It’s 9:30pm and away from the din of day, the silence at the studio gives me time to think and bring my ideas to the drawing table. Here is a glimpse into an upcoming design. I am working on a hand printed range and to get the right colour, I will keep exploring a zillion hues till I find the perfect one. Testing all types of papers, ranging from fibrous handmade to the regular mill made. At AP nothing is approved without an actual prototype; my eyes see to believe and my hands touch to feel the emerging piece that the mind has visualised a very long time ago. The Idea germinates till the time is right and when it is time, the various elements fall into place to give you another piece of art. Coming soon.
Today, out of the blue, I picked-up a sliver of Khadi and some red thread. I sewed randomly and realised that with todays machines and softwares; a lot of us are losing touch with real craftsmanship. As designers, we need to experience the ideas we set forth to create.
The last I sewed was over a decade ago, it was a time when I was busy discovering my dexterity in crafts. My solemn promise today is to get back to working with my hands. I have done it well in the past and hope to do more in the days ahead as it brings me closer to my passion. How about you?
Artist: @ReubenFernandes #PatronsOfAnandPrakash
Reuben is an engineer by profession and an artist by passion. A biker, learning kung-fu and indulging in home-gardening. There is a Royal Enfield Super Delux in his family, purchased in 1986 and has done over 93000 kilometres. Flip through his watercolours above.
Sketch Book by Anand Prakash, banana-fibre paper cover with a Khadi spine. The drawing sheets are handmade from white recycled cotton. Chlorine, acid and lignin free. Available in a variety of sizes. Try and buy at our stores in Kalaghoda(Mumbai) and Shahpur Jat(Delhi)
All art and pictures by Reuben Fernandes
Many moons ago, an anonymous person shared a poem called “my soul is deeply dyed” written by an anonymous poet. Since then, I have always wondered about the anonymous poems and paintings that I come across from time to time. Anonymous donors to charity, anonymous benefactors and anonymous acts of kindness. I was lately told about an anonymous person, who regularly bought a lot of my work to encourage me in my early self-taught career.
– this range is my ode to those anonymous souls living in obscurity, many of them have given us beautiful words and many of them have changed lives by their kindness.
A blank journal and bookmark for the anonymous you…
Tie N Dye fabric from here and there.
At Anand Prakash, we pick-up beautiful textiles from across India and this one is from a very long time ago.
Wishing everyone a very Happy Holi!
Surajkund International Crafts Mela, Haryana
A picture speaks a thousand words. While leaving the Surajkund Crafts Mela, I saw this young crisply-dressed gentleman(let’s call him Mintu) selling these horses to passersby. He reminded me of the Indian entrepreneur, self-motivated and raring to go against odds, the odds here could be the event organisers as It looked like he gate-crashed. This gentleman was carrying three of his horses as he wouldn’t have the time to replenish his stock midway. There was a lot of confidence in him while he tried to sell his pieces to people passing by, some families stopped, tried to haggle on the price and mostly moved on when they couldn’t get a deal of their choice. Mintu looked prepared for the evening, he was trying to spot his potential customers, eye contact is enough to make the move, his eyes met mine but I think I did not fit the bill because he then glanced over my shoulders. A glance here and a glance there, he was hunting for two sets of people; a potential customer and the potential babu who could evict him and ruin his big day.
In Daltonganj, where I spent a part of my childhood, these horses would be like trophies in the drawing room, a piece of art to show off to visiting guests, the talk would be of how one managed to get a good deal on these pieces of art and how it would beautify the space that it occupied. Drawing rooms that I remember often have stuffed animals, crystal pieces, artificial flowers in vases and not to forget the framed paintings and cross stitch done by the girls before their marriages. I remember the display of one of my relatives; the daughter proudly displayed her pieces of craft in the “sunmica” lined case. Whenever I got an opportunity to see her craft, I went back home and haggled with my mother for pocket money to buy material to replicate the very same pieces.
Coming back to Mintu, I started to think about his potential customers. A family with children was interested, the child was inspecting the horse while the parents looked on, Mintu would occasionally pat the horse to demonstrate how sturdy it was, the child was convinced but not the parents, the father was still thinking if the price was right while Mintu was employing every trick in his trade to convince his grahak(customer). After all this time, the father finally found reasons not to buy; “Ghar par jagah nahi hain rakhne ke liye aur waise bhi tum ek din main bore ho jaoge”(There is no space to keep it at home and you will get bored of it in a day)
Mintu was smartly dressed for his age, trousers with a folded hem and matching shoes. He looked confident as it is not easy to carry three horses against the flow of people, I have a feeling that he must have observed and learnt from his elders. With his three horses, he stood out from the crowd. Was this the primary reason for him to carry three of them? If he was carrying one, I am sure I too would have missed him.
I imagined him studying his customer and then using the right words and descriptions to make the pitch, there must be a strategy and some planning and these must have worked earlier in his favour. While most of the people just walked past him, some glanced at the horses and hesitatingly heard him out. With a few hours remaining for the mela to close, I wondered how many horses he had sold, did he have more stock, was it strategically stored somewhere around the premises for easy access, what if he sold all three within the next few minutes, would he have more to sell? I think he needs his three horses to be battle ready, it gives him the confidence to sell and makes him stand out in the sea of people.
I observed him for only 2-3 minutes and then took a picture. I wish I had stopped to talk to him, I could have learned more.
Photo by Anand Prakash