By Hand From The Heart is a biannual Makers Market held in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a jewellery designer. An MBA and a good banking career I quit my job for my interest in accessory design; I started my jewellery brand ‘Paarisha’ 4 years ago, after I moved to Bangalore. Interest, aside I attended a few courses in design and fabrication; a course in metal-smith was one such course that made me better skilled as an jewellery artist. I enjoy experimenting with mixed media and hate to be stereotyped. Jewellery design is all about experimenting and exploring the possibilities of merging technique and mediums.
You have always incorporated other traditional craft (braiding, weaving) techniques in your jewelry, was this a conscious decision?
Yes, it is a conscious choice to work with yarns for the colors and soul they render to the jewellery piece. With yarns as my medium, I have experimented with knotting, knitting, braiding, weaving and macrame techniques.
Design development is my main focus. I spend more time on research and experimentation before I work on my jewellery collections. Sometimes I work for 6-8 months on techniques; for instance, the weaving technique started off as an exchange program – where an Australian aboriginal artist – Bronwyn Razem taught me to make a sisterly basket. Baskets are my inspiration and I have always loved the way different regions, have different grass, weed and colors of baskets. I have used these basket weaving techniques Iine my Womad Collection and this similar weave was also used in another collection that was accented with traditional Indian ornaments.
Tell us about your recent works and your proposed showcase at the By Hand, From The Heart.
At By Hand, From The Heart, I will be showcasing- Womad collection – the jewelry is a blend of weaving, braiding and crocheting. I will also showcase – The Recycled Denim collection.
What is currently inspiring you?
I’ve just returned from a vacation at Ranthambore. While we were at the Ranthambore tiger safari, I thought it was impossible to spot any wildlife in all the dry brown surroundings; but we did spot plenty. I am inspired by the brown dry sepia look of Ranthambore; will work on a collection and call it – Wild Things.
What was the most challenging piece of jewelry you have created so far?
The most challenging jewellery piece I crafted was made from recycled motor parts for a project- Kalaa-car. Since it was recycled motor parts- cleaning them off grease and oil required days of work. My hands got dirty and getting rid of the grease was a task. But I was pretty happy at the outcome and I have kept one piece as a souvenir.
What is life away from your work like?
There is no life away from work- I live my work. Since I work from home- work finds me everywhere.
You have participated in an earlier edition of By Hand From The Heart; what was the By Hand, From The Heart experience and what have you observed ?
My earlier By Hand, From The Heart experience was good and I think its a well curated makers market. Unlike many markets that claim to be makers event; end up showcasing re-sellers. The participants at the event are very talented. The visitors of By Hand, From The Heart, is my favorite part of the whole market. Visitors at this event are most appreciative of craftsmanship and understand the value of our hand made products.
Chennai – your association with this city.
Chennai Is a city I love coming back to – Its my ‘sasuraal’ (in laws place). I have met some really amazing people in Chennai and they are like family now. There is so much love and care 🙂 Chennai shoppers, are open to new things, contrary to the thought that Chennai shoppers are conservative & have interests only in precious metal jewellery.
What’s up next for you?
We just stepped into 2016 and I am looking at working on different projects – lending my design support to groups that need it. I open to work with craft clusters NGOs /SHGs and artist who wish to collaborate on new projects.
How was business for you at the event.
Business wise and experience wise the show was excellent. What added to the experience was the small details the team had taken care of – sharing details of places to stay (nearer to the venue), food coupons and sharing logistic leads – the easel that I managed to hire.
Describe your market experience.
I had been apart of an earlier BHFTH show a few years ago and I must congratulate you on bringing the show to its present level. It was very well curated and essence of hand crafted was maintained. Also the venue added to the overall experience. Hope you go places.
I would love to be part of it again and again and again.