Handmade in India: An encyclopedia of the handicrafts of India
Handmade in India
Edited by Aditi Ranjan and M.P. Ranjan
576 pages, 3500 colour photographs and 140 maps, 9.5 x 13.5” (240 x 340 mm), hc, October 2007, ISBN: 978-81-88204-57-1 (Mapin), Series ISBN: 978-81-88204-49-6 (Mapin), Copublished in association with COHANDS
Rs.3,950.00 / US$95.00
more about availability in October 2007
from the Mapin Publishers Pvt. Ltd. link here
Handmade in India, volume 1, is a tribute to the Indian craftsperson and is organized by the geographical distribution of the crafts across all states and regions of the country. The Indian craftsperson has demonstrated an uncanny understanding of materials which is combined with a mastery of the tools, techniques and processes that have evolved over the centuries through social and cultural interactions, a tribute to the creative design abilities of the village society. The Eames India Report talks about a search for the values that is uniquely Indian and it is here that the study of Indian crafts will help inform current and future actions in the continuous evolution of the economy and the form that it takes in shaping the culture of the land. Today this craft continuum constitutes an enormous resource that can be harnessed for the future development of our society, particularly as the backbone of a creative economy that is enabled by the embedded knowledge in the traditional wisdom of the sector as well as the digital technologies that help connect this ancient skill to new and future opportunities for the craftspersons across India. We will need to make this enormous knowledge base accessible to planners, business and the rural and urban craftsmen as well as connect these to new local and global opportunities for these skills and resources to be reinterpreted in new and imaginative ways.
Sample page showing a typical craft and associated images, text and keywords
This we believe is the foundation of the creative economy of the future in a massively web enabled world and easy access in both directions which promises to link the craftsmen to new markets across the world. For this to happen there are several steps involved and the book will be the first in offering insights and data on this vast resource as well as be a vehicle that can provide a platform and a structure to enhance this knowledge using the new digital networks and tools of access and interaction that it provides provided the required investments are made in infrastructure and training to realize the inherent potential. It is our intention that the information as well as the framework of situated keywords provided in this book will help all concerned with the promotion, development and use of the crafts of India would be empowered to build a sustainable network of live information. This we believe will help our craftsmen re-connect with world markets, just as they had been doing for centuries in their own village and in their trade route networks of the past, and now the world can be their new village economy, if they are enabled and empowered to change to meet these new circumstances with access to information that is both live and relevant.
This volume, “Handmade in India”, is the first of three that are planned and it provides a geographic organization of craft distribution across the length and breadth of the country and shows how craft permeates even the remotest corner of India. In this introductory note we have tried to summarize the enormity of craft variety and the significant role that it plays in the day-to-day lives of both rural and urban people. These linked posts below cover several frequently asked questions about this massive work that has gone on for many years at NID and now we are in a position to make it available to a wider audience for the benefit of informed decisions relating to the development initiatives associated with these crafts in India.
As editors of this work situated as design teachers at India’s National Institute of Design, we would like to celebrate the arrival of the first advance copy from the Mapin Publishers and it is a confirmation of more that 40 years of efforts by faculty and students of this great Institute who have sustained their interest in the crafts of India as a design and development resource for the country when few other organizations showed real interest in what was seen as a glory of the past. That it is a living resource as well as a resource for the future is something that we would strongly advocate and call for sustained investments from both government and industry to ensure its continuity towards a the realization of its future potential as a driver for the creative economy for the estimated six million crafts persons who have kept this knowledge alive through their actions and traditional methods of transmission which we are today trying to capture in an explicit format between the covers of a book. We have had thinkers from the past comparing the crafts of India with the oceans of the world, vast and impossible to put into a bottle of any kind. We are very aware that it is only the whole earth and its gravity that can act as an adequate container for the oceans and water bodies of our planets ecology. Our vast and varied crafts traditions and practices can be compared to this vast ocean and it is only the tips of this enormous ice-berg that are visible in the book and we hope that the web and the digital networks that built in the subsequently phases can support and can play the role of making the rest of the hidden volume visible and accessible in the days ahead. Our attempt has been to provide a framework on which this can be built in the days ahead.
It is a pleasure to hold the advance copy in hand and see the realization of a dream and the fructification of the efforts of several generations of NID designers as well as a large team of contributors who have made this book possible, thank you all. We would like to thank our sponsors the Development Commissioner of Handicrafts, Government of India, the COHANDS, Mapin Publishers as well as our Institute, the National Institute of Design for having provided us the opportunity of producing this work and we look forward to an active period of cooperation in taking this forward to the next stages through volumes two, three and beyond.
Aditi Ranjan & M P Ranjan
Editors: Handmade in India
7 August 2007 from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India
See a note on the Information Architecture used for the book to enable informed web searches on each craft that is covered here in the book.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Handmade in India: An encyclopedia of the handicrafts of India