Lately I have been writing about Craft as Sustainable Luxury. I love writing, and especially when it involves grappling with concepts, pushing the boundaries, provoking, and coming up with a great new idea.
How often do I do this?
Well……the truth is, rarely. And these days, it is pretty much when I am asked to. Or, rather, to see it from another perspective, when there is an opportunity.
Raise your hand if this is true for you, too.
Opportunity is a key factor for using one’s potential. You can of course create your own opportunities. But opportunity is a catalyst.
So a new role I find us developing in our work with artisans is insuring opportunities. Finishing a course in Design, or Business and Management, is not the end. As Mukhtar said, “We thought we were at the end. Now, we realize we are at the beginning!”
A glance at the artisan designer What’s App groups indicates Somaiya Kala Vidya’s institutional development. As we grow, the opportunities for graduates to create new designs come to us, and we pass them on.
Two groups are designing and producing décor for hotels.
A number of artisans this year created new work to apply for the World Craft Council Award of Excellence, and the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market.
Many will be creating for the official opening of Design Craft.
One group is enthusiastically developing a collection for a fashion show.
A team is teaching Craft traditions to international students.
Most exciting, thirteen artisan designers are busily Co-Designing collections via What’s App with students of the University of Wisconsin.
It feels like a blessing and a bright new world for artisan designers.
Mukhtar stopped by the office the other day. He had just come back from an exhibition in Mumbai and was flushed with exhilaration. “I wanted you to know that I still remember you; I’m still here,” he laughed. He was heading for another show in Ahmedabad, and then finally to the class’s final exhibition- also in Ahmedabad, in just a few days!
“Of course the products will be different! ” he laughed again.
But now he is thinking of being more selective. As opportunities come, he wants to weigh them and decide which to take. It’s a great position in which to be.