Dec 18, 2019

Kala Umang! The SKV Class of 2019 Graduates

Ramesh walks the Kala Umang! fashion show ramp
Ramesh walks the Kala Umang! fashion show ramp

 Kala Umang! 2019

PROJECT REPORT

9 September 2019- 17 December 2019

“I never wanted my son to become a weaver, but now I will be successful, and I want him to be a weaver too”~Ramesh Bala Vankar, SKV class of 2019

A Note on Names

A key goal of Somaiya Kala Vidya’s education for artisans programs is to bring visibility to unrecognized artisans. Our students and graduates, faculty and workshop participants are proud and happy to be recognized and have consented to have their names share

 

Somaiya Kala Vidya is an institution for traditional artisans of Kutch, India. Combining over fifty years' experience of Somaiya Vidyavihar University with fourteen years of design education for artisans, it offers sustained, coherent programs in design and business to provide effective, relevant and practical education. SKV honors and incorporates existing traditions. Its advisors are Master Artisans. Its faculty are professional educators. SKV offers workshops to the world and courses in craft traditions taught by artisan designers. Artisan-to-Artisan Outreach programs and Co-Design Collaborations demonstrate the importance of education for artisans and generate motivation to build a movement of Design Craft.

EDUCATION FOR ARTISANS

DESIGN FOR ARTISANS COURSE 2019

Education for artisans is SKV's reason for being. The class of 2019 completed their design education journey on 14 December 2019. In this period, they held a successful exhibition in Ahmedabad, in which sales were excellent, and customers appreciated the stories behind the collections. They also presented their stories at 079| Stories in Ahmedabad on 16 October. Finally they attended a Sales Analysis workshop, and graduated in Kala Umang! 2019.

KALA UMANG! 2019

The graduation ceremony held in Bhujodi village on 14 December 2019 was presided by Anil Gupta, Professor Indian Institute of Management/ Executive Vice Chair, National Innovation Foundation. The ceremony began with Laxmi Puvar, SKV faculty reading a poem. Other speakers included Dr. Ismail Khatri, SKV Advisor, Shwetha Shettar, SKV Visiting Faculty, Krishna Velji Vankar, SKV 2018 graduate, Ramji Maheshwari, SKV 2014 BMA graduate, and Samir Somaiya, Chairman K.J. Somaiya Gujarat Trust.

All graduating students received certificates from Somaiya Kala Vidya, after which awards were presented.

The jury award for Best Collection went to Jabbar Khatri, Ajrakh printer from Ajrakhpur. Jabbarbhai also won the award for Highest Exhibition Sales. The Best Presentation award went to Ibrahim Khatri, bandhani artist from Nirona. The Most Marketable Collection award went to Ramesh Vankar, weaver from Varnora. The jury deemed two artisans Most Promising: Bharat Jepar, weaver from Varnora, and Nitin Kudecha, weaver from Bhujodi. The Faculty award for Best student went to Rizwan Soneji, bandhani artist from Tera. And this year we were excited to announce a special program initiated by Jackfruit Design. Each year they will give an order of RS 30,000 for their boutique Jackfruit on the Gangato the SKV winner of the Best Collection award.

The 2019 Fashion show was inaugurated by renowned fashion Designer Anuj Sharma, who spoke to the students about the importance of humility. The elder weavers of Bhujodi honoured Founder Director Judy Frater.

Expertly choreographed by Achla Sachdev, the fashion show entertained an audience of around 6,000, mostly members of craft communities of Kutch. More than entertaining, the show inspires artisans to believe that their work is contemporary as well as traditional, and valuable.

OUTREACH -BHUJODI TO BAGALKOT

Somaiya Kala Vidya Artisan-to-Artisan outreach programs share the benefits of artisan education. Artisan Designer graduates work with artisans in less exposed areas- as a kick-start to demonstrate that innovation in traditions, and design education are beneficial.

From 12-14 September 2019, the flagship Outreach project Bhujodi to Bagalkot exhibited new collections of Ilkal and Bhujodi saris in Hyderabad at Saptaparni. Including 2018 women graduates as well, the show – Bhujodi to Bagalkot, and More- received a warm welcome and a good response. The Bagalkot team sold out their traditional kondi style saris, proving that tradition is perennial. Kutch mentors’ Bagalkot-inspired collections were also much appreciated. The Bagalkot team participated in Kala Umang! 2019 and shared that they are finally committed to making kondi and found a way to streamline the technique to save time!

During this period we were delighted to learn that our Kutch to Kumaon project will resume. Avani partners received a grant that will fund the first course in our Outreach design curriculum. We plan to hold the course in March 2020.

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT & CO-DESIGN                       

Somaiya Kala Vidya is happy to connect with and develop other efforts in design education for artisans. We are especially happy to be at the forefront in developing co-design, a concept gaining interest in mainstream design institutes.

In our flagship Co-Design program with the University of Wisconsin Madison, a group of 10 artisan designers embarked on the fifth collaboration with UWM design students on 31 October. The design phase of the project finished on 9 December, with exciting fresh designs. Each team made a collection of 6 stoles (carpets for Prashantbhai), and selected 2 for actual production.

During this period we also began a Co-Design project with the Instituto Italiano Designo of Italy, with 7 artisan designers. The Italian students will design garments and SKV artisan designers will complete the ensembles.

We are sure that education for artisans has a tremendous positive impact. But proving it to the world requires data. On 31 October we initiated a value-based impact assessment, conducted by cultural economist Dr. Priyatej Kotipalli. Dr. Kotipalli and team interviewed 25 graduates over seventeen days, with videography. We look forward to sharing the results on our YouTube channel. One thing that impressed him was that we have built an institution. To this end, during interviews of 2020 candidates we decided to explore holding management workshops for graduates, co-taught by our master artisan advisors. We are also working with Design Craft Association members to officially register the group in order to be able to operate a business.

STAFF AND ALUMNI NEWS

Two SKV alumni, bandhani artist Hadika Khatri and weaver Ravji Meriya received Gujarat State awards for craftsmanship. This year, Adil Khatri, bandhani artist, and Pachan Siju, weaver, and Dinesh Siju, weaver were juried into the prestigious and highly competitive International Folk Art Market| Santa Fe. Their collections were selected out of 577 applications.

On 27-28 September SKV Visiting Faculty member Shwetha Shettar represented the institute at Outlook Traveller’s Responsible Tourism Forum in Shillong and Guwahati.

Founder Director Judy Frater presented on education for artisans to Ahmedabad University on 16 September, to Auro University Surat on 24 September, and to ITTC Congress at M.S. University Baroda on 3-4 October. She was a guest lecturer at NIFT Gandhinagar on 15 October and spoke on sustainability to students of Mahatma Gandhi School Ahmedabad on 16 October. She was recognized by Conde Nast Traveller India as one of 50 champions of sustainable tourism for the SKV Open Studio tours.

After 14 years of building the design education program, Frater announced that she will retire from directorship of SKV in May 2020. She will be succeeded by Nishit Sangomla, who joined as Assistant Director on 1 December 2019. Nishit is deeply interested in education for artisans and has worked with rural artisans at Barefoot College in Tilonia Rajasthan, Himalayan Blooms in Uttarakhand, and Naropa Fellowship in Ladakh. We welcome Nishitbhai and look forward to continued growth under his dynamic leadership.

SKV WORKSHOPS, COURSES,

--AND NOW OPEN STUDIO TOURS TO THE WORLD

Since its inception, SKV has been raising awareness and value for artisans' traditional knowledge and skills by conducting workshops and courses taught by artisan designer faculty. From 4-24 November we conducted our fourth 21-day Craft Traditions course in Ajrakh hand print and natural dye. Three creative women representing 5 countries learned printing and dyeing from four master Ajrakh designers in the traditional way- by experience, with expert guidance. The first thing they learned was the complexity and sophistication of a craft tradition. After that came washing, mixing materials, printing, watching, printing. The course included a two-day session in cultural context and aesthetics, in which they visited villages of the original Nodhe and Patel clients. The course conjoined with a week-long workshop in Ajrakh and ended with a final review. The tutors’ verdict? Passed with honours! “We have had a wonderful enriching time,” one student wrote. “The sustainable textile conversations will inspire me for weeks. We are hoping to make it back together next year for more!” 

In November 2017 SKV launched Open Studio Tours in Bhujodi and Ajrakhpur. We began our 2019-20 season with tours on 8 and 9 November and received our first booking through Airbnb for January. Workshops are scheduled on demand. Special Open Studio Tours can also be organized. Proceeds from both workshops and Open Studio tours support SKV programs, insuring financial as well as cultural sustainability. For more information contact kalavidya@somaiya.org.

SKV IN PRINT, OUTLOUD AND ONLINE

Browse the SKV website.

Learn more about our work on our facebook page.

For a discussion on issues of art and artisan, follow Judy Frater's blog

Find SKV on Instagram!

On 6 July 2018, SKV began a YouTube channel.https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnbxdYIe8v36eDHqmdEiFsg/featured?view_as=subscriber

We have 9 videos on our channel, all providing important insights on craft in Kutch today.

SKV is on Trip Advisor, and our Open Studio Tours are the first and only Airbnb Experience in Kutch!

 

DESIGN CRAFT Association

Design Craft Association was formed to foster a community of artisan designers and offer them a presence and a platform. It provides artisan designers with a great opportunity to present their brands, under their own labels.

You can meet Design Craft artisans on the SKV website. We welcome you to log onto www.somaiya-kalavidya.org. Under Design Craft you will find a map, and a link Design Craft Members that will take you to profiles of each artisan designer. We password-protected the profiles. You will have to register to view them, but it is an easy procedure.

2020 DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

10-12 September SKV Outreach Exhibition, Artisan-to-Artisan Design 2020

15-17 October SKV Design Student Exhibition 2020, Ahmedabad

5 December Kala Umang! 2020

SKV GOVERNING COUNCIL AND ADVISORS

SKV's Governing Council includes Shri Samir Somaiya, Amritaben Somaiya, Lt. Gen Jagbir Singh, Mitenbhai Sachade, Judy Frater, Anjana Somany, Lokesh Ghai, and Irfan Anwar Khatri.

The institute is also advised by a team of visionary Master Artisans, who guide us in honouring and nurturing textile traditions: Gulam Hussain Umar -bandhani artist, Bhuj; Ali Mohammed Isha -bandhani artist, Bhuj; Umar Farouk Khatri- bandhani artist, Bhadli; Dr. Ismail Mohammed Khatri – Ajrakh artist, Ajrakhpur; and Shyamji Vishramji Siju- weaver, Bhujodi.

THANKS TO GLOBAL GIVING!

On 13 March 2017 SKV posted a project on Global Giving. Global Giving makes donation easy. To kick off our project, in March 2017 we met a challenge by raising US$ 6,563 from 43 donors. Today, 108 donors have raised $15,613—more than enough to fund an entire class of our sincere and talented artisan students. This greatly encourages Somaiya Kala Vidya and increases our visibility immensely.

During the period September-December 2019, our project raised $252- enough for a co-design project with SKV and American students.

Thank you Global Giving!

LOOKING AHEAD

The class of 2019 has graduated with flying colours. They now look forward to showing their work in urban markets. In January 2020 they will participate in Dastkar’s annual Design Fair in Delhi. The capacity of artisan design graduates has surely increased. Yet the visibility of Somaiya Kala Vidya is limited, and artisans are still widely perceived as skilled technicians. We hope that our value-based impact assessment will make an impact and increase understanding of the value of craft. We look to insuring that there will be a market to value small production quality craft designed and made by artisans. Together we can insure a sustainable future for craft traditions.

 

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”~Mahatma Gandhi

Jabbar wins awards for Best Collection/Best Sales
Jabbar wins awards for Best Collection/Best Sales
Imran walks the Kala Umang fashion show ramp
Imran walks the Kala Umang fashion show ramp
The SKV Class of 2019
The SKV Class of 2019
Bhujodi to Bagalkot team triumphs in Hyderabad
Bhujodi to Bagalkot team triumphs in Hyderabad
Presenting weaving traditions in Open Studio Tour
Presenting weaving traditions in Open Studio Tour

Links:


Attachments:
Sep 8, 2019

Somaiya Kala Vidya Class of 2019 Completes Course

Jabbar Khatri presents his collection
Jabbar Khatri presents his collection

“I made my collection to last,” Abdul Jabbar Habib Khatri*, SKV class of 2019

Somaiya Kala Vidya is an institution for traditional artisans of Kutch, India. Combining over fifty years' experience of Somaiya Vidyavihar University with fourteen years of design education for artisans, it offers sustained, coherent programs in design and business to provide effective, relevant and practical education. SKV honors and incorporates existing traditions. Its advisors are Master Artisans. Its faculty are professional educators. SKV offers workshops to the world and courses in craft traditions taught by artisan designers. Artisan-to-Artisan Outreach programs and Co-Design Collaborations demonstrate the importance of education for artisans, and generate motivation to build a movement of Design Craft.

EDUCATION FOR ARTISANS

DESIGN FOR ARTISANS COURSE 2019

Education for artisans is SKV's reason for being. The class of 2019 began their design education journey on 3 January 2019. In this quarter, they completed course 6, appeared for the final jury, and attended a workshop in Production Management.  

Course 6- Merchandising, Presentation

Course 6, taught by NID graduate Bhargav Padhiyar, was held from 30 July- 9 August 2019.

Having completed ambitious collections, the students learned how to maximize the value of their work. They each developed a brand and logo, and learned effective photography with instruction from Bhuj photographer Ketan Pomal. They created portfolios. And they practiced and practiced display and oral presentation.

For the final presentation, students invited parents, siblings, wives and children, who along with the alumni internal jury members heard what their family members had learned all year. It was a gratifying and edifying experience for all.

Final Jury

Immediately following Course 6, SKV held the final jury for the year. This year’s panel comprised Anuradha Kumra, Senior designer for Fabindia, Dr. Annapurna Garimella, Founder Jackfruit Research and Design, Jaai Kakani, Principal Kakani Design Studio, and Ravi Joshi, Faculty NIFT Gandhinagar. SKV’s juries are educational and affirming. Jury members and artisans both enjoy the intense sessions. “It’s as good as another course!” one student remarked. Most interesting, the feedback from the jury in many cases differed significantly from that of family and alumni. In the interest of maintaining traditions in the contemporary market, both perspectives are important.

Production Management

Two weeks later, on 24-25 August, the students consolidated jury feedback and met with Institute of Rural Management Director and Faculty member Hitesh Bhatt for another intense session of Production Management. As with the jury, the two days equaled a two-week course. Teacher extraordinaire, Professor Bhatt prepared the students to execute their designs as collections for their final exhibition in Ahmedabad in October.

OUTREACH -BHUJODI TO BAGALKOT

Somaiya Kala Vidya Artisan-to-Artisan outreach programs share the benefits of artisan education. Artisan Designer graduates work with artisans in less exposed areas- as a kick-start to demonstrate that innovation in traditions, and design education are beneficial. During this period, SKV provided long distance guidance and some financial support to weaver partners in Bagalkot District, Karnataka, and they developed their 2019 collection of innovative Ilkal saris. This year they will finally produce natural dyed versions! Bagalkot weaving and weaving by Kutch mentors inspired by Bagalkot, as well as new collections from the SKV 2018 women graduates will be exhibited in Hyderabad from 12-14 September.

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT & CO-DESIGN                       

Somaiya Kala Vidya is happy to connect with other efforts in design education for artisans. On 18 June, Dr. Jaspal Kalra, Co-Founder and Director of Kalhath Institute Lucknow visited SKV with 21 students and several faculty members. As with SKV, the students are traditional artisans, chikan and zardozi embroiderers. The group met with the SKV class of 2019, who were busy with their Collection Development course. Program Coordinator Arun Singh spoke to them in Hindi about SKV’s mission, methods and successes.

This was a rehearsal for a presentation that Arunbhai gave in English at UNESCO’s 2019 Sub-regional Meeting for safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage in South Asia, held in Dhaka from 24-26 June, 2019. It was a great honour for SKV to be represented in this forum and we hope it will contribute for further visibility for the institute.

To this end, Prof. Wakif Hussain, Academic Associate, Anant National University who had visited earlier in June, will be presenting on design education for artisans, using the example of SKV, in an Education Forum on the eve of World Design Assembly in Hyderabad in October.

Co-Design

SKV is happy to be at the forefront in developing co-design, a concept gaining interest in mainstream design institutes. The Co-Design project with Srishti was showcased in Bangalore on 8 September.

In our flagship Co-Design program with University of Wisconsin Madison, the spring project was completed, and on 31 October the fall group of 10 artisan designers will embark on a collaboration with UWM design students. We are happy to see several 2018 graduates participating this time.

Pearl Mumbai Professor Chettiar’s co-design project has finally taken off after a year of developing relationships with artisan designers. This is the reality of genuine co-design: it rests on slowly building strong and equitable relationships. Prof. Chettiar finally clicked with one artisan designer, and he immediately understood. “This is real co-design!” he exclaimed. “We are working as an equal team.”

STAFF AND ALUMNI NEWS

SKV was well represented in the International Folk Art Market| Santa Fe 2019, with 5 artisan design graduates and two Advisors participating. 2018 graduate Taina Khatri attended IFAM for the first time, with her veteran father Abdulaziz Khatri. As always, the event was well attended, and offered an unparalleled opportunity to meet artisans from all over the world. Dahyalalbhai Kudecha and Dr. Ismailbhai Khatri both enjoyed meeting world renowned Zapotec natural dyer and weaver team Juana and Porfirio Gutierrez of Oaxaca.

SKV WORKSHOPS, COURSES,

--AND NOW OPEN STUDIO TOURS TO THE WORLD

Since its inception, SKV has been raising awareness and value for artisans' traditional knowledge and skills by conducting workshops and courses taught by artisan designer faculty. Most workshops are conducted in Kutch. However, after the Folk Art Market, SKV Founder Director Judy Frater organized a tour of workshops for Azizbhai and Tainaben Khatri, to share the amazing textile traditions of Kutch and the work of SKV, and to introduce Azizbhai and Tainaben to a bit of the USA beyond Santa Fe. Participants in Austin Texas, Manitou Springs Colorado, and Los Angeles California learned to revere bandhani, and enjoyed themselves too.

In November 2017 SKV launched Open Studio Tours in Bhujodi and Ajrakhpur. Dates for 2019-20 tours are finalized and can be found on the SKV website. Workshops are scheduled on demand. Special Open Studio Tours can also be organized. Proceeds from both workshops and Open Studio tours support SKV programs, insuring financial as well as cultural sustainability. For more information contact kalavidya@somaiya.org.

SKV IN PRINT, OUTLOUD AND ONLINE

In mid-June, Founder Director Judy Frater published the chapter, “Education for Artisans: Beginning a Sustainable Future for Craft Traditions,” in A Cultural Economic Analysis of Craft, Eds. Anna Mignosa and Priyatej Kotipalli. London: Palgrave, 2019.

Browse the SKV website.

Learn more about our work on our facebook page.

For a discussion on issues of art and artisan, follow Judy Frater's blog

Find SKV on Instagram!

On 6 July 2018, SKV began a YouTube channel.https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnbxdYIe8v36eDHqmdEiFsg/featured?view_as=subscriber

We have 9 videos on our channel, all providing important insights on craft in Kutch today.

SKV is on Trip Advisor, and our Open Studio Tours are the first and only Airbnb Experience in Kutch!

DESIGN CRAFT Association

Design Craft Association was formed to foster a community of artisan designers and offer them a presence and a platform. It provides artisan designers with a great opportunity to present their brands, under their own labels.  You can meet Design Craft artisans on the SKV website. We welcome you to log onto www.somaiya-kalavidya.org. Under Design Craft you will find a map, and a link Design Craft Members that will take you to profiles of each artisan designer. We password-protected the profiles. You will have to register to view them, but it is an easy procedure.

2019 DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

12-14 September- SKV Exhibition, Artisan-to-Artisan Design 2019, Hyderabad

17-20 October- SKV Exhibition -Design 2019, Ahmedabad

14 December- Kala Umang! 2019

 

SKV GOVERNING COUNCIL AND ADVISORS

SKV's Governing Council includes Shri Samir Somaiya, Amritaben Somaiya, Lt. Gen Jagbir Singh, Mitenbhai Sachade, Judy Frater, Anjana Somany, Lokesh Ghai, and Irfan Anwar Khatri.

The institute is also advised by a team of visionary Master Artisans, who guide us in honouring and nurturing textile traditions: Dr. Ismail Mohammed Khatri – Ajrakh artist, Ajrakhpur; Shyamji Vishramji Siju- weaver, Bhujodi; Ali Mohammed Isha -bandhani artist, Bhuj; Umar Farouk Khatri- bandhani artist, Bhadli; and Gulam Hussain Umar -bandhani artist, Bhuj.

THANKS TO GLOBAL GIVING!

On 13 March 2017 SKV posted a project on Global Giving. Global Giving makes donation easy. To kick off our project, in March 2017 we met a challenge by raising US$ 6,563 from 43 donors. Today, 104 donors have raised $15,361—more than enough to fund an entire class of our sincere and talented artisan students. This greatly encourages Somaiya Kala Vidya and increases our visibility immensely.

During the period June-September 2019, our project raised $480- almost enough for one professional faculty stipend for one course!

Thank you Global Giving!

LOOKING AHEAD

The class of 2019 has finished their course work. They now look forward to testing their collections in the Ahmedabad market, and graduating with a gala event and fashion show.

The capacity of artisan design graduates has surely increased. Yet the visibility of Somaiya Kala Vidya is limited, and artisans are still widely perceived as skilled technicians.

This year, SKV will conduct a professional value-based impact assessment of artisan education. This will enable us to increase both visibility and impact. We have posted a Global Giving MicroProject to fund the evaluation.

Steadily we are attracting the interest of people who understand the value of craft. We look to insuring that there will be a market to value small production quality craft designed and made by artisans. Together we can insure a sustainable future for craft traditions.

"Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”~Mahatma Gandhi

 A Note on Names*

A key goal of Somaiya Kala Vidya’s education for artisans programs is to bring visibility to unrecognized artisans. Our students and graduates, faculty and workshop participants are proud and happy to be recognized and have consented to have their names shared.

The Class and Final Jury 2019
The Class and Final Jury 2019
Moinuddin presents his logo to the internal jury
Moinuddin presents his logo to the internal jury
Ramesh presents to the Final Jury
Ramesh presents to the Final Jury
Tosif gets jury feedback
Tosif gets jury feedback
Graduate Dayabhai meets Oaxaca masters in the USA
Graduate Dayabhai meets Oaxaca masters in the USA

Links:


Attachments:
Jun 11, 2019

SKV Class of 2019 Begins Final Collections

Bharatbhai presents concepts for his collection
Bharatbhai presents concepts for his collection

Somaiya Kala Vidya Class of 2019 Begins Final Collections

 

“I never thought I could get such stories. I learned I can get an idea from anything.”

~ Bharat V. Jepar, SKV Class of 2019

 

PROJECT REPORT

17 March- 11 June 2019

Somaiya Kala Vidya is an institution for traditional artisans of Kutch, India. Combining over fifty years' experience of Somaiya Vidyavihar with ten years of design education for artisans, it offers sustained, coherent programs in design and business to provide effective, relevant and practical education. SKV honors and incorporates existing traditions. Its advisors are Master Artisans. Its faculty are professional educators. SKV offers workshops to the world and courses in craft traditions taught by artisan designers. Artisan-to-Artisan Outreach programs and Co-Design Collaborations demonstrate the importance of education for artisans, and generate awareness and motivation to build a movement of Design Craft.

EDUCATION FOR ARTISANS

DESIGN FOR ARTISANS COURSE 2019

Education for artisans is SKV's reason for being. The class of 2019 began their design education journey on 3 January 2019. In this quarter, they had a workshop on Fibers and Structures, completed course 4, and began course 5, of a six-course year.

Fibers and Structures

Each year during the Market Orientation Course, SKV invites a faculty person from the Maharaja Sayaji Rao University, Baroda to teach a day-long workshop in fibers and structures. SKV enjoys an MOU with MSU Baroda that facilitates collaboration in this as well as Course 5. The workshop helps students better identify the materials with which they can work, and grasp raw material factors that affect the value of their work. This year, Arpita Desai, MSU PhD Scholar, taught students the different types of fibers and how to identify them using a microscope and a simple burning test. She had them practically identify yarn structures, try different weave structures, and examine fabric swatches. One day was brief. It was difficult to get students to stop for dinner.

Course 4- Concept, Communication, Projects

Course 4, taught by veteran Visiting Faculty LOkesh Ghai, was held from 8-21 April 2019. The students learned about trend forecasts, and each chose a current trend. To understand it better, they watched Andy Goldsworthy’s Rivers and Tides, and then each made an installation evoking his theme.

Based on the directions they had begun, the class took a field trip. They visited the Maharao of Kutch’s Chadva reserve, the dramatic ravine Khari Nadi, and the lush Ganesh Baug orchards for inspiration, sketched and photographed.

Delving earnestly into their concepts, the students then renamed their themes and created theme boards from which they will draw inspiration for their final collections. They sampled to create the colours of their theme in weaving, printing and bandhani- in natural as well as synthetic dyes, and played with motif, pattern and layout to evoke their concepts.

I learned to make a motif. This is most important. I will keep this going.” ~Jabbar

I made a block design for the first time; I got the geometry of it.” ~Moinuddin

“I used colours we don’t usually use and learned how to work on a story.” ~Rizwan

“My head is full of ten years of job work. I have to work to add new ideas. Seeing in reality gave me ideas. Everything has beauty to be observed; everything inspires.” ~Imran

“At home I weave what I’m told to do. I had to think through the whole course. That’s how I will get new ideas, and I will be able to explain them!” ~Nanji

Course 5- Finishing, Collection Development

Course 5, currently in session, is also taught by LOkesh Ghai, due to an unexpected problem. The silver lining is that LOkeshbhai knows the students’ work and can adeptly facilitate maximum growth. In this course, which began on 10 June, students collaborate with interns from MS University Baroda. In addition to developing products for their final collections, they learn co-design.

OUTREACH -BHUJODI TO BAGALKOT/ KUTCH TO KUMAON

Somaiya Kala Vidya Artisan-to-Artisan outreach programs share the benefits of artisan education. Artisan Designer graduates work with artisans in less exposed areas- as a kick-start to demonstrate that innovation in traditions, and design education are beneficial. During this period, SKV conducted a concept development workshop for the Jeevadaara weaver team in Bagalkot with whom we have been working since 2014. Geeta Patil and Shwetha Shettar, both designers who have worked before with Jeevadaara, conducted the workshop. Arunbhai from SKV facilitated, and Niteshbhai and Sureshbhai,

SKV weaver designers, mentored. This time we built the capacity of the team and shortened the sampling time in one go, as Niteshbhai and Sureshbhai taught the Jeevadaara team yarn dyeing. And this time, after five years the weavers shared financial concerns in the project. This is an important reminder of just how difficult genuine development is, and how long it takes to build the trust essential to it. We are looking forward to an excellent exhibition in Hyderabad in September, and renewed growth of Jeevadaara.

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT & CO-DESIGN

Co-Design

SKV is happy to be at the forefront in developing co-design, a concept gaining interest in mainstream design institutes. The SKV -Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology co-design project finished on 10 May. The project experiences underscored the importance of good communication in co-design. The key issue in working with artisans is to create an environment of genuine equality. Despite SKV’s education of artisan designers, there remains an inherent power differential between rural artisan designers and urban designers. Additionally, artisans neither demand or complain except in comfort zone situations. Many excellent products were developed by the fifteen teams. But communication is where we will concentrate future efforts in co-design.

Interesting, in our association with University of Wisconsin Madison, we have found that long distance electronic communication can sometimes overcome the power gap. On 26 March 2019, SKV began its fifth session of co-design with the UWM with a Skype introduction call. The spring project involving 7 teams, completed their collections of four co-designed stoles each (carpets in the case of Prakashbhai). Of these, the artisan designers will each produce the two favorites.

On 11 June, Prof. Hemen Sanghvi brought a group of architecture students from Anant University Ahmedabad to start off a tour to sensitize them to craft traditions. Founder Director Judy Frater presented an introduction to Kutch textile traditions, and the students met with the SKV class of 2019.

Alumni Workshops

SKV has identified a growing issue for artisans: identifying and evaluating quality in raw materials and finding reliable material sources. Fibers are the basis of textile artisans’ raw materials. Tapping the experience of Program Coordinator Arun Singh, SKV organized a one-day alumni workshop on 8 June. Arunbhai reviewed what students learn in their Fibers and Structures unit. He presented in greater depth a wide variety of fibers. Then he showed the community samples and demonstrated how to distinguish and identify them. Finally he shared how artisans can buy closer to the material source.

In SKV’s effort to continuously offer opportunities to develop new work, Prof. Chettiar visited again in March to work with the team of seven SKV artisan designers on engineered garments. He taught them to translate flat silhouette drawings to patterns on fabric, and to map their layouts accordingly.

SKV WORKSHOPS, COURSES,

--AND NOW OPEN STUDIO TOURS TO THE WORLD

Since its inception, SKV has been raising awareness and value for artisans' traditional knowledge and skills by conducting workshops and courses taught by artisan designer faculty. In this quarter we held two workshops: a one-day workshop in Ajrakh printing with natural dye on 2 May, and a five-day workshop in suf and Rabari embroidery from 15-19 May.

“Our day with Irfanbhai was definitely one of the highlights of our entire trip!” ~Elisabeth Rohr

"It gave me a wonderful opportunity to forget about time” ~Alia Jeraj

In November 2017 SKV launched Open Studio Tours in Bhujodi and Ajrakhpur.

The 2018-19 season began on 27 October and ended on 3 March. During this quarter we met with artisan designers from both villages to review the year and plan for the 2019-20 season. The discussion centered on benefit. Artisan Designers felt that some of the community were only interested in sales connected to the tours. So we took a broader view of benefit. Namoribhai shared that through Open Studio Tours he and his family have gotten new ideas. “We have become real designers!” he said. Khalidbhai said he had understood what people want to know, and it made him think of making a colour chart with recipes. Vasimbhai shared that he hesitated at first, but the tours gave him experience and confidence. Irfanbhai said that he sees a longer term future in the tours. “We have to have a desire to learn, and keep learning,” Khalidbhai agreed.

Workshops are scheduled on demand. Open Studio Tour dates for next season are posted on the SKV website and Facebook page; special tours can also be organized. Proceeds from both workshops and Open Studio tours support SKV programs, insuring financial as well as cultural sustainability. For more information contact kalavidya@somaiya.org.

SKV IN PRINT, OUTLOUD AND ONLINE

Browse the SKV website.

Learn more about our work on our facebook page.

For a discussion on issues of art and artisan, follow Judy Frater's blog

Find SKV on Instagram!

And on 6 July 2018, SKV began a YouTube channel.https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnbxdYIe8v36eDHqmdEiFsg/featured?view_as=subscriber

We now have nine videos on our channel, all providing important insights on craft in Kutch today.

DESIGN CRAFT Association

Design Craft Association was formed to foster a community of artisan designers and offer them a presence and a platform. It provides artisan designers with a great opportunity to present their brands, under their own labels.

You can meet Design Craft artisans on the SKV website. We welcome you to log onto www.somaiya-kalavidya.org. Under Design Craft you will find a map, and a link Design Craft Members that will take you to profiles of each artisan designer. This quarter we password-protected the profiles. You will have to register to view them, but it is an easy procedure.

2019 DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

12-14 September- SKV Exhibition, Artisan-to-Artisan Design 2019, Hyderabad

17-20 October- SKV Exhibition -Design 2019, Ahmedabad

14 December- Kala Umang! 2019

 

SKV GOVERNING COUNCIL AND ADVISORS

SKV's Governing Council includes Shri Samir Somaiya, Amritaben Somaiya, Lt. Gen Jagbir Singh, Mitenbhai Sachade, Judy Frater, Anjana Somany, Lokesh Ghai, and Irfan Anwar Khatri.

The institute is also advised by a team of visionary Master Artisans, who guide us in honouring and nurturing textile traditions: Dr. Ismail Mohammed Khatri – Ajrakh artist, Ajrakhpur; Shyamji Vishramji Siju- weaver, Bhujodi; Ali Mohammed Isha -bandhani artist, Bhuj; Umar Farouk Khatri- bandhani artist, Bhadli; and Gulam Hussain Umar -bandhani artist, Bhuj.

THANKS TO GLOBAL GIVING!

On 13 March 2017 SKV posted a project on Global Giving. Global Giving makes donation easy. To kick off our project, in March 2017 we met a challenge by raising US$ 6,563 from 43 donors. Today, 96 donors have raised $14,831—enough to fund an entire class of our sincere and talented artisan students. This greatly encourages Somaiya Kala Vidya and increases our visibility immensely.

During the period March-June 2019, our project raised $200- enough for 4 scholarships for co-design projects or 2+ tool kits.

And we were delighted to host Piyush Narang, a part of Global Giving’s Field volunteer team in India, on 31 May and 1 June. Piyush showed us some valuable tips for getting the most out of Global Giving’s opportunities, and we introduced him to our weaver designer graduates to share more about the impact of SKV education.

Thank you Global Giving!

LOOKING AHEAD

We are now halfway through the fifth of six courses for the class of 2019.

As awareness and concern make sustainability and co-design household words, each year more opportunities come to our growing cadre of artisan designers. Their capacity is increasing, and increasingly they are recognized. We clearly see the impact of design education. Yet our visibility is limited, and artisans are still widely perceived as skilled technicians.

This year SKV will conduct a professional assessment of the impact of design education on artisans to share our experiences widely. Look for a micro project on Global Giving to support this important work.

And we look to insuring that there will be a market to value small production quality craft designed and made by artisans. Together we can insure a sustainable future for craft traditions.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”~Mahatma Gandhi

 

A Note on Names

A key goal of Somaiya Kala Vidya’s education for artisans programs is to bring visibility to unrecognized artisans. Our students and graduates, faculty and workshop participants are proud and happy to be recognized and have consented to have their names shared.

Nanjibhai explains his installation on rain
Nanjibhai explains his installation on rain
The class visits Khari Nadi for inspiration
The class visits Khari Nadi for inspiration
Ibrahimbhai's "Nectar Thief" theme board
Ibrahimbhai's "Nectar Thief" theme board
Moinuddin explores concepts in hand print
Moinuddin explores concepts in hand print
Tulsiben and Taraben teach an embroidery workshop
Tulsiben and Taraben teach an embroidery workshop

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