By Hand From The Heart: One Show, Many Stories!

A curated makers market event in Chennai, India. Upcoming Event: 7th – 8th July, 2017 Time: 10:00 a.m – 8:00 p.m Venue: Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park Address: 132, T.T.K Road, Alwarpet, Chennai – 600018, Tamil Nadu. India

Meet The Maker: Ramani, Papier-Mache Doll Maker

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Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a happy woman who is close to completing her half century on this beautiful planet. I am a very passionate person when it comes to my work and l love my family more than anything else in the world. I feel it is my responsibility to make this world a better place in whichever small way possible and hence I strive towards it every day of my life.

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Meet other new makers this February 2016 : UPCOMING EVENT:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1064545906911602/

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How would you describe what you do; and how long have you been making and creating?

I am an artist who loves creating and experimenting with Papier-mache. But along with that, I also am an entrepreneur who runs a workshop where I train and employ about 15 unskilled handicapped/needy women. I have been painting and making papier mache dolls, murals and other craft items since last 29 years. I started this out as a hobby but after some really successful exhibitions in the Scandinavian countries and India too, I decided to dive into this more seriously. Initially, I used to teach a couple of handicapped girls papier- mache craft with a helping intent in heart and with a motive to help them become independent. Slowly, I refined my art and my work evolved into a business model and now I manage to provide employment and boost confidence of 15 odd needy women.

Tell us about your recent works and your proposed showcase at the By Hand, From The Heart.

IMG_8464I specialise in making costumed papier-mache dolls, like none other in the world. I have always felt the need to promote Indian culture and traditions through my art. Though I also make foreign dolls, my main focus has been on portraying Indian mythology, values and tradition through thematic dolls sets. We make dolls showing Indian classical dances, Indian folk dances, tribal folk, women at work, brides and grooms of India, couples from different states of India, Dasavataram set, Radha-Krishna set, the nativity scene, the Buddha enlightenment scene, epic scenes from Mahabharatha and Ramayana, scenes from a typical Indian village and weddings etc. I intend to bring and showcase some of these at By Hand, From Heart.

Can you describe your work place / space? 

IMG_8863Our workplace is a small, comfortable place that we have built over the years. We have shifted base thrice in the same city but it is always stacked with loads of all the artsy things that we need to make the dolls-cloth pieces, laces, paints, newspaper, hard gum, wires and other raw materials. We have upgraded by bringing in some small machines like the attachakki, drilling machine to help us do the more strenuous work with a bit of ease.

But, it is the friendly banter of the women working here, the sound of tearing of the paper, the gum and paint smell and the whole positive vibe that this space has, that is worth experiencing.

What is a typical day at ARTEKRAFT like.

IMG_8822At Artefakt, a typical day starts at 10 in the morning and we wrap up by 6, but I alone sit late nights sometimes (read it as most times), my work and I are like opposite sides of a magnet, the attraction and pull is just too much! Or as my husband likes to say, I can get so engrossed that I would hardly notice the transition from the natural light to artificial light and vice versa. Jokes apart, we all at Artefakt have to look after and care for our families and give our cent percent to our work, it can get quite demanding and challenging with the orders pouring in but what fun is life without the hardships and the learning that follows. Our workshop staff is divided into groups which take care of different parts of the making of the dolls- making papier-mache, making the basic dolls structure, giving them the smooth finish, painting them, clothing them, decorating them and then packing them, all of this keeps happening simultaneously. And it’s actually quite nice to see at the end of the day how productive the day has been. Not to forget the overwhelming love and the petty disagreements and fights that the women have here each day which make the place more lively! 😀

What/who inspires you? Or how do you find inspiration?

1780618_802652183095535_650627401_nMy mother has been my biggest inspiration. It was her belief in me that helped me tread steadily on this path. I am a science graduate who did an MPhil in Public Administration; would have taken up a regular job too had it not been for my mother. She was the one who saw my potential in arts and encouraged me to follow my passion. She was the one who taught me to work for the greater good and today another big source of inspiration are the women who work with me at Artefakt, looking at them and what the art has given them is a great driving force too. Also, without my family’s (father, husband, daughter, extended family and friends) support I sure wouldn’t have been able to go this far.

Can you describe your creative process and what is the most rewarding part of the creative process for you?

FullSizeRender (14)When an idea in your head turns into a physical being, turns into what you wanted it to be like, all the hard-work that goes into doing so pays off. The creative satisfaction is what keeps the artist going. I am the one who does the ideating, the teaching, training and the finishing but I am proud of how far the others working with me have come. So, another rewarding part of my creative process is seeing the many unskilled women in my workshop doing their work really well, it revives my confidence in my decision of doing what I do and how I do.

What’s the best thing about being a designer?

You can turn your ideas into beautiful reality, having the ability to shape your ideas into art pieces that you can hold and keep, I think is the best thing about being a designer. Having the freedom of expression and the space to experiment are added bonuses!

What would you say to someone thinking about selling their work?

Being an artist you tend to get very attached to your work, but you have to remember that all good things in this world are to be shared, so is your art. You get emotionally involved in your art but sharing those emotions and spreading the joy is what makes your art noble. Selling your work only makes you capable of pursuing your passion further as it then feeds your stomach and family. And the happiness of an artist shows in his/her work. So, it is of utmost importance to be financially stable to keep your creativity going, do not ever hesitate to sell your work thus.

Anything exciting on the cards for the coming months?

I have some very interesting orders lined up, the kind of themes that I haven’t worked on earlier and also some amazing exhibitions to participate in. Our website, is also going to be up and running soon so we are quite excited about that too.

Ramani had showcased her handcrafted paper mache costume dolls at the By Hand, From The Heart Artisan & Farmers Market | 7- 8 August 2015 | 10 a.m – 8 p.m | Hanu Reddy Residences, 41/19, Poes Garden, Teynampet, Chennai.

Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/791353340961431/ (event closed)

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17 comments on “Meet The Maker: Ramani, Papier-Mache Doll Maker

  1. Usha Vardhan
    October 29, 2015

    Hi Ramani, I have spend several days, nights searching for the maker of these dolls after seeing the images online. Please let us know how to contact you.

  2. sowbi
    December 4, 2015

    pls tell the preparation method

  3. Saigeetha Kommajosyula
    February 2, 2016

    Hello Ramani!!

    Amazing work!! Please let me know the contact details and procedure to get trained. Thank you in advance.

  4. Lakshmi
    February 4, 2016

    Could you please share a video in YouTube how to do these kind of dolls with vgud finishing…. Its really superb madam nd its a god gift…. 🙏 pls make a online teachings website so that whole world can learn these.

  5. Leela Veerina
    February 5, 2016

    Hello,
    These dolls are just amazing and I can see how passionate you are with you work!
    Great Talent!!
    I am interested in ordering the dolls for my daughter’s party and would appreciate if I could hear from you the details!
    I would like to know the price per doll and how much time ahead do I have to place an order and the shipping method.
    The event is going to be in the first week of August 2016.
    Thank you so much!!

  6. Shefali Joshi
    February 10, 2016

    Hi Ramani, I am a dolls collector and have 30 dolls from different countries in my collection. I saw your collection through whatsapp images and searched for you. How do I get in touch with you? Would like to buy some of your beautiful creations. Please share me a contact number and address

  7. sarmistha
    February 12, 2016

    Hi Mam,these are excellent.Plz let me know if have any workshop in Hyderabad or any tutorial video link .

  8. Ajita
    February 15, 2016

    Hi Ramani I want your contact details as I am looking forward to buy few of the dolls

  9. Ajita
    February 15, 2016

    Hi Deepika I want your contact details as I am looking forward to buy few of the dolls

  10. shreeja
    February 20, 2016

    hi,Ramani,I m running a NGO of deaf and mute girls .for that can u help me to teach them.

  11. Shilpa preetham
    February 24, 2016

    Hi superb work.I would like to learn or purchase your products.please share me your ph no.

  12. vyjayanthi
    April 1, 2016

    Hi Ramani, the art is really mind blowing I would like to order few how to contact you and how to place the order.

  13. Sailaja
    April 10, 2016

    I would like to purchase the dolls. Plz provide me the details

  14. hai mam wonderfull work i want to learn that work

  15. shravani
    April 14, 2016

    hai mam dis s shravs wow mam amazing i want to learn dis work mam u can help me am waiting for u r reply

  16. sudha
    April 28, 2016

    hi Ramani, we want to make radha and krishna in sitting posture. Want to know if you are still making them and if so what would be the cost

  17. enimaryak
    September 23, 2016

    Congragulations! It is really a ‘By hand from heart work.’ Also producing these dolls with groups of other women is a social support event that is another point to congragulate you again and again Dear Ramani..

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