By Kanika Dhawan
I love the idea of creating something; the innovation and skill that gives people the ability to make something out of nothing is truly amazing! From bright origami birds, kite paper-match boxes, funky papier-mâché hair accessories to beer bottle plant holders, the art of craft fascinates me!
Delhi has no dearth of shops for picking up pottery & handicrafts, but of late, ordering interesting things online seems to be the new cool thing. And when Tanveen Ratti and Nikhil Paul launched www.wemakelove.in, their rakhis, made in collaboration with with Jaipur-based NH8 using miniature tigers and recycled material, proved to be a sell-out! From the onset, they were clear about the mission of their online craft-shop. “Our aim is to connect young people to craft!” says Paul.
So what can you pick up from this store? Well, for those with Hercule Poirot-dads or boyfriends, there is a Mooch comb (incidentally created by a certain Nathu Singh of Bijnor; no it’s not the same guy from Sharaabi!). Then, there are ‘I Love You ‘coasters in Hindi from Locopoco, Mumbai, a three-headed Chai-Paani money bank by Bengaluru-based Studio ABD, a ‘Don’t Grow Up’ screen printed hanger, and dog-bone shaped clips and wooden photo pegs, amongst other really inventive things.
Collaborating with Indian artisans in an interdisciplinary manner, Ratti & Paul take a simple product and transform it into something unique. Case in point- a simple wooden milk bottle from Karnataka’s toy town, Channapatna, that caught their eyes. After a brain-storming session with artisans from the village, they developed it into a milk bottle that is a tea-set in itself with three different compartments for tea, sugar and milk!
The duo hopes to give craft its due- something they’ve been passionate about since design school. As of now, they are busy ideating for the upcoming season of Diwali. With the theme as ‘Green Delhi’, their collaborations are in full swing! Their neighbour, Shubangini Singh, who is a fashion designer, will be making greeting cards. They’ll be creating tea-lights with miniature Lakshmi and Ganesh, and diya-houses inspired by the blue hues of Jodhpur. The gift that made me jump with joy was a skeletal structure of a tiny wooden herb garden box with compartments for basil, thyme and sage seeds. One can plant the seeds in small pots near a window sill and re-use the box as a mini-tray!
After all, they make love…that’s pure, unadulterated and 100% Indian!
About the Author | Kanika Dhawan is a devoted Dilliwallah who loves bustling bazaars, vintage jewellery and all things, handcrafted. She loves writing features, funking up junk and taking people on shop walks while courageously wading her way through the city’s buy-lanes!