The Handmade- Narrator of Silent Tales

Creating pieces by hand evokes joy and wonder—we exclaim at the extraordinary simplicity and complexity interwoven in crafts that are “handmade”. In our living spaces, be they homes or offices, anything handmade tends to become the focal point of wonder and pleasure. What makes the handmade so evocative of natural elegance? The personal touch of a human being becomes material and adds the artisan’s life and warmth to a handmade piece. Bamboo blinds remind us of the search for the right bamboo in wild, tropical forests; jute rugs are woven with a natural, sturdy grass grown and handcrafted to beauty; hand embroidery—the craft of centuries of passed down tradition; furniture—crafted from logs of wood into usable, artistic pieces is also the story of custom and skill of generations of carpenters. And only these hand-crafted things become heirlooms for the future. The handmade is not only beautiful, it is also the preservation and perseverance of community over industry. It is the story of people, for people and it is also the beacon of resilient, elegant art. The “handmade” is an irreplaceable and timeless story-teller of people’s histories.

Words: Sugandha Das

Images: Shivani Dogra

Banner Image-  work on a  summer Kimono: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne 

handmade, india, crotchet, embroidery, convent work, textile, interiors, natural

Clockwise from top left: Detail on a lime-painted wall in Lucknow, A hand crocheted drawstring (Nada) for a salwar kameez by my great-grandmother, Hand embroidered handkerchiefs from a Convent in Kerala, Hand done lace napkins and handkerchiefs from a Convent in Kanyakumari, Silver tumbler from my great-great- grandmother given to my grandmother as a birthday gift, Corner detail of a home decorated in Gurgaon with a hand-carved wood picture frame, silver bowl and copper urn


From left: Vintage zari border in silver and silk thread from an old sari gifted by a friend, A quilted bedspread and table cover from Brigette Singh, An intricately woven border on a Pashmina shawl from my great -grand mother

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