contacted KRV through the website and are choosing several graduates to participate in a international exhibition on Indian design.

KRV women graduates have created a series of narrative works depicting their memoires of traditional life, and the rapid changes they have experienced. The exhibition, Fabricated Memory will be shown along with the work of seventy Italian art students from the Art Institute of Trento from 10 February 2012 for three months. The third group of Kala Raksha Artisan Designer interns made their final collection of stunning Art to Wear jackets for the Mumbai market. The collection was launched in Mumbai in December 2011.

Artisan Design Online

Find Kala Raksha Artisan Designed work online at www.equalcraft.com

Articles on Artisan Design have 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. And join a discussion on issues of craft and design on our blog http://www.kala-raksha-blog.org/

THANKS TO GLOBAL GIVING!

KRV succeeded in raising the funds to cover the academic year of 2010! The Indian financial year spans between April 2010 and March 2011, and our sixth year of classes is finished. To date we have received RS 2979,267 ($ 59,585), with two pledged grants yet to be cleared. This brings us close to balancing the budget for the current financial year.

KRV relies entirely on donations. 3% of 2011's funding so far is individual donations— equivalent to two scholarships. Global Giving has made a substantial contribution.
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
Sustainability is still our challenge. Our program for entrepreneurial activities to enable

the institute to become more self supporting has begun.

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 expand its web of collaborators in Artisan Design!


Attachments:
Aug 23, 2011

KRV Initiates Collaboration with NID

KRV and NID women
KRV and NID women's class

KALA RAKSHA VIDHYALAYA INITIATES COLLABORATION WITH THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN KALA RAKSHA VIDHYALAYA PROJECT REPORT 27 MAY- 25 AUGUST 2011

Since its inception, Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya has enjoyed inputs from the National Institute of Design. This year, we realized a small dream when for the first time NID students collaborated with KRV students in the fifth course, Finishing and Collection Development. This course is perhaps the most complex in our curriculum, as the artisan students collaborate with urban design students. The twist is that instead of the usual relationship of urban students getting artisans to do their work, at KRV the artisan designers "hire" the urban students to help them with product design. The course was unusual this year in that NID took it as a classroom project; so twelve NID students collaborated with the KRV students, on a one-to one basis. Athira: "It was a give and take relationship; we learned from each others' work."

YEAR SIX AT KALA RAKSHA VIDHYALAYA

By now the students of Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya’s 6th year have completed five of six courses. During this period, the women completed Course Four- Concept, Communication, Projects. LOkesh Ghai, KRV veteran, taught the course. He used a current fashion forecast as a Rorschach test, having the artisans each choose one they liked and interpret it with her own experience. RAW ENERGY was interpreted as the surprise of a solar eclipse. SOUL became local toys. SENSING MATTER became understanding manner (in making things) And MANIFESTO was reinterpreted as the art of the traditional line.

LOkesh made imaginative use of local field trips, taking the artisans to see potters working, ship building, and toy making. The trips infused the themes with meaning and enthused the artisans. As an added bonus, Miraben, a patchwork artisan, visited KRV graduate Shakil's batik workshop and chose the fabrics for her theme. This was an important step in encouraging the women to fully responsible for their work.

The fifth class, Finishing and Collection Development, was held in July. LOkesh Ghai taught this class as well. The NID and KRV students became acquainted by learning finishing techniques, including hand detailing taught by KRV women graduates. Then they paired in teams of KRV-NID students, and brainstormed about KRV final collections. In the second half of the course, the NID and KRV teams of students developed concepts. The NID students provided a range of possible products and the KRV students made final choices. With the help of Kala Raksha master tailor Rameshbhai, and input from NID Faculty Sanjay Guria they produced test fits and patterns. Surprisingly, home furnishings proved to be more challenging than garments. A trip to the nearby Rabari village Tunda Vandh yielded inspirations for some exciting new home ideas.

Dhanjibhai: "Sumegha made ten variations of a product, so I had more opportunity to play with motifs and layout."

Sumegha: "Dhanjibhai was very open to new products, and his knowledge of weaving helps us find solutions to what might be a craft limitation."

Hansrajbhai: "When I did not understand what Athira said, she showed me with drawing and I immediately understood."

The women's session was taught by Shweta Dhariwal, also a veteran KRV visiting faculty member. With President Miraben setting the example, this year's women's group was unprecedentedly diligent, working into the night on developing concepts, patterns, and layouts. Enjoying a one-to-one relationship did not ease the pace for the NID students either. Instead, they raised the bar for product development.

The final presentation was juried by Sonal Chauhan, faculty from NID, KRV visiting faculty LOkesh Ghai, and designer Ishan Khosla from Delhi. Critiques were aimed to bring the collections to excellence and additionally improve KRV education. Instilling responsibility for one's collection still remains a challenge, but it was interesting to note that this pertains to NID students as well as those of KRV!

Tulsiben- "Deviyani helped me a lot. I learned about pattern making."

Lakshmiben- "I really enjoyed working with Garima. I could not have dreamed of creating garments!"

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

The NID collaboration was an important pilot. It provided an opportunity to bring theory into practical application, and to experiment with how students can work together in new ways. Most important, it was a chance to experience how Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya can work with the National Institute of Design. The NID students were daunted at first by the rural campus. We realized too that they need more background on the craft traditions with which they will work, and next year, we will insure that the they make use of the Kala Raksha museum for inspiration. By the end, the urban students voluntarily stayed on the KRV campus an extra night. We trust this bodes well for our future and plan to meet with NID to discuss further collaborations in September.

KRV has developed a plan to become more financially self sustaining. Included are an annual major fund raising event abroad, workshops for international students and visitors, and the development and sale of educational materials, publications and films. Happily, during this period we received positive responses for all of these activities.

Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya has been booked for an exhibition at the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising, Colorado State University, USA for autumn 2013. This will give us ample time to develop a plan that includes sales of Artisan Designed products along with the exhibition.

Workshops are scheduled for a class of students from Oregon State University in December, a group from Austria in February, and two individuals in November.

In July we were informed that a long time funder will support the development of educational materials, which we plan to sell for revenue, and in addition will fund a pilot program to develop a system of offering royalties for artisan designs.

ALUMNI AND OUTREACH

This year, two KRV graduates, Sohel Khatri (2008) and Chaman Siju (2006) were accepted into the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. Very unfortunately, neither artisan was granted a visa to attend the show. However, the Market accommodated them by providing staff to operate their booths, so KRV alumni had a presence at the show, and the public response was very good.

Several gradates recently attended an exhibition held in Surat, where their design development was specifically commended.

KRV women graduates have been involved in several design projects. A group of Rabari women have created a series of narrative works depicting their memories of traditional life, and the rapid changes they have experienced. This will be shown along with the work of seventy Italian art students from the Art Institute of Trento from January 2012 for three months.

The Sumrasar suf and patchwork graduates are developing products to supplement their lively exhibition of textile illustrations of Gujarati sayings, which will be shown at the Artists Center, Mumbai from 19-25 September. Kala Raksha plans to publish a book of the works. Work on the project has taken longer than expected, so the first edition should be ready early next year. In addition, this group of artisans recently developed samples for an international company, and succeeded in earning the increased wages that they desired.

In May, the third group of Kala Raksha Artisan Designer interns made a collection of stunning Art to Wear jackets for the American market. The collection was purchased by the Peabody Essex Museum shop in Salem, Massachusetts in June.

In August, the interns studied the Kala Raksha Museum collections and began creating a collection of museum inspired purses, bags, cushion covers and table runners for application to the 2012 Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. We anticipate a super collection.

Also in August, three young suf embroidery graduates began a collection of garments for the November KRV Convocation fashion show. Their designs will be the basis of the Kala Raksha fall-winter collection. Thus, our dream of artisans driving Kala Raksha design has taken another major step forward.

Artisan Design Online Find Kala Raksha Artisan Designed work online at www.equalcraft.com

Articles on Artisan Design have 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. And join a discussion on issues of craft and design on our blog http://www.kala-raksha-blog.org/

VISITORS

Through heat and rain, and despite our rural location, visitors reach Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya. During this period, we enjoyed useful inputs from NID faculty Sanjay Guria, and Sonal Chauhan, Delhi designer Ishan Khosla, and Christine De Baan, Programme Director, and Jeanne Tan, Project Manager of Dutch Design Fashion and Architecture.

THANKS TO GLOBAL GIVING!

KRV succeeded in raising the funds to cover the academic year of 2010! The Indian financial year spans between April 2010 and March 2011, and our sixth year of classes is nearly halfway done. To date we have received RS 737,233 ($ 17,145) with pledges for RS 462,500 ($ 10,755) This is nearly half of our need for the current financial year. KRV relies entirely on donations. 9% of 2010’s funding was individual donations—equivalent to over four scholarships. Global Giving has made a substantial contribution.

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!!

Miraben- "When we go outside, look, pick the materials ourselves, we can express any theme."

Aziz- "What I knew before was 10%. What I learned at KRV was 90%!"

Dayalalbhai- "I have worked with designers for 20 years, but when you do your own designs, it is something altogether different."

THE NEXT PHASE

Sustainability is still our challenge. In just the last three months we have begun to meet it. Our program for entrepreneurial activities to enable the institute to become more self supporting is taking form. Response has been encouraging, and activities have reached to planning stage.

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

Hansraj consults with Athira
Hansraj consults with Athira
Tulsi consults with Deviyani
Tulsi consults with Deviyani
Varsha and Nayan present their collection
Varsha and Nayan present their collection
Babra
Babra's prized collection to be exhibited in USA
Artisan Designs will support KRV
Artisan Designs will support KRV

Links:


Attachments:
Jun 1, 2011

KALA RAKSHA VIDHYALAYA PUBLISHES 2nd Evaulation

Jivaben Navtank
Jivaben Navtank

 KALA RAKSHA VIDHYALAYA PUBLISHES

SECOND SHINING EVALUATION OF GRADS

 KALA RAKSHA VIDHYALAYA

PROJECT REPORT 16 MARCH-27 MAY 2011

 EVALUATION OF KRV WOMEN GRADUATES 2006-2010

This year, Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya published its second evaluation of graduates, on women graduates to date..  We found that with a very few exceptions, women had benefited dramatically from their design education experience.  A full report is attached.

YEAR SIX AT KALA RAKSHA VIDHYALAYA

By now the students of Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya’s 6th year have completed three of six courses, and the men’s fourth course is nearly finished as this report goes to press.  The third course, Market Orientation, enabled artisans to put their artistic efforts into the context of the outside world.  The students took a three day field trip to Ahmedabad to visit shops and home of the clients they would like to reach.  They created client boards and received individual feedback from designers visiting the institute.

Jivaben  “ We embroider, but we had no experience of shops or clients.  I saw that a lot of work shows less.  A little work shows more!”

 Move Over, Any Goldsworthy!

The fourth course, Concept and Communication was innovatively taught by Santanu Das, a recent graduate of NID.  A screening of the film Rivers and Tides, a documentary of the work of Andy Goldsworthy so impressed Santanu that he spontaneously added a classroom assignment to express the themes the students were working on in natural installations on campus. This was after they had to write up what they felt, draw pictures, create colours, and make motifs within their traditions.  All of the above had gone slowly, with effort.  With this assignment, they worked intuitively.  Dhanji depicted winter.  Under a small grove of gundi trees, where the cars are parked and drivers relax on cots, he made a simple, stark mud womb, with growth coming out of it, and a low stone wall around it.  He said that this represented the safest place, of safety, quiet, and growth.

Hansraj had monsoon.  He chose a neem tree that was in the strong wind, and strung it with streamers that were white with blue attached.  He used the wind to make it dynamic.

Hitesh had autumn.  Thinking of Navratri, he chose a single baval tree, beautifully shaped and situated.  He made a small circle of bricks around it, and also tied subtle yellow lines as restrainers in the tree.  Then he wrapped the tree in cheerful, colourful crepe paper, and hung clay cups covered with different coloured paper. Akib had summer.  He chose our lime crushing pit.  Inside, he filled it with rocks.  He piled up leaves and brush inside and burned them, leaving the ash and the black ground.  Summer is hard, he said.  It is crushingly hot and burns away everything.  He had the round area to symbolize the sun.  He saw the heat as black. Noman had spring.  He went under the stairwell and made a spiral of coloured powder, working out from darker to brigher colours.  Thinking of Holi, and Jackson Pollak, and needing to burn off his considerable energy, he took the rest of the colours and flung them all around the entrance. 

Clearly, the artisans can get to emotion and concept through physical action.  This came easily to them, and they were all very excited about what they had been able to do.  The expressions were deep, profound, and effective.  They also clearly revealed a very different understanding of the seasons than the conventional western one.

 Hiteshbhai: “I never thought I could get a motif from surroundings and experience.”

Dhanjibhai- “From the experience I felt I should use soft colours and materials to express winter.”

 INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

E-Portfolios of KRV Alumni

KRV’s a new website www.kala-vidhyalaya.org has gone live as of today!  The portfolios are still under construction but you can now visit the site, search for artisan graduates, and register to see the images as they are uploaded. 

 

OUTREACH

Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya collaborated with students from Royal College of Art, Imperial College (both in UK) and NID in an innovative program: GO GLOBAL India 2011: Craftology, a think tank on how technology can support rather than replace craft. From the collaboration we are adding QR codes to our product tags, and hope to develop a computer program that KRV design students can use to facilitate their work.

 

Lachhuben Raja, Field Coordinator in Tunda Vandh, represented Gujarat in the India-Africa summit held in May 2011 in Ethiopia.  She is the first Kala Raksha artisan to travel abroad completely on her own!

 

Kala Raksha Vidyalaya women graduates have been invited to collaborate with design students in Italy for an exhibition this winter.  Look for details!

 

To enhance a lively exhibition of textile illustrations of Gujarati sayings, Kala Raksha plans to publish a book of the works.  The first edition should be ready in September.

 

KRV Films in an online Festival

Kala Raksha has submitted our films "Artisans Design! The Launch of Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya" and “The Masters’ Voices” to Culture Unplugged online film festival.  The festival will be live online til June 2011.  See http://www.cultureunplugged.com/storyteller/Kala_Raksha

 Artisan Design Online

Find Kala Raksha Artisan Designed work online at www.equalcraft.com

 Articles on Artisan Design have 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 FacebookAnd join a discussion on issues of craft and design on our blog http://www.kala-raksha-blog.org/

 

HONOURS

In May, 2011, Project Director Judy Frater was nominated as a member of the Government of India planning commission on Crafts.

THANKS TO GLOBAL GIVING!

KRV succeeded in raising the funds to cover the academic year of 2010!  The Indian financial year spans between April 2010 and March 2011, and our sixth year of classes is nearly halfway done.  So we now must raise funds for the 2011 academic year. 

 

KRV relies entirely on donations. 9% of 2010’s funding was individual donations—equivalent to over four scholarships. Global Giving has made a substantial contribution.   

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!!

 

Miraben

“ We learned so much related to our work. Now if we do an exhibition we know to do it as per season, to arrange as per the clients’ convenience.”

 

THE NEXT PHASE

Sustainability is still our challenge. We are now beginning to focus on entrepreneurial activities to enable the institute to become more self supporting. We have submitted a proposal to two potential funders for holding the first of an annual fund raising event in the USA, and are circulating our proposal for workshops with KRV alumni.  Initial response has been encouraging.

 

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

Tulsiben
Tulsiben
Akib installation
Akib installation
Dhanji installation
Dhanji installation
Hitesh practiccal
Hitesh practiccal
Katherine review
Katherine review

Links:


Attachments:

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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