`Sanjhi’  is an ancient craft of cutting paper stencils which was practised by some communities in Uttar Pradesh. These stencils were used to make rangoli patterns on walls and floors and were traditionally based on the ras leela tradition and comprised mainly Radha Krishna themes and motifs. They later broadened to include a number of Mughal motifs -jali patterns and animals and flowers. It is an extremely fine skill using only a pair of small scissors which this family of brothers-Ajay, Vijay and Mohan continues to keep alive.  The designs bring out the fineness and beauty of this ancient skill which was otherwise invisible in their use as stencils.

Nagaland  resonates with a rich art and craft tradition which has its  roots in its  animistic past.  The product designs that have been developed with  our  main craft instructors and associates -Nungshi Renba  and  Khrolo  alongwith other young  artisans in Nagaland , combine both wood carving and bamboo-cane  work in the same product.  The designs  explore a combination of different  motifs, textures and finishes while retaining a distinctly Naga spirit.

Burning motifs on bamboo and wood is a very commonly practiced decorative art in many communities across India. The branding is done using red hot thick metal wires to make imprints and patterns on wood. and bamboo.Our artisan partner, Delhi based Beer Singh took up this craft only 12 years ago and developed it on his own.

This extremely intricate work finds its origins in the ivory carvers of old. They had to reinvent themselves to sandalwood carving when the ivory trade was banned. Then further look for a material to suit their craft when sandalwood came under a similar ban. The use of fine chisels hammered lightly into exotic soft woods like ebony, kadam and rosewood creates beautiful mughal jaali like patterns in miniature.

Carpentry is actually one of the oldest and most difficult of hand crafts but despite its obvious importance continues strangely to be ignored as craft. The development of hand tools in this craft has been significant but the art of  fine  wood based craft has deteriorated significantly with the use of laminate and board in recent years. Our master artisan instructor  Mohammad  Kamil   from Uttar Pradesh, who thrills with his knowledge of wood  and expertise has a long lineage of fine craftsmenship in his blood.


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