The Craft Project wishes to document tangible anthropology i.e material culture of a place and comment on its relevance in the contemporary space. We also wish to bring together a community of cultural travelers and craft entrepreneurs and create a collective of common motivation. The Craft Project celebrates Diversity in culture through objects, folk arts, crafts, and design. 

In phase one we initiated a dialogue by interviewing and collecting stories from makers, designers, curators, retailers and brands. These people are from various parts of the world thus giving us a dynamic viewpoint on the subject. In phase two, we wish to publish stories of primary research from major textile regions of India. Our vision is to translate this research project into a physical space by-

  1. We wish to print newspaper style magazines that will be distributed free of cost to institutions,

    organisations and craft enthusiasts to make these stories reach a larger audience.

  2. We wish to create a travelling exhibit of these stories further engaging an audience in this dialogue.

  3. Create a platform that fosters this collaborative environment between makers, designers and brands.














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art and textiles

Penser, Manger, Partager

Johanna Tagada, presented by Nidi Gallery

Tokyo in May 2018.

The artist showcases her explorations of daily life by investigating themes of ecology, consumption, architecture, flora and human interaction. Through everyday materials such as cotton and linen, the viewer is invited to enter a new sculpture and textile installation titled Penser, Manger, Partager (French for: to think, to eat, to share). Penser, Manger, Partager combines craft techniques and sculpture typical of the artist, evoking her 2016 piece Le Refuge, a textile-structure devoted to moments of simple happiness (exhibited at egg trading studio – London 2016, and Galerie Jean-Francois Kaiser - Strasbourg 2017). Tagada’s pedagogy has grown to encompass wider ecological and environmental issues, as she draws attention to our diet and modes of consumption in her latest project. Since 2016, the artist urged the public to donate unwanted scraps of plant-based textiles, which she dyed for over a year using a natural process from the peelings and pits of fruits and vegetables that she and her family consumed daily. Through this gradual, arduous harvest Tagada constructed the patchworks for the tent. A delicate metaphor emerges between the technical action of assembling textiles and the action of bringing people together. Beyond the project’s stark reminder of the depletion of natural resources, Penser, Manger, Partager is a place of hope, inviting all to interact with its poetic and intimate architecture. Tagada’s distinctive way of working extends into oil paintings, natural dyes, embroideries and collages. We immediately recognise her work through its gentle colour palette as well as by its sensation to the eye, to the touch and to the soul.

Meanings Metaphor

Curated by Mayank Mansingh Kaul

The textiles presented at the exhibit were commissioned for a series of exhibitions Khadi- The Fabric of Freedom between 2001-2002, curated by the late Martand Singh. These exhibition were developed within a broader set of initiatives involving textile experts Rahul Jain, Rta Kapur Chishti and Rakesh Thakore, and involved a study of the many cultures and technologies of cotton cultivation in India. Evoking reflections on its near and far histories, they further raised questions about the relevance of handspun and handwoven cotton fabric, qualities of which remain unique to the Indian subcontinent even today.

Almost two decades later, what does such cloth mean to us? How does it inform the aesthetics of our everyday life? And what is its place in the world? Against the background of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi this year, whose call for Khadi led the Indian freedom movement- it may be time for us to ask about the legacy of his ideas for non- violence, ahimsa. To explore the relationship between Khadi and the changing values of the country. And perhaps, to think about the ways in which innovation in handmade textiles, continues to define an ethos of Indian as well as international contemporary art and design.

The Registry of Sarees is a Bengaluru based organisation, enabling design, curatorial and publishing projects involving handmade Indian textiles. Its research and study centre houses the collection of cotton Khadi Textiles on display in this exhibition.

Seen at India Art Fair, Chatterjee and Lal    Dinanta Belay Series of Calligraphic Paintings, acid colour on silk, between 1998 and 2006    Image courtesy: Sri Anil Mazumdar

Seen at India Art Fair, Chatterjee and Lal

Dinanta Belay Series of Calligraphic Paintings, acid colour on silk, between 1998 and 2006

Image courtesy: Sri Anil Mazumdar



"A designer knows he has achieved location of culture was centred both perfection not when there is nothing left to historically and economically on the add, but when there is nothing left to take condition of the artisan, and thus on away" - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

In the decades following Independence, India witnessed the rise of a collective consciousness of modernist agenda in design inspired by nationalist cultural and economic policies adopted by the new government. An innovative breed of post colonial designers were engaged in changing the idiom of contemporary design based on swadeshi ideology and the radical shift in India’s nationalist programme. Nehru’s vision of Independent India and nation building sought of reconcile western science, technology and modernisation of agriculture on one and, even as he emphasised the rebuilding and revival of small, rural ad cottage industries and indigenous handicrafts represented by the artisan-craftsman. The latter was considered an important part of national heritage, intrinsic to the agenda of agrarian reform. The nationalist location of culture was centred both historically and economically on the condition of the artisan, and thus on the crafts industry. ( from handicrafts, handloom to folk and tribal cultures).

Consequently, the trajectories these designers adopted were eclectic in nature and looked beyond colonial and feudal influences, they drew inspiration from indigenous tradition of Indian crafts and tried to merge it with an aesthetic that was secular in locus and international in approach.

Architects like Le Corbusier, Charles Correa and BV Doshi were generating new forms of architecture focused on function, while furniture and interior designers such a Ratna fabri and Shona Ray were fashioning new forms of handicrafts for the contemporary India. One such important designer to emerge at the time was Riten Mazumdar. In an article on contemporary design in a leading magazine of the time, Jaya Appasamy wrote “There are few contemporary designers in India who can claim to have helped to create modern taste. Riten Mazumdar is outstanding among them”. Mazumdar’s contributions to modernist aesthetics of Indian design owed as much to his educational background as too changing socio-economic and political paradigms of the era. Mazumdar himself wrote in The India Magazine-” There must be a synthesis between designer and craftsman. We as designers must have a profound understanding of both tradition and the changing social and economic patterns of life.

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community features

Vankars of Bhijodi and Place of Ajrakh by Kanika Narang

Ravan Making in Delhi by Elena Tommaseo

Wood Crafts of Sikkim by Saurabh Narang

Craft Organisations

Khamir Foundation | Bhuj

Rehwa Society | Maheshwar

The Handloom School | Maheshwar

Women Weave | Maheshwar

Avani | Kumaon

Gandhigram Khadi | Madurai

Sinchi Foundation | Amsterdam

Artisans | Mumbai

Kala Swaraj Foundation | Bhopal

sewa | Ahmedabad



Delhi Crafts Council

Crafts Council of India


 The craft project is an ongoing series

We are looking for stories on the following crafts

Kashmiri Ari Embroidery

Chikankari from Lucknow

Phulkari from Punjab



Naga embroidery


Dhurrie Making

Chanderi / Tussar/ Mashru / Eri Silk

Leather works

Blue Pottery

Wood/ Cane/ Brass/ Stone


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