Jun 15, 2018

SOMAIYA KALA VIDYA: SCALING OUT

SKV and Avani artisan partners show new layouts
SKV and Avani artisan partners show new layouts

SOMAIYA KALA VIDYA: SCALING OUT

 “Artisan partners learn.  I used to want only easy work.  Now that I am independent, I like challenging designs.” ~Pachanbhai, Artisan Designer mentor in Outreach Project

PROJECT REPORT  19 March-14 June 2018

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 includes national and international 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 2018

Education for artisans is SKV's reason for being.  The class of 2018 began their design education journey on 15 January 2018.  By now, we have completed four of six courses, with plenty of wonderful new ideas.

Course 2018-3 M- Market Orientation

Lokesh Ghai, design educator extraordinaire, taught the third course, Market Orientation. In this course, students learn the role of the market in developing contemporary work. The centerpiece is a three-day trip to Ahmedabad.  Before going, the students learn to understand costing by making a meal together, and then reviewing all of the costs that went into it.  This also prepares them to consider perceived value and value for money during their days in Ahmedabad.

Anas- “We saw shops like I have never seen before- all different.  We looked at factors like service, display.”

Vasim- “From the trip to Ahmedabad, I felt my work could go in some shops.  I liked making a client board.”

Ramesh- “We learned that costing relates to clients.  I would sell the same stole at the same price.  But I would sell different products to different clients.”

Course 2018-3 W- Market Orientation

Taught by Visiting Faculty Tanveen Ratti, who returned after a decade, the SKV women’s class of 2018 also enjoyed learning about costing, value and variety.  They created a meal planned with a colour scheme! In Ahmedabad, they explored shops and visited the homes of craft aficionados. On return, they analyzed from every possible direction.

Both men’s and women’s sessions included a day long workshop in fibers and strutures taught by MS University Baroda Faculty Dr. Falguniben Patel.

Hadika- “I learned about tradition from the Calico Museum. We learned about consumers, display, and fabric.” 

Krishna- “We went to homes to know how customers live, what they like. I learned by observation and drawing.”

Muskan- “We learned costing, customer’s preferences, fibers/ fabric.”

Course 2018-4 M- Concept, Communication, Projects

NID graduate and Visiting Faculty Anjani Kumar taught both sessions of course four. Beginning the second half of the year, this course brings together colour, basic design and market orientation, focused by a chosen theme. The men explored the international trend forecast for fall-winter 2018-19. Each chose a colour palette he liked, and then they all worked to make sense of the colours and concepts in their own world.  They took field trips for inspiration, made installations, and re-named their themes.  Then they made theme boards and layouts, and finally began sampling motifs and layouts in their craft media.

Husen- “It was new to work within limits.  Getting motifs was difficult.”

Prashant- “I enjoyed making the installation; working in 3D was fun.”

Vasim- “Taking a subject we can go forward… if I take this theme I can reach to America!”

Course 2018-4 W- Concept, Communication, Projects

The women dived into the trend forecast and themes.  Choosing some of the same themes as the men, they of course each had a unique interpretation.  After a field trip to Bhuj that included photographing activities at the bus station, they created installations, theme boards, motifs and layouts, and worked out motifs and theme colours in their respective media.

Hadika- “A trend forecast teaches us to work within limits. I learned to innovate from a theme.”

Taina- “Getting a theme from a colour story was new. I liked the installation best, getting ideas as I went.” 

Krishna- “The theme board helps us remember.  I learned how many motifs and patterns you can get from an idea!”

Muskan- “At first I thought the colours were difficult, but then I realized we can do something different. With concept it’s easy to make motifs, and clients will become interested hearing a story.”  

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. From 28 March to 1 April, Team 2: Puroshottambhai and Niteshbhai, with Program Coordinator Pallavi Gaur, conducted a booster concept development workshop in Bagalkot with the Jeevadaara team.  The weavers reviewed last year’s sales in Chennai. Overall sales were excellent- 50% more than expected.   100% of the traditional kondi saris- with joined silk-cotton warps- sold!  The team concluded that kondi saris were a hit.  “When the customers looked at the kondi saris in the exhibition, in one glance they could identify these as traditional Ilkal saris,” Danesh observed.  

And yet, only Danesh wanted to produce them. After a long discussion, drawing on analysis of their experience, the weavers decided that they could increase the price of these labor-intensive saris, and finally agreed again to produce kondi saris. Development is a slow, patient process: two steps forward, one step back.  But Jeevadaara will surely take their tradition forward.  Purshottambhai further made the important observation that because he took time to make a fresh new collection for the show, his sales were also excellent. So the team got to work, choosing colour stories and making layouts for what promises to be another super show in Chennai this September.

We are thrilled to begin a new Outreach project with Avani in Kumaon!  From 7-19 April, a new SKV artisan designer team, Pachanbhai and Rajeshbhai, along with veteran faculty Lokesh Ghai, conducted a workshop on the Avani campus and beyond.  The challenges are that the women weavers have left their tradition long ago, and the sheer difficulty of navigating in the beautiful but isolated terrain. Our team began with research, which they all love.  They discovered the beauty of simple utilitarian traditional weaving.  Overcoming cultural and gender barriers, as well as wariness of “training,” the SKV team succeeded in enthusing the women weavers, and building their courage.

“We had to teach,” Pachanbhai said.  “At first it was hard teaching principles of design.  We had to really get a grasp on what we knew.   But the women understood, because we taught in their language- not just Hindi, but the language of craft.” “They thought their natural dye colours were limited and people don’t like them,” Rajeshbhai related.  So he wove them a sample with his ideas on combining colours.  This inspired the women to try some ideas of their own.  Then the workshop gained momentum.  In our Outreach work, artisans are teaching artisans, without either necessarily being able to read or write. Nonetheless, it is real education.  The Artisan Design graduates have imbibed a philosophy of education as well as facts and tricks.  And they can share it.  They question, they research. They understand the process of design.  In teaching, they realize new capacities, and the deep satisfaction of releasing creative potential. 

Three of the six Avani weavers, Pachanbhai and Rajeshbhai attended a jury for the workshop samples in Delhi on 30 May. Asaf Ali, Kiran Rao and Pradeep Pillai reviewed their work and gave feedback for developing a collection for the September Chennai exhibition.  Look for an unprecedented show!

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT & CO-DESIGN

SKV is happy to be at the forefront in developing co-design, a concept gaining interest in mainstream design institutes. To conclude the second phase of the SKV- University of Wisconsin Madison

collaboration, Dr. Jennifer Angus, Faculty of UWM, received a grant to bring two SKV participants for a special program in Madison in early April.  Sadly, Prakashbhai did not receive a visa.  So Zakiyaben and Judyben represented SKV.  Madison was bitter cold and Zakiyaben experienced snow for the first time, as summer set in in Kutch.  Our team toured the Wisconsin capital, and small towns beyond.  At the University, Zakiyaben conducted two live co-design sessions in the Global Artisans course, meeting many of last year’s long-distance co-design partners face to face.  She also taught a two-day bandhani studio class.  Finally, Judyben, Zakiyaben, Dr. Jennifer, Ericaben, and Griffen- a co-design partner, presented a panel on multi-faceted experiences of co-design. The beautifully coordinated and touching program previewed a panel on co-design that the SKV-UWM team, along with Prof. Katherine Bissett-Johnson, will present at the September Textile Society of America conference.

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 November SKV launched Open Studio Tours in Bhujodi and Ajrakhpur. Our first season had officially closed on 10 February, but we did two additional custom tours on 20-21 March for Devika Daga, and 27 March for a group of 35 people led by Jaqueline Lundquist and Ganeve Rajoktia.

A few weeks later, artisan designer participants from Bhujodi and Ajrakhpur met to review the year. The discussion began with dreams and goals of exposure to better markets, and covered how the participants have begun to organize and improve their experiences.  The meeting was about not only Open Studio Tours, but also Artisan Designers and their market.  In just one season, Open Studio Tours have provided learning for visitors.  (“It is totally jaw dropping to be educated on the complexity of Ajrakh printing and weaving techniques of Bhujodi- and all of the innovations!”) As we had hoped, they also provided learning for artisans.  Artisan Designers have learned about being responsible, working together, and managing this project.  They are taking ownership. They are thinking of the visitor’s experience. And they are learning to overcome inhibitions and communicate.  

Proceeds from both workshops and Open Studio tours support SKV programs, insuring financial as well as cultural sustainability. For more information contact us.

STAFF AND ALUMNI NEWS

On 3 April 2018, Artisan Designer Dahyalal Kudecha received the Crafts Council of India Kamala Award for Contribution to Craft and Community, and Artisan Designer Adil Khatri received the Craafts Council of India Young Artisans Award- an award specially created for him!

On 10 June, Adilbhai and Purshottambhai, who received a World Crafts Council award for his work in 2016, were both invited to present their life stories as inspiration for Josh Talks.  Look for news of these talks to be uploaded on YouTube!

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

And now, find SKV on Instagram!

DESIGN CRAFT

The Somaiya Agencies' innovative business to complement SKV's educational programs, Design Craft, offers a juried selection of artisan designed and created textiles, bringing the best in contemporary craft to one platform.  It provides artisan designers with a great opportunity to present their brands, under their own labels, and it will fund SKV's education for traditional artisans with the profits from sales. Currently, 69 artisan designers are represented.

You can meet the 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 to profiles of each artisan designer.  A work of art in itself, the map with artisan designer logos is also available in hard copy.

Design Craft's flagship shop is located in Somaiya Bhavan, 45-47, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Post Box No.384, Fort, Mumbai. Phone: +91-22 61702273.

2018 DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

6-8 September 2018- Artisan-to-Artisan Design exhibition, Chennai

27 October 2018- SKV Open Studio Tours begin

1-4 November 2018- SKV Design Class 2018 collections exhibition, Ahmedabad

8 December 2018- Kala Umang! 2018- Convocation and Fashion show, Kutch

SKV GOVERNING COUNCIL AND ADVISORS

SKV's Governing Council includes Shri Samir Somaiya, Amritaben Somaiya, V. Ranganathan, 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; Dr. Ismail Mohammed Khatri - block printer, Ajrakhpur; Shyamji Vishramji Siju- weaver, Bhujodi; Umar Farouk Khatri- bandhani artist, Bhadli; and Ali Mohammed Isha -bandhani artist, Bhuj. 

THANKS TO GLOBALGIVING!

On 13 March 2017 SKV posted a project on GlobalGiving.  GlobalGiving makes donation easy. To kick off our project, in March 2017 we met a challenge by raising US$ 6,563 from 43 donors. Today, 58 donors have raised $9,226—almost enough to fund an entire class of our sincere and talented artisan students. This greatly encourages Somaiya Kala Vidya and increases our visibility immensely.

LOOKING AHEAD

The class of 2018 has begun what promises to be another amazing journey of design and personal growth.  Our artisan designer graduates demonstrate that design education makes a difference.  As our cadre of Artisan Designers grows, SKV looks to insuring that there will be an appropriate market to value small production quality craft. Together we can insure a sustainable future for craft traditions.

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

SKV 2018 students created a meal to learn costing
SKV 2018 students created a meal to learn costing
Ajrakh 2018 students sampling new layouts
Ajrakh 2018 students sampling new layouts
From paper to loom!
From paper to loom!
Presentation of theme for final collection
Presentation of theme for final collection
Live Co-Design - SKV with UW Madison
Live Co-Design - SKV with UW Madison

Links:


Attachments:
Mar 21, 2018

SOMAIYA KALA VIDYA LAUNCHES THE CLASS OF 2018

Advisor Shyamjibhai tells students about tradition
Advisor Shyamjibhai tells students about tradition

*All students, graduates and faculty mentioned in the following report have granted permission to use their names

“In doing research, I realized we need to revive our traditions“

~Anas Khatri, bandhani artist and SKV student, class of 2018

SOMAIYA KALA VIDYA LAUNCHES THE CLASS OF 2018:

THE NEXT GENERATION TRADITIONAL ARTISANS

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 includes national and international educators. SKV offers workshops to the world and courses in craft traditions taught by artisan designers. Artisan-to-Artisan outreach programs 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 2018

Education for artisans is SKV's reason for being. The class of 2018 began their design education journey on 15 January 2018. In the men’s class, eleven weavers, Ajrakh printers and bandhani artisans arrived with enthusiasm and high expectations.

Course 2018-1 M- Colour: Sourcing from Heritage and Nature

Disha Trivedi, a Colour Therapist from Ahmedabad taught the Men’s- as well as Women’s Colour Courses. She expertly guided the students through colour theory and, with Permanent Faculty member Mukhtar Soneji, through taking theory into practice. The students worked in sketching, paint, and dye to understand how to use colour. They enjoyed a lively session with SKV Master Artisan Advisors, learning about traditions and perhaps also teaching a bit of colour theory.

Wasim Khatri: “I liked working with new colours, drawing, and the advisors’ visit.”

Riyaz Khatri, Bandhani artist: “The colour wheel will be useful for us til the end.”

Prashant Siju, Weaver: “We have been doing black and white for a decade. This was the first time I used colour. I enjoyed it.”

Course 2018-1 W- Colour: Sourcing from Heritage and Nature

SKV is delighted to hold a women’s Design course this year. Three bandhani artisans and one weaver began their design journey on 29 January. The energy of a women’s group is always different from that of a men’s. With Visiting Faculty Dishaben, and permanent Faculty Zakiya Khatri, the women worked intently and neatly, also in pencil, paint and dye.

Taina Khatri: “Colour is a language. There is nothing without colours.

Muskaan Khatri: “In the class I learned about different colour schemes.”

Hadika Khatri: “I learned about colour mixing.”

Krishna Vankar: “I learned how to use colours. Now when I weave I will look at colour balancing and overall look.”

Course 2018-2 M- Basic Design: Sourcing from Heritage and Nature

Designer Hitesh Rawat returned to SKV to teach Basic Design for men a second time. Using his experience he revised the course to be an organic journey through the design relationships that create compositions. Elements and principles fell magically into place, with emphasis on drawing. When it was time to put theory into practice, the class spent several days joyfully applying what they had learned in printing, weaving and bandhani. Then they checked back and were amazed to find that many principles- including Fibonacci's sequence, were there in traditional work! Sureshbhai Parbat mentored this course, and it ended with a presentation juried by alumni Shakil Ahemad Khatri, Basir Khatri, Mukhtar Khatri, and Pravin Siju. Feedback brought a lively discussion of design in craft.

Shaukat Khatri: "Drawing made me see-- and think!"

Anas Khatri: “We used to make a design and see how it looks. Now, I’ll think and do. What I didn’t understand I will work out in practical application.”

Ramesh Vankar: “I just thought, “design.” There are types of design. And ideas in nature.”

Wasim Khatri: “I feel like making new things now.”

Darshan Marvada: “12 days went like a day.”

Course 2018-2 W- Basic Design: Sourcing from Heritage and Nature

In the women's second course veteran Visiting Faculty Anuja Goel, assisted by Permanent faculty Tulsiben and Taraben Puvar, guided the students to observe design in nature and their traditional textiles. After theory and practice, the class visited Vijay Vilas Palace and Mandvi beach to put everything into context. The course ended with a final presentation. In two weeks the students had clearly grasped elements and principles of design- and become confident in presenting their work. SKV graduates Zakiyaben Khatri and Pachanbhai Siju reviewed the final presentation with probing questions and enthusiastic thumbs up!

Hadika Khatri- “I never saw patterns before.”

Muskaan Khatri- “I had seen patterns but I wasn’t conscious of them.”

Taina Khatri: “This was new; I had to think. It was difficult til I did it in bandhani.”

Krishna Vankar: “I learned to understand many new principles. I am confident that I can make weaving from music!”

 

OUTREACH -BHUJODI TO BAGALKOT/ FARADI TO LUCKNOW

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. Though the Bagalkot project is officially complete, everyone mutually agreed that for now, help with one collection a year will be beneficial. Team 2: Puroshottambhai and Niteshbhai, with Program Coordinator Pallavi Gaur, will visit Jeevadhara at the end of March to develop a collection based on the 2018-19 FW trend forecast.

Seeking new partners, Founder Director Judyben visited Avani in Kumaon in February. The Avani team and women weavers are eager to try an artisan-to-artisan project- in time to participate in the September exhibition in Chennai. We await final details.

 

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT & CO-DESIGN

SKV is happy to be at the forefront in developing co-design, a concept gaining interest in mainstream design institutes. The second phase of the SKV- University of Wisconsin Madison collaboration, launched on 14 September 2017, culminated in a collection of co-designed stoles which will be presented at a fashion show at UW Madison in April. We are thrilled that UWM received a grant to bring two SKV participants, Zakiya Khatri and Prakash Siju, for a special program in Madison in early April. The team, along with Judyben, will speak on their experiences in co-design, teach workshops in their craft traditions, and hold a two-day live demonstration of co-design with UWM students. Judyben, Prof. Jennifer Angus, Erica Hess, and Prof. Katherine Bissett-Johnson, will present a panel on co-design at the September Textile Society of America conference.

 

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 27 February- 1 March, SKV held its first workshop of 2018. Weaver Designer Jentibhai Bokhani taught a three-day workshop in weaving. Miranda Hewitt much appreciated the care that went into the workshop. "It is great fun and I am learning a lot, more than any other course!" she said.

In November SKV launched Open Studio Tours in Bhujodi and Ajrakhpur. Our first season closed on 10 February. Participants from Australia, UK and the American Museum of Natural

History, New York enjoyed visiting weaver and Ajrakh designers in January, and a group from Europe led by Prof. Gabriele Tautscher of Institut für SA, der Universität Vienna enjoyed a tour of weaver designers in February. The tours provide visitors with an in-depth glimpse of not only a tradition, but also the range of individual interpretations and innovations.

Proceeds from both workshops and Open Studio tours support SKV programs, insuring financial as well as cultural sustainability. For more information contact pallavi.kalavidya@somaiya.org.

 

STAFF AND ALUMNI NEWS

2018 brought changes in the SKV staff. We were sorry to say goodbye to Permanent Faculty members Dahyalal Kudecha and Laxmi Parmar. Dahyalalbhai will be concentrating on building his business, while Laxmi welcomed her first child, Aryan in February. This year’s courses will be guided by Mukhtarbhai Soneji, Pravinbhai Siju, Zakiyaben Khatri, Tulsiben Puvar and Taraben Puvar. In December 2017 we also welcomed Program Coordinator Pallavi Gaur. Pallaviben, an MA graduate of Azim Premji University, previously worked at Malkha Marketing, and interned at The Handloom School.

Artisan Designer Dahyalal Kudecha has been selected for the Crafts Council of India Kamala Award for Contribution to Craft and Community. Artisan Designern Adil Khatri has been selected for the Council of India Young Artisans Award.

Founder Director Judy Frater was invited as a member of the Steering Committee of Tata Trusts project on weaving in Northeast India. On 19 January 2018 she presented SKV as a success story for a NABARD National Seminar on Handloom, Mumbai. And in March, she presented on design education for artisans at two conferences in Europe: 1 March “Re-Valuing Craft Traditions” at The Values of Craft, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, and 9 March “Artisans Design!” at Beyond Change: Questioning the Role of Design in Times of Global Transformations, FHNW Academy of Art and Design, Basel.

 

SKV IN PRINT, OUTLOUD AND ONLINE

On 9 March 2018, Clothroads published the article “Meet an Indian Woman Bandhani Artisan: Zakiya Khatri.”

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

 

DESIGN CRAFT

The Somaiya Agencies's innovative business to complement SKV's educational programs, Design Craft, offers a juried selection of artisan designed and created textiles, bringing the best in contemporary craft to one platform. It provides artisan designers with a great opportunity to present their brands, under their own labels, and it will fund SKV's education for traditional artisans with the profits from sales. Currently, 56 artisan designers are represented.

You can meet the 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 profiles of each of the artisan designers. A work of art in itself, the map with artisan designer logos is also available in hard copy.

Design Craft's flagship shop is located in Somaiya Bhavan, 45-47, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Post Box No.384, Fort, Mumbai. Phone : +91-22 61702273.

 

2018 DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

6-8 September 2018- Artisan-to-Artisan Design exhibition, Chennai

1-4 November 2018- SKV Design Class 2018 collections exhibition, Ahmedabad

8 December 2018- Kala Umang! 2018- Convocation and Fashion show, Kutch


SKV GOVERNING COUNCIL AND ADVISORS

SKV's Governing Council includes Shri Samir Somaiya, Amritaben Somaiya, 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: Ali Mohammed Isha -bandhani artist, Bhuj, Umar Farouk Khatri- bandhani artist, Bhadli, Dr. Ismail Mohammed Khatri - block printer, Ajrakhpur, Gulam Hussain Umar -bandhani artist, Bhuj, and Shyamji Vishramji Siju- weaver, Bhujodi.

 

THANKS TO GLOBALGIVING!

On 13 March 2017 SKV posted a project on GlobalGiving. GlobalGiving makes donation easy. To kick off our project, in March 2017 we met a challenge by raising US$ 6,563 from 43 donors, and in November 2017 we raised nearly $2,000-- two scholarships for our sincere and talented artisan students. This greatly encouraged Somaiya Kala Vidya and increased our visibility immensely.

 

LOOKING AHEAD

The class of 2018 has begun what promises to be another amazing journey of design and personal growth. Our artisan designer graduates demonstrate that design education makes a difference. As our cadre of Artisan Designers grows, SKV looks to insuring that there will be an appropriate market to showcase the higher level of craft that our graduates have achieved in order to create a sustainable future for craft traditions. Together we can insure a vibrant future for craft traditions.

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

-Mahatma Gandhi

M. Husen creates colour from the colour wheel
M. Husen creates colour from the colour wheel
Darshan makes final presentation for Colour course
Darshan makes final presentation for Colour course
Muskaan presents her learning from Colour course
Muskaan presents her learning from Colour course
The Ajrakh team experiments with basic design
The Ajrakh team experiments with basic design
Krishna presents on Basic Design
Krishna presents on Basic Design
Juned hosts in his Ajrakh studio
Juned hosts in his Ajrakh studio
Tour members document Ajrakh process
Tour members document Ajrakh process

Links:


Attachments:
Dec 13, 2017

SOMAIYA KALA VIDYA DESIGN GRADUATES 2017: READY!

Khalidbhai Usman with his award winning collection
Khalidbhai Usman with his award winning collection

SOMAIYA KALA VIDYA

PROJECT REPORT

17 SEPTEMBER- 15 DECEMBER 2017

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 includes national and international educators. SKV offers workshops to the world and courses in craft traditions taught by artisan designers. Artisan-to-Artisan outreach programs 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 2017

Education for artisans is SKV's reason for being. The class of 2017 completed their design education journey on 25 November 2017. Ten weavers, Ajrakh printers and bandhani artisans made huge strides toward creation of hand crafted products of excellent quality in design and technique. During this period, the artisan designers tested their new collections in the Ahmedabad market- with shining success! Despite concern over newly imposed tax regulations, the sales were high and customers much appreciated the fresh designs.

The students analyzed their experience in a two-day workshop, and graduated with grace, presenting their collections in of the best fashion shows ever.

KALA UMANG! 2017

The Somaiya Kala Vidya Convocation and Fashion show

SKV Trustees and Advisors inaugurated this year's event, generously sponsored by Tata Trusts, Good Earth, Somaiya Vidyavihar and K.J. Somaiya Gujarat Trust. Governing Council member Irfan Khatri and BMA graduate Tulsi Puvar were among speakers.

Chief Guest William Bissell, Managing Director of Fabindia, presented student certificates. Three of this year's awards went to Khalid Usman Khatri- Best Collection, Best Student and Highest sales in Ahmedabad. Dilip Dahyalal Kudecha received the award for Most Marketable Collection. Zaeem Mustakahmad Khatri was awarded for Best Presentation. Mitesh Manji Sanjot received the award for Most Promising Artisan. Shyamji Dhanji Mangaria received a jury Special Mention award for his excellence in weaving.

Mr. Bissell gave the keynote address, and also inaugurated the fashion show.

The collections were styled by this year's MSU interns, as well as Governing Council Member Lokesh Ghai and his students from NIFT Gandhinagar.  Creatively draped and simply stitched garments exemplified sustainable craft-based fashion. Mr. Bissell was impressed with where craft had reached under SKV direction!

OUTREACH -BHUJODI TO BAGALKOT/ FARADI TO LUCKNOW

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. The Bagalkot team, after a successful exhibition in Chennai in September, is confidently venturing into markets on their own. Their collection and those of mentors Niteshbhai and Puroshottambhai, were showcased in the Kala Umang! fashion show.

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT & CO-DESIGN

SKV is happy to be at the forefront in developing co-design, a concept gaining interest in mainstream design institutes. The second phase of the SKV- University of Wisconsin Madison collaboration, launched on 14 September 2017, culminated in a collection of co-designed stoles. Each participating SKV artisan designer showcased one stole in Kala Umang! The collection will be presented at a fashion show at UW Madison in April as well.

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. Immediately following the convocation, graduate Khalid Usman taught visitors from Netherlands the nuances of block printing with natural dyes. On 4 December, Somaiya Kala Vidya coordinated a workshop for 23 students and 2 faculty from Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, taught by Khalid Usman, Irfan Anwar, Soyab AKT, and Khalid Amin. All participants were delighted with what they learned in a day.

In November SKV launched Open Studio Tours in Bhujodi and Ajrakhpur. The tours provide visitors with an in-depth glimpse of not only a tradition, but also the range of individual interpretations and innovations. Open Studio Tours have been listed for an Outlook award in Responsible Tourism.

Participants in workshops, courses and tours learn the richness of living traditions. And proceeds support SKV programs, insuring financial as well as cultural sustainability.

Workshops and courses can be arranged on demand. Open Studio Tours for 2018 are on 5-6 January and 9-10 February 2018

For more information contact judy.kalavidya@somaiya.org.

STAFF AND ALUMNI NEWS

In November, SKV Founder Director Judy Frater was invited to speak at Tinkuy, a gathering of weavers in Cusco, Peru, on the topic, Empowerment of Artisans through Design Education. The focus was on women, and as one of our shining examples of women empowerment is Zakiyaben Khatri, Frater nominated Zakiyaben to speak as well. Zakiya stole the show, bringing a spontaneous round of applause when she said, "Education is everything." The audience of weavers from Latin America and beyond, listening to simultaneous translations of talks by other artisans as well as renowned scholars was inspiring. The trip was a wonderful chance to connect to new cultures and experience an amazing environment.

SKV IN PRINT, OUTLOUD AND ONLINE

In November 2017 Meher Castelino published the article, "From Artisans to Brands," in Fibre2Fashion online Magazine. Meher was a member of this year's final jury.

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

DESIGN CRAFT

The Somaiya Agencies's innovative business to complement SKV's educational programs, Design Craft, offers a juried selection of artisan designed and created textiles, bringing the best in contemporary craft to one platform. It provides artisan designers with a great opportunity to present their brands, under their own labels, and it will fund SKV's education for traditional artisans with the profits from sales. Currently, 56 artisan designers are represented.

You can meet the 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 profiles of each of the artisan designers. A work of art in itself, the map with artisan designer logos is also available in hard copy.

Design Craft's flagship shop is located in Somaiya Bhavan, 45-47, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Post Box No.384, Fort, Mumbai. Phone : +91-22 61702273.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

11-22 January- meet the class of 2017 at Dastkar's Design Fair, New Delhi

15 January 2018- launch of the SKV Design Class of 2018

SKV GOVERNING COUNCIL AND ADVISORS

SKV's Governing Council includes Shri Samir Somaiya, Amritaben Somaiya, 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: Ali Mohammed Isha -bandhani artist, Bhuj, Umar Farouk Khatri- bandhani artist, Bhadli, Dr. Ismail Mohammed Khatri - block printer, Ajrakhpur, Gulam Hussain Umar -bandhani artist, Bhuj, and Shyamji Vishramji Siju- weaver, Bhujodi.

THANKS TO GLOBALGIVING!

On 13 March 2017 SKV posted a project on GlobalGiving. GlobalGiving makes donation easy. To kick off our project, we met a challenge by raising US$ 6,563 from 43 donors, in March. This greatly encouraged Somaiya Kala Vidya and also increased our visibility immensely. This November, for Giving Tuesday, we raised nearly $2,000-- two scholarships for this sincere and talented artisan students.

LOOKING AHEAD

The class of 2017 is now busily producing collections for the prestigious Dastkar Design Fair in Delhi in January. Our artisan designer ambassadors will help to demonstrate that design education makes a difference, and to develop the value of artisan design. And as this report goes to press, a record number of applicants for the class of 2018 are waiting in the wings.

Opportunities are coming to SKV, and with them responsibilities. We now look to insuring that there will be an appropriate market to showcase the higher level of craft that our graduates have achieved in order to create a sustainable future for craft traditions.

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

-Mahatma Gandhi

BMA graduate Tulsiben speaks at Kala Umang!
BMA graduate Tulsiben speaks at Kala Umang!
William Bissell presents a certificate to Amirbhai
William Bissell presents a certificate to Amirbhai
Miteshbhai walks the fashion show ramp
Miteshbhai walks the fashion show ramp
Taraben and co-design on the fashion show ramp
Taraben and co-design on the fashion show ramp
Soyabbhai teaches ajrakh in an SKV workshop
Soyabbhai teaches ajrakh in an SKV workshop
Aakibbhai explains his designs in Open Studio Tour
Aakibbhai explains his designs in Open Studio Tour
Zakiyaben meets fellow artisan in Cusco
Zakiyaben meets fellow artisan in Cusco

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