Week One: Sharing Stories and Ideas

The first day began with each design student receiving a kit which included information on the various crafts, artist bios, sketchpads and bookmarks. Artisan-Students received sketchpads, and name tags alongside information about the Residency.

To introduce each art and the processes involved, we started with demonstrations. Artists shared stories of their humble beginnings, proud moments of achievement, and introduced everyone to their creative process.

Aakib Bhai began the first session of the residency with a series of different blocks, fills, and techniques of making resist, color and showed everyone how a finished piece comes along! He also showed us some of his finished products so we had an idea about how he used innovative techniques such as masking!

Hanif Bhai followed suit and engaged everyone in creating some amazing samples of Bandhani.  Students helped him in the tying process, and watched excitedly how the colors unfolded to create designs.

Sanjana (Sanju) Devi, our extremely creative Sujani artist showed some of her previous works, and using her samples narrated different stories depicted in her art. And thus began the shopping! In no time at all, students had bought wall hangings, stoles, and cushion covers. A most simple art form, Sujani uses only two types of stitches: chain stitch, and running stitch! The use of colors is what makes it most interesting!

Naseem Bano, the celebrated Chikankari artist, also displayed her masterpiece, which familiarized everyone with the numerous stitches used in this type of embroidery. A most delicate art, this has also been one the oldest traditions in embroidery.

The week continued with presentations on international trends and styles by our Australian friends from UTS. The students also showcased mood-boards, which immensely helped artists understand concepts and how the industry functioned. The first steps towards gaining designer-experience had been achieved. They were studying works of other designers, and getting inspired!

Amidst lunches and games, we have gotten around to knowing each other and in the week to come, things will get more exciting as each artist will work in teams and experiment with creativity!

Some glimpses of the first week gone by are here.

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