Kirti Kulkarni |

Handprints: Building Blocks of Aranya Naturals

Guide Krishna Amin Patel
Sponsor Aranya Naturals, Tata Global Beverages Ltd.,
Keywords colour palette;design vocabulary;motifs;natural dyeing

Aranya Naturals is located in the lush green tea estates of Munnar; it aims to preserve traditional craft practices, while providing welfare opportunities to physically challenged youth in the region. The project aimed at developing a hand block printed product range as an addition to their vocabulary of tie and dye and wax resist printing to be showcased in an exhibition 'Paramparik Karigar'.

The project began with a detailed research on Munnar and its people, their culture and surroundings. As the project unfolded itself, many layers were added, such as scope of the existing facilities at Aranya, the existing design vocabulary and the changes desired, and the methodology followed by the people there. A detailed understanding of the process of natural dyeing followed there and the various possibilities and limitations were helpful in the design process.

The study of the local culture, fauna, and flora became very crucial in the design process. The motifs that were developed for the wood blocks were based on the local traditions and forms inspired by the natural surroundings there, while giving a fresh and contemporary look to them. After several form explorations, a final set of blocks was developed, keeping the material and colour palette in mind.

The final delivers were a set of hand-crafted, block printed stoles and saris. The entire process was thoroughly enriching. This project gave an insight into various other factors involved in the process, the actual industry and production scenario, the many people attached and living with the place. The project moved beyond the work of only developing blocks and layouts; it gave a new lease of life and direction to the whole system and the people in it.
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