Adda | Raw Revivals

Aroma of Indian culture is fantasizing the world globally. It has a charm which nothing can efface. From wood carving to fine brass inlay and ranging up to intricate weaving handlooms, India is opulent in hand skills. Celebrated hand woven fabrics and weaving techniques from India are peculiar to every culture and state. It varies with diversity of cultural norms according to the different states.  Hand woven brocade to rugs, this technique was practised for the royals since the ancient times. Being an activity of tradition, the skills are passed on from one generation to another. The process continues leading the craft techniques to reach the contemporary scenario.

Industrialization has dominated these techniques to an extent where they are not visible and known to the masses in its most authentic form. Running after sustainable practises and means to save the ecosystem, the generation has left behind the knowledge and values of these practises. One such craft practise, apt to the concept of sustainability in terms of product design and construction, comes our way, while exploring through some of the hidden skills in India.

In the of the state Haryana, a village Sanghoi, establishes itself with an art of rug weaving as their local skill. Located near Karnal, this village has its women practising the craft since generations and use these finely woven rugs to decorate their houses, as wall hangings and seat covers.

The rugs are woven on a handloom called ‘Adda’ in their local language. The yarn that they use to weave is made up of recycled fabric. Picking up different colours and assorting them to create a colourful design and pattern while weaving rugs, is their art and fine skill. Fabric re-use is taken too another level with this craft and is up cycled to create an amazing piece to add to the Décor of any place. Going well with the looks of rustic style interiors and eclectic style interiors, the rug has warmth in its designs and each yarn is precisely woven to create neat patterns adding to the look of the environment. The local patterns being used for the rugs are colourful stripes, since they are less time consuming to weave and require no technical details.

Each rug takes 2 to 3 days for one woman to weave. It is an extensive process requiring immense patience and hard work. The loom is a humble structure made of an iron frame and cotton warp with the yarn being weaved into it as weft. The yarn is made using strips of old fabric.

This practise is sustainable in every aspect without compromising on aesthetics. Durability of the rug is high and therefore makes it a very efficient technique. Unknown to the masses, this craft has a great relevance in the urban society.

Peeli Dori featured this craft to revive it and make the society more sensitive about these products. The revival can save it from extinction and make a community proud of the skills that they have.

 

 

 

Taj Mahal: The White Romance

An ever-lasting romance of a love not ended as yet, the Taj reveals its subtleties to its beholder.

Defined beauty and epitome of elegance, Taj Mahal is one precise detail on the Indian land. Land of India is full of cultural heritage and this white piece of architectural art is narrating a story set in Indian origin. Since the very ancient times, India follows and believes in the art of capturing stories in products and materials to give them life. Since we believe that a man may die but art never dies. It stays immortal. Taj Mahal was built to keep a love story alive. Its intricacy adds to the value signifying human dedication and therefore makes it one of the wonders. Above all, the colour white is signifies love, peace and calmness.

White marble, inlayed with fine coloured motifs and decorated all over, it was built as an expression of love by the Mughal emperor. This was Shah Jahan’s way of showing love toward his wife, Mutmtaj  Mahal.

DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF THE TAJ MAHAL

Named the Taj Mahal in honor of Mumtaz Mahal, the mausoleum was constructed of white marble inlaid with semi-precious stones (including jade, crystal, lapis lazuli, amethyst and turquoise) forming intricate designs in a technique known as pietra dura. Its central dome reached a height of 240 feet (73 meters) and was surrounded by four smaller domes; four slender towers, or minarets, stood at the corners. In accordance with Islamic tradition, verses from the Quran were inscribed in calligraphy on the arched entrances to the mausoleum, in addition to numerous other sections of the complex. Inside the mausoleum, an octagonal marble chamber adorned with carvings and semi-precious stones housed the cenotaph, or false tomb, of Mumtaz Mahal. The real sarcophagus containing her actual remains lay below, at garden level.

The rest of the Taj Mahal complex included a main gateway of red sandstone and a square garden divided into quarters by long pools of water, as well as a red sandstone mosque and an identical building called a jawab (or “mirror”) directly across from the mosque. Traditional Mughal building practice would allow no future alterations to be made to the complex. As the story goes, Shah Jahan intended to build a second grand mausoleum across the Yamuna River from the Taj Mahal, where his own remains would be buried when he died; the two structures were to have been connected by a bridge. In fact, Aurangzeb (Shah Jahan’s third son with Mumtaz Mahal) deposed his ailing father in 1658 and took power himself. Shah Jahan lived out the last years of his life under house arrest in a tower of the Red Fort at Agra, with a view of the majestic resting place he had constructed for his wife; when he died in 1666, he was buried next to her.

THE COLOUR ‘WHITE’

White is a colour of luxury, clearly depicted in this palace. It is the only colour which is friendly to every emotion, feel and aura. It can enhance as well demarcate itself from the rest. Such magic this colour adds and that is the only reason for this wonder of the world to be the one of the best heritage sites of the world.

Taj Mahal means “Crown Palace” and is in fact the most well preserved tomb in the world. The English poet, Sir Edwin Arnold has described the Taj as “Not a piece of architecture, as other buildings are, but the proud passions of an emperor’s love wrought in living stones.”

It is a romance celebrated in marble and glorified with precious and semi-precious stones and that’s the way to appreciate it!.

Taj Mahal stands on the bank of River Yamuna, which otherwise serves as a wide moat defending the Great Red Fort of Agra, the center of the Mughal emperors until they moved their capital to Delhi in 1637. It was built by the fifth Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan in 1631 in memory of his third but the most favourite wife, in fact a soul-mate Mumtaz Mahal, a Muslim Persian princess. She died while accompanying her husband in Burhanpur in a campaign to crush a rebellion after giving birth to their 13th child. The death so crushed the emperor that all his hair and beard were said to have grown snow white in a few months.

When Mumtaz Mahal was still alive, she extracted four promises from the emperor: first, that he build the Taj; second, that he should marry again; third, that he be kind to their children; and fourth, that he visit the tomb on her death anniversary. However, due to ill health and being under house arrest by his own son and successor to the throne, Aurangzeb, barred him from continue to keep the last promise.

The Taj rises on a high red sandstone base topped by a huge white marble terrace on which rests the famous dome flanked by four tapering minarets. Within the dome lies the jewel-inlaid cenotaph of the queen. So exquisite is the workmanship that the Taj has been described as “having been designed by giants and finished by jewellers”. The only asymmetrical object in the Taj is the casket of the emperor which was built beside the queen’s as an afterthought.

Legend has it that during his eight years long ailment and imprisonment, Shah Jahan used to intensly view the Taj lying on the bed through a diamond fixed in the wall in front at a particular angle. WOW!

As a tribute to a woman of exotic beauty and as a monument of a love story, which is keeping us engrossed even when we are reading through these pages here, truely an ever-lasting romance of a love not ended as yet, the Taj reveals its subtleties to its beholder!

The rectangular base of Taj is in itself symbolic of the different sides from which to view a beautiful woman. The main gate is like a veil to a woman’s face which should be lifted delicately, gently and without haste on the wedding night. In Indian tradition the veil is lifted gently to reveal the beauty of the bride. As one stands inside the main gate of Taj, his eyes are directed to an arch which frames the Taj.

The dome is made of white marble, but the tomb is set against the plain across the river and it is this background that works its magic of colours that, through their reflection, change the view of the Taj. The colours change at different hours of the day and during different seasons.

The Taj sparkles like a jewel in moonlight when the semi-precious stones inlaid into the white marble on the main mausoleum catch and reflect back its glow with a better gleam. The Taj is pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening and golden when the moon shines. These changes, they say, depict the different moods of a beauty of any kind.

Different people have different views of the Taj but it would be enough to say that the Taj has a life of its own that leaps out of marble. A masterpiece of the art and science of architecture, a representative of an era called The Mughal Period surpassing any authority to add or de-add anything in any sense in or out of the Taj!

The Taj Mahal stands tall with grace is not just a parable epitome of emotional & eternal love between a man and a woman but for other reasons too.

Emperor Shah Jahan, who commissioned the construction of ‘The Taj’, desired to create it also as a symbol of solemnity, harmony, purity and spirituality as well.
The Taj is not merely a monument of grace and dignity alone. It is, in fact, a message to all mankind that “Pure love is the soul of life”.

 

Potter’s Colony | Raw Revivals

The art of survival is a story that never ends.

– Christian Bale

 

Uttam Nagar, a heavily populated area in west Delhi, was the next destination Peeli Dori had on its cluster list. It is one such corner of self-sustained lifestyle in Delhi,  where you name it and it is there, ranging from fruit sellers to footwear, apparel and even furniture. Take the right turn on the roads of Uttam Nagar and you get what you need. One such road lead to the potter’s colony, popularly known as the “kumhar colony”.

Kumhaar is a community of potters who are practising the art of pottery from the very ancient times. This skill is passed on from generation to generation in these families and both women and men of the family are involved. It takes fine precision to practise this craft and form art out of clay.

The Kumhaar’s colony was a separate world altogether, consisting of around 2000 homes that were into clay pottery. Each household had a different ambiance. As we entered the colony and noticed adjacent houses, our senses were captured with the sight of huge pottery products display at the entrance of each house. It was a sight one cannot forget.

A middle aged man, working effortlessly on his potter’s wheel, was busy shaping an irregular dump of clay into a beautiful vase. As we walked beside him, he welcomed us with polite gestures and asked us about our whereabouts. Upon introducing ourselves we told him about the market that he has for his products and how people with modern lifestyles are still touched with the idea of hand crafted pots and vessels. Beyond his realisation, these facts bought a proud smile on his face. Throughout this conversation, one thing that he did not leave was his potter’s wheel. Nothing could have distracted him from his work and his compassion for it.

They faced the similar challenges as every other craft cluster and were not able to sustain a rhyming lifestyle of healthy and wealthy. They still had the charm to make every bit of it survive, considering it a gift from their ancestors.

Peeli Dori attempts to bring forward these local communities with beautiful crafting skills, on a platform wherein they can be linked with the right market and achieve identification in the urban world for what they do. Recognition is what we seek for them, since we understand the value it has for our society and how much we love having and incorporating their products in our modern lifestyle.

Let us help them continue their beautiful story of throwing on a potter’s wheel.

 

CLUSTER- Potter’s colony

LOCATION- Uttam Nagar, New Delhi

SKILL- Clay pottery

CATEGORIES- Pots, stools, vases, show pieces, lamps, wall hangings

PROBLEM- Repetition of designs, unable to reach right market, unable to recognize the value of their skills

MATERIAL- Clay

 

The Urban Chai.

I like the pause that tea allows- Waris Ahluwalia

Tea is a tradition in India where it is rhymed with a warm welcome. It’s a member in every little household and is a dirk for every class, caste and creed. It unites us together and brings the country on one platform, India the land of Tea.

Accompanying the diversity of Indian cultural heritage and vast variety in thoughts and taste, tea here is available in various forms, flavours and colours. It’s one drink made for everyone. People find ways to customize it according to their taste. It’s available everywhere, on the streets, on highways, in hotels and restaurants.

The authentic way of Indian tea serving is in Mitti Kulhads. It has been the same, since years and people still cherish the idea of tea being served in that manner. It gives an authentic edge to it, something that’s value in the urban scenario. A wide variety of restaurants and café’s with just tea as their main product are running in a good pace and attracting a lot of customers. One of finest examples of this is the Tapri cafe in Jaipur and Chaayos, in New Delhi.

Various flavours of tea are available, like herbal tea, flavoured tea, masala tea, green tea and the list will go on. It is an idea these days to curate various flavours of these and maybe present them to your loved ones.

Keep in mind when you gift such an authentic heritage, the packaging should not go wrong. Visit Peeli Dori and write to us for ideas on these.

Website: http://www.peelidori.com

Cherish the Indian culture of tea on a cold morning, in middle of a highway or just curate some flavours to compile an exciting gift season of festivals.

Gift values with Peeli Dori.

The Bamboo and its knife – Raw Revivals

With all due respect to the beauty of art and aesthetics, a craftsman, when portrays his skills, all garnished up with colour, he tries to convey a message.

A message that speaks of his community, his passed on skills and a story engraved in the lines of his hands. His calibre is portrayed in the finesse of his product.

He is a craftsman, a human of potential.

 

Yet, another corner of the same city, New Delhi, Peeli Dori curated an artisan handcrafting bamboo lifestyle products. He is one that can give life to a bamboo stick with just his skills and knowledge.

On a sunny day with hopes of collaboration and studying one efficient skill practice in India, the bamboo craft, Peeli Dori decided to spread out its reach. It’s astonishing as well as exciting that so many stories are available in just one city. Imagine about the entire country!

The man sat with his co-artisans, busy filing a bamboo stick with his sharp knife. As we approached him, intense in his looks and very generous in his gestures, he welcomed us by offering his bamboo stools to sit. We made ourselves comfortable with him, taking help of some start-up conversations about him and his work. We asked him a couple of questions like, since when and how many in number, he crafted products using bamboo. He was dark and polite in appearance. All his answers came to us with a pleasant smile. He was Suresh, a bamboo craftsman.

ABOUT HIS WORK

Suresh had a hold on his knife, a precise one. His capability and practice to transform a piece of bamboo into a fine usable product was commendable. Product categories that he addressed to with his knowledge were, kid’s furniture, tables, chairs, side stools, laundry bags, general storage, trinket boxes etc. There was a wide range of products, but the only missing aspect was management of his time and the revenue. Suresh spent half of his day crafting a product that he sold in just 50 INR. He had beautiful products but it was difficult to spot him, since his shop was in the corner of a lane.

He used bamboo sticks and finely woven fibres of bamboo with colour accents of different threads. His knife did it all for him, rest was up to tying, nailing and pasting. From scratch to the finishing, he knew what all will go in to complete a product. His material, bamboo is the most sustainable need of the hour. It’s a quick growing resource and does not utilise a lot of water. Bamboo at the same time is easy on the pockets and one can craft various products out of it. We need people like Suresh to take bamboo craft to a next level and make it available for the masses.

SOME MASTERPIECES

Suresh had a little space to him and it was where he displayed his work for sale as well as managed to have his workshop. Some of his well-crafted products that fascinated us were the kid’s table, the stool we were offered to sit on and some storage bowls. Many more can take their place in the list. He had a fine way of combining colour with neutral bamboo shades.

 

INABILITY TO UNDERSTAND THE POTENTIAL MARKET

Suresh had all the talent one requires to achieve excellence in his work, but still he cannot manage a well sustainable lifestyle for himself, he cannot grow his business. The only reason we could see is that he cannot reached the market, a potential one I would say. He had no idea to what extent people needed his skills out there in the urban world, to sustain their lifestyle and have a healthy environment.

 

CRAFT/TECHNIQUES- Bamboo craft

LOCATION- New Delhi

MATERIAL- Bamboo

PROBLEM- unidentified market and inability to reach them

POTENTIAL/ADVANTAGE- Sustainable product, need of the hour.

The Art of Shoe Making – Raw Revivals

How far have we reached with our modern minds and left behind an art of crafting.

The art will not be passed to the next generation.

Where will it go?

 Die just like that?

 ……………………………

The value of Indian crafts and skills has undoubtedly reached all the shores. What takes it back in India is the dignity that we assign to these artisans. They are the most precious pearls in the collection of Indian society, but sadly only a few are left.

One such story of a dying skill lies in a corner of New Delhi. On one hand the city is flourishing with

contemporary aesthetics and lifestyle and on the other, there are still some communities left with the craft cultural heritage, which is not being passed to the next generation. This fact is heart-breaking for the urban- sector, in the sense that now it will be more difficult for them to reach out for exclusive products with handmade aesthetics and quality.

The skills of Indian crafts are not booming with success, due to unawareness amongst the craftsmen. A story to justify the above statement was experienced by Peeli Dori a few days back.

It was in Karol Bagh, where these craftsmen reside. They are the local shoe-makers and finely handcraft them with leather and fabric. Their art of constructing a shoe is striking. One artisan crafts one pair of shoes in a day and the fine details that are visible, justifies it all. In search of these craftsmen , we visited a couple of households and shops. Everybody had a beautiful example to demonstrate their art but neither had a vision to expand it.

In conversation with an artisan, we got to know that he was content with whatever little earning he had. He looked forward to shut down his business and see his children well settled in a job fetching him a handsome income.

It was truly heart-breaking for a shoe lover like me. Rest of the artisans had a similar response. They did not see potential in their own art. But I, when completely understand the rare craftsmanship that they possess say, no monetary values shall stop me to buy an exclusive pair of shoes, handcrafted with skills, by an artisan like one of them. It will be the most cherished piece in my wardrobe.

What is it that an Italian designer will make you pay the cost of your life, for that one pair of shoe?

It is the design and the fine craftsmanship behind it. Italians celebrate their art of crafting and the organised setup helps them do so. They conquer the industry of lifestyle and fashion trends and ironically, China is the largest consumer of their products.

This fact makes us realise the potential of skills we have in our own mother-land, and nothing takes back to say that if money, were to be replaced with skills , India would have been the richest country on earth.

We at Peeli Dori are helping these artisans to realise that the world is craving for their skills. Adding a little contribution of modern design and trends, we get these skills on a convenient platform for our customers to add these values to their lifestyle.

Have the luxury of handcrafted lifestyle at Peeli Dori.

 

CLUSTER- Leather cluster

LOCATION- Karol Bagh, New Delhi

SKILL- Shoe making

CATEGORIES- Mojiries, Leather boots, and formal shoes

PROBLEM- Limited market and knowledge to expand and realise their own potential

MATERIAL- Leather and fabric

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Unique Gifting Brands That Give Back.

What can one think of as the best gifting idea to really show that you care. Gifts for a cause and socially conscious gift giving demonstrates that you’ve really thought about the gift and went the extra mile to find a unique, socially conscious gift. What do we mean by socially conscious here is when you buy a product, you render a whole community with colours of happiness along with the one you are gifting it to. It connects emotionally with every stage it crosses through.

For the socially conscious, holiday shopping becomes a series of small agonies. We wonder who made the tchotchke we’re contemplating, and how long it will take before it ends up as landfill, where it will sit for—5? 500?—years until it decomposes. We think about the endless Möbius loop of consumerism and whom it helps, and whom it hurts. We wonder if the social, economic and environmental impact of our buying act will eclipse the joy of giving and receiving it. Frankly, it’s exhausting! But thankfully, there are manufacturers out there who have taken these issues to heart and offer gifts that promote what the season is really all about: helping others.

Here are some of them.

 

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Upasana Studio

Upasana Studio is a socially responsible fashion brand based in South India. Its founder, Uma Prajapati built the business on principles that consider the bigger picture of design – from the product life cycle to the wellbeing of the people creating the products. The brand is a fairtrade practice that is committed to zero waste production, which involves using indigenous cottons, upcycling and natural dyeing.

Link- http://www.upasana.in/


 

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No Nasties

No Nasties is a proactive organic fashion brand that aims to pave the way for an ethical fashion movement in India by fronting the establishment of fairtrade communities. The brand produces 100 per cent organic, cotton clothing for men and women through an entirely green process, which includes handpicking the cotton and an eco-friendly production system.

Link- http://www.nonasties.in/


 

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Metaphor Racha

Bangalore-based brand Metaphor Racha creates all its products, from sarees and tunics to bags and stoles, out of Khadi – a locally-produced cloth, spun and woven entirely by hand. The brand provides sustainable work for Khadi artisans who carefully create the garments with hardly any carbon footprint.

Link- https://www.facebook.com/metaphor-racha-148704595236159/


 

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Behno

The brand Behno is making a difference and setting an example for current and future fashion labels. Garment workers at its factory in India (MSA Ethos) work in clean and safe conditions unlike many other factory workers in the country. In face the New York based label Behno, whose founder, Shivam Punjya, owns a stake in the factory. Factory workers and garment designers at MSA Ethos are involved with various processes in the designing and production of the clothes – working side by side with designers and employees of Behno.

Link- http://behno.com/


 

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Peeli Dori

Inspired from these stories, Peeli dori is a contemporary brand upholding the essence of Indian traditions and skills. The fine handcrafted products are a thread between the Indian raw living and High-end voguish lifestyle. Looking for life under the small shelters the idea is to re-paint the vanishing and hidden craft skills. Peeli Dori is making a difference in the commercial market by making the hand based skills meet the demand in the urban market by linking the craftsmen of Indian online and showcasing their skills with contemporary design aesthetics.

Link- http://peelidori.com/

If the idea is to go for a product which is authentic to the skill based in India and fits into the Morden lifestyle. Peeli Dori is where you can conveniently look for a product to suit any of your modern needs while being a smart and conscious buyer.