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.
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
PROBLEM- unidentified market and inability to reach them
POTENTIAL/ADVANTAGE- Sustainable product, need of the hour.