Sep 16, 2017

DESIGN CLASS OF 2017: READY TO TEST THE MARKET

Miteshbhai presents his final collection to jury
Miteshbhai presents his final collection to jury

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 began their design education journey on 19 January 2017. Eleven weavers, Ajrakh printers and bandhani artisans have joined to expand their creative capacity. This year, we again enjoy a wonderful harmony of diversity. In each craft, we have a highly experienced artisan, a fresh entrant to the craft, and a mid-career artisan.

During this period, we completed the last of our six-class Design for Artisans course, held the final jury, and conducted a workshop in production management.

Course 6, Merchandising, Presentation, was taught by Nita Thakore, fiber artist and seasoned educator, from 24 July- August 2017.Nitaben, assisted by SKV Faculty Laxmiben Puwar, guided the students to make logos and brand identities, create portfolios of their work, and display products effectively. The thrust of the course is to learn to derive maximum value from one's work.

The course ended with a dress rehearsal jury for alumni and current students' family members. Alumni gave valuable feedback in preparation for the final jury. Family members had the opportunity to know just what their sons, brothers, fathers or husbands had learned in the year. In many ways, this is the real jury for the year.

FINAL JURY

On 5-6 August, the students presented their year of design education to a jury comprising Karishma Shahani-Khan, renowned fashion designer, Wasim Khan, award winning interior designer, Anjali Karolia, Senior Professor The Maharaja Sayaji Rao University of Baroda, and Meher Castelino, renowned fashion critic. They rose to the occasion, impressing the panel. Even after twelve years of design education for

artisans, many people working in craft, fashion and design are not aware of artisans' capacities. The jury thus serves as mutual, two-way education.

SKV SEMINAR: COPING WITH COPYING

On 5 August evening, SKV held its third seminar for artisan designers, on the topic: Coping with Copying. Over years of design education for artisans, we have seen the emergence of the issue of copying, a perennial issue in the world of design.

But for traditional artisans there is a special situation. Traditional art was made within a community for a particular community. The designs were community property. Copying was not an issue.

At SKV we teach traditional artisans to innovate within tradition- and we hope they will be known by their individual styles. This should mean there is no need to copy. But it happens. So the jury panel and artisan designers, moderated by Lokesh Ghai, discussed the issues of copying, and ways of dealing with them. Resoundingly, value for ethics prevailed among this group.

OUTREACH -BHUJODI TO BAGALKOT/ FARADI TO LUCKNOW

Somaiya Kala Vidya Artisan-to-Artisan outreach programs share the benefits of artisan education and begin to practically scale the Design Craft movement. Artisan Designer graduates work with artisans in less exposed areas- as a sort of kick-start to demonstrate that innovation in traditions, and design education are beneficial. The programs culminate in an exhibition sale.

This September SKV Outreach held the exhibition Bhujodi to Bagalkot+ in Chennai. Bhujodi and Bagalkot weavers, Suf and Chikan embroiderers, our current Outreach projects, displayed their current collections at Folly Gallery at Amethyst, Chennai from 7-9 September. Presentations and a demonstration of the Ilkal kondi technique piqued interest. Sales were excellent. The Bagalkot weavers sold 57 saris- 60% of their stock. Our Bhujodi mentors Purushottambhai and Niteshbhai also sold beyond expectation. Laxmi, Tulsi, Tara, Manisha and Khushboo's embroidery also sold well.

From 10-11 September the team moved on to Dakshinachitra, a living museum of south Indian culture in Muttukadu. The Bagalkot weavers revived the Ilkal loom after a 17 year hiatus, and finally were able to see a traditional cotton-silk Ilkal sari- out of production for more than their lifetimes. The Bhujodi weavers demonstrated weaving to visitors on a sampling loom, and the whole team enjoyed trying their hands as well.

KUTCH TO KASHI

Just as the Bagalkot weavers are graduating from our Outreach project and launching their own business, we received an invitation to start an Artisan-to-Artisan project with Varanasi weavers, in collaboration with All India Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association (AIACA). Founder Director Judy Frater and artisan designer Jentilal Bokhani traveled to Varanasi from 22-25 August to launch the project. The weavers were skeptical, identifying two main challenges: the sheer number of weavers in Varanasi and the restrictions of the jacquard loom. But a dozen signed up for the project. We are excited to imagine the innovations they will do.

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT & CO-DESIGN

SKV is happy to be at the forefront in developing co-design, a concept gaining interest in mainstream design institutes, and is seeking to build collaborative alliances. The

SKV- University of Wisconsin Madison collaboration launched its second phase on 14 September 2017. Eleven artisan designers met at SKV to review the profiles of their American partners and learn about this year's project. The theme for the collections is "Home." Meeting face to face, even by Skype is an important foundation of collaboration. Professor Jennifer Angus, University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Founder Director Judy Frater, SKV, facilitated the video call. The artisan designers gave their preferences for partners, and took home the 2018 colour trend forecasts. Partners will be finalized and WhatsApp groups made. The partners will begin by exchanging images of their homes. Each person will then make an inspiration board of his/ her partner's environment.

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 we will launch Open Studio Tours in Bhujodi and Ajrakhpur. SKV's maps locating artisan designer participants are under way. We already have participants signed up for the November, December, January and February tours.

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. Tours are 3-4 November, 1-2 December 2017, and 5-6 January and 9-10 February 2018

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

STAFF AND ALUMNI NEWS

SKV Faculty and master weaver Dahyalal Kudecha, bandhani maestro Abdulaziz Khatri, and ajrakh wizards Juned and Sufiyan Ismail Khatri attended the International Folk Art Market| Santa Fe, 14-16 July. Aziz, Juned and Sufiyan were in the new Innovation section of the market, and enjoyed special coverage. Dayabhai received good orders as well as sales. Aziz had his best sales yet, and as a bonus, designer Donna Karan loved his work.

SKV IN PRINT AND ONLINE

SKV work has been featured in several online and in print articles:

11 July 2017-Judy Frater, "The Craft of Fashion," in Selvedge blog

17 August 2017- "Bandhani Artisan Imagines the Eclipse: Aziz Khatri," in Clothroads

8 September 2017 "Collaborative Craftsmanship," The Hindu, and "Finding a Common Thread," Indulge

 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

12-14 October 2017- SKV Design students' Exhibition- Aamra Gallery, Ahmedabad

25 November 2017- SKV Convocation Kala Umang!

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. Funds will be used to support this year's class of 11 sincere and talented artisan students.

LOOKING AHEAD

The class of 2017 is now busily producing collections for an exhibition/ sale in Ahmedabad in October. Our goal is to demonstrate to clients and artisan designers themselves that design education makes a difference, and to develop the value of artisan design.

SKV surely has a life of its own and we are enjoying new horizons for artisans, and the knowledge that we are contributing to creating a sustainable future for craft traditions.

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

-Mahatma Gandhi

Khalidbhai presents his collection to family
Khalidbhai presents his collection to family
Taraben at exhibition in Chennai
Taraben at exhibition in Chennai
Bagalkot team revives the Ilkal loom
Bagalkot team revives the Ilkal loom
Jentibhai discusses with Varanasi weavers
Jentibhai discusses with Varanasi weavers
Azizbhai with Donna Karan!
Azizbhai with Donna Karan!

Links:


Attachments:
Jun 12, 2017

SKV DESIGN CLASS OF 2017 ENTERS THE HOME STRETCH

SKV class of 2017
SKV class of 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 began their design education journey on 19 January 2017. Eleven weavers, Ajrakh printers and bandhani artisans have joined to expand their creative capacity. This year, we again enjoy a wonderful harmony of diversity. In each craft, we have a highly experienced artisan, a fresh entrant to the craft, and a mid-career artisan. This summer we completed three classes of our six-class Design for Artisans course.

 Course 3, Market Orientation, was taught by Risha Roy, NID and NIFT graduate, currently Faculty at Nirma University, from 17-29 March 2017.A field trip to Ahmedabad to explore a range of markets is the centerpieces of this course. To prepare the students, RIsha had them collectively make lunch for the SKV team- and then cost and analyze the experience. In addition to enjoying a meal just the way they like it, the students learned to think broadly about the details that go into production, presentation, and creating value. On return they reflected on the shops and individuals they had met, segmented the market, and planned work to target individuals and shops. Feedback from the clients for whom they were intended has been enthusiastic.

"I never saw shops like this in this way. Now I can begin to see what different clients want."- Akram

Course 4- Concept, Communication, Projects, was taught by veteran faculty Anuja Goel 10-22 April 2017. Anuja began by introducing the students to trend forecasts, and developing theme boards with found materials. The students then each selected a theme from the LA Colours Spring-Summer 2018 trends, and re-interpreted it from their own experiences. The class took a field trip for inspiration, sketching and photographing several locations. They developed theme boards. But it all became clear when they began practical experiments on themes and layouts in their own media.

"I learned to work within limits, and learned how to take inspiration into craft."- Khalid

Course 5- Finishing, Collection Development, was taught by veteran faculty LOkesh Ghai from 11-24 May 2017. In developing collections, SKV uses a co-design method, collaborating with students from MS University Baroda. This year, Kriti Sharma, Bhumika Prajapati, and Yash Lalvani worked with the SKV students, along with pattern master Virendra Vegad. Again, we posed the challenge of production friendly, sustainable designs. The MSU team developed products with minimal stitching, and creatively taught a range of draping methods. We immediately decided to hold draping workshops during the students' exhibition and sale in October; the MSU team is delighted to participate. Such are the relationships that develop when teams work together, and this is the essential foundation of successful co-design. Many times the working relationship extends well beyond the class. LOkesh had students make actual size layouts to economize the learning curve on scale and proportion. By the end of the class, everyone was ready to produce his final collection.

"It is difficult to understand in small size, so full size was useful. Draping gave me ideas for layout,"- Shamji

OUTREACH

Somaiya Kala Vidya Artisan-to-Artisan outreach programs share the benefits of artisan education and begin to practically scale the Design Craft movement. Artisan Designer graduates work with artisans in less exposed areas- as a sort of kick-start to demonstrate that innovation in traditions, and design education can be beneficial. The programs culminate in an exhibition sale. Thus, all participants earn through sale of the products developed. The pilot Bhujodi to Bagalkot project is completing four years this fall. Nine weavers from Kamatgi, in Bagalkot District, have completed a condensed, tailored version of the SKV Design course. This year, in April we held a Concept Development workshop, taught by Srishti faculty Swati Maskeri, to prepare for the annual exhibition. This year too, Puroshotam Premji and Nitesh Namori are serving as the Bhujodi team. Puroshotam and Nitesh brought fresh perspective and enthusiasm, and helped solve persistent technical problems. Proactive and enthusiastic themselves, the Kamatgi team had already ordered yarn, so the workshop focused on colour interaction.

We held a second workshop on Marketing, taught by veteran faculty Shwetha Shettar, in June. Shwetha analyzed the four years of work. Ninety percent of the saris the team has produced are sold. Orders are pending. Fabindia and other reputed companies have sought them out. Many challenges have been faced and met. The final one was how to make the essential kondi system- joining cotton warps of the body with silk warps of the pallav, viable. It came down to starching the cotton yarns. So we invited women who know starching to teach the Kamatgi women. Done. And suddenly our project is winding down. The weavers are ready to run their own business, which they have branded Jeevadaara (Threads of Life).

At the end class, Shwetha asked the nine graduating weavers what they would like to see in their future. All of them resoundingly said, "We want to weave!" Not one mentioned personal fame or fortune. All of them wanted to see the name of their village, Kamatgi, known and respected. They wanted more weavers to join them. They wanted their weaving to be marketed around the world. They had learned to love their tradition, the greatest success we could have had. Next stop is the exhibition in Chennai, at Folly Gallery, Amethyst, 7-9 September. After that, the world is the limit.

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT & CO-DESIGN

SKV is happy to be at the forefront in developing co-design, a concept gaining interest In mainstream design institutes, and is seeking to build collaborative alliances. The

SKV- University of Wisconsin Madison collaboration resulted in excellent fresh samples. On April 30, these were showcased in the UW Threads fashion show, Ensemble. (watch it on YouTube https://youtu.be/PYW_xdH5JW8) and sold in a concurrent exhibition.

Founder Director Judy Frater attended the event, and spoke about the project at a pre-show VIP Reception. Later this year, UW Madison will bring a new group of students on board for a second, more involved co-design project, culminating with two of SKV participants traveling to the USA. We look forward to developing this program in the near future.

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 2017, after conducting two pilots, we will add Open Studio Tours in Bhujodi and Ajrakhpur. SKV is developing a map locating artisan designer participants. On designated days, November through February, visitors can meet these artisan designers, learn about their traditions and see their latest designs.

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.

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

STAFF AND ALUMNI NEWS

Founder Director Judy Frater and Dr. Jana Hawley published a chapter "Craft's Path to the Luxury Market: Sustaining Cultures and Communities Along the Way," in Sustainable Management of Luxury, ed. Miguel Gardetti. Singapore: Springer Nature, 2017.

Meet SKV Faculty and master weaver Dahyalal Kudecha, bandhani maestro Abdulaziz Khatri, and ajrakh wizards Juned and Sufiyan Ismail Khatri at the International Folk Art Market| Santa Fe, 14-16 July.

SKV welcomes NIFT intern Tejashree Anchan, who will work with us for June and July.  Tejashree comes from the Fashion Communication course and will do this year's SKV calendar, posters and invitations for our exhibitions, and more!

SKV ONLINE

Jaypore.com is showcasing special events. Look for an exhibition/ sale of all new designs from SKV Design Craft Association members Dahyalal Kudecha, Nitesh Namori Siju, Basir Fakirmamad Khatri, Juned Husen Khatri, and Mubeen Abdul Gafur Khatri in July.

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

14-16 July 2017- Meet Dayabhai, Abdulaziz and Juned at International Folk Art |Market Santa Fe

7-9 September 2017- SKV Outreach Exhibition- Folly Gallery at Amethyst, Chennai

12-14 October 2017- SKV Design students' Exhibition- Aamra Gallery, Ahmedabad

25 November 2017- SKV Convocation Kala Umang!

 

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 GLOBAL GIVING!

On 13 March 2017 SKV posted a project on Global Giving. Global Giving 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. Funds will be used to support this year's class of 11 sincere and talented artisan students.

LOOKING AHEAD

Just one course remains for the class of 2017, and the students will immediately have their final professional jury. Incorporating jury feedback they will revise their collections, take a workshop in production management, and produce their collections for an exhibition/ sale in October. This show and the Outreach show in Chennai in September will show craft lovers the importance of design education, and the value of artisan design.

We look forward to continuing to break new ground for craft and artisans, creating value for design craft, and a sustainable future for craft traditions.

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

-Mahatma Gandhi

Amirbhai and Khalidbhai develop ajrakh concepts
Amirbhai and Khalidbhai develop ajrakh concepts
Shamjibhai presents his collection concepts
Shamjibhai presents his collection concepts
Vahabhbhai reviews a test fit
Vahabhbhai reviews a test fit
Hamzabhai and Kritiben, co-design partners
Hamzabhai and Kritiben, co-design partners
Kamatgi and Bhujodi weavers- ready for Chennai
Kamatgi and Bhujodi weavers- ready for Chennai

Links:


Attachments:
Mar 16, 2017

SKV Annual Report 2015-16

Poonambhai walks the Kala Umang ramp
Poonambhai walks the Kala Umang ramp

Somaiya Kala Vidya Annual Report

April 2015- March 2016

"Tradition was a livelihood to me. But I realized it is more important.

It is our heritage." Aslam

KALA UMANG!

With this Annual Report, we welcome our newest Artisan Designers, the graduates of Somaiya Kala Vidya Design course 2015. The course practically introduces working traditional artisans to design process, and prepares them for the contemporary marketplace. This year'scourse implemented important innovations. We focused on sustainability and production friendliness in collection development, and tested the market in Mumbai.

 On 9 January, 2016, Somaiya Kala Vidya celebrated the Artisan Designers' graduation at Kala Umang! -SKV's first convocation in Kutch, generously Sponsored by Good Earth, and held in Bhujodi Village.

 A theme of Kala Umang was value. There is a common belief that artisans have skills and designers have knowledge. And we see images of artisans as hands working-- without a face. But craft has much knowledge. Somaiya Kala Vidya puts creativity and the human quality at the center of craft. As artisan designers create unique innovations, we must now focus on valuing the unique. In the coming years, we will make developing a luxury craft market a priority.

 Artisans have a role in developing this market. When Suleman can say without apology, this is what my saris cost, when Puroshottam tells a designer that only after she observes hand weaving for three days will he talk about making her saris, and when Mustafa answers a customer's query about why his chadar is expensive by demonstrating how he made it, they gain value.

 Design education has contributed to these artisan designers' excellent work, and to the courage and capability to speak up.

Master Artisan advisors with students
Master Artisan advisors with students

Attachments:
 
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