Sunday, October 19, 2008

Nurture the craft

Visited an exhibition in Mumbai recently by SEWA Lucknow . Extensive range of hand embroidered dupattas , kurtas , sarees . Most of it very average in design and quality . It was disheartening to see an institution that was once responsible for the revival and popularization of Lucknowi embroidery bring mediocre products in all categories to an exhibition.

While SEWA Lucknow's ranges at the Mumbai exhibitions have never come anywhere close to the pinnacle of the Lucknowi embroidery - the range at this exhibition was a new low compared even to their earlier ranges . It is possible that they endeavored to make products to fit into some price points . There was a limited range of heavily embroidered products . Those too were disappointing in terms of quality.
(it is possible that my assessment stems from the quality of hand embroidered products we develop and source as SoulQuest . And that lay consumers may have found the range worth trying especially considering the price ranges )

It takes a lot to nurture traditional craft forms . There are no formal schools that impart training . It is knowledge that is passed down from generation to generation . Unlike factory produced goods there aren't any objective standards to assess quality in hand made . The 'quality' in hand made ranges from impeccable , exquisite work to average to shoddy . Passion , rigor and discipline are crucial to ensure that the creations consistently do justice to the craft and the artisan.

Here's hoping that the next range from SEWA Lucknow will delight - for design and quality.

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