When Weavers Forged Their Own Creative Paths
The creativity and passion of our weavers is abundantly clear when you see the carpets they make. Jaipur Rugs Foundation (JRF) recently recognized this talent with the Manchaha Awards 2016, where carpets from the Artisan Collection were showcased.
About 400 people gathered at Ramdas Maharaj ki Dhuni, a space for community gatherings in the village of Aspura in Rajasthan. Attendees included artisans, local villagers and several representatives from Jaipur Rugs Co.’s (JRC) head office. The ceremony was held to honor those artisans who, in addition to weaving carpets, also designed pieces using their own creativity and imagination.
“These talented artisans not only weave these beautiful designs, they are now designing them using inspiration from their unique surroundings,” said Nand Kishore Chaudhary (NKC), founder, chairman and managing director of JRC.
The top nine weavers who created five stunning rugs were awarded with the Khubsoorat Galeecha: Swarna (golden rugs) award, while three other weavers received the Khubsoorat Galeecha: Moti (rugs of pearl) award. All of the Manchaha artisans were given certifications of participation and a small gift as a token of appreciation. The chief guest was Major Gaurav Prashar, an Indian Army officer. Also in attendance was R.C. Sharma, a resort owner who has 25 years’ experience in the textile industry.
Weavers have been practicing their art for generations. The unique and special perspective they bring to their creations is largely due to their rural environs. It is a different lifestyle – one that consists of hard work but is also full of simplicity and happiness.
Typically, weavers are given a design map that is created by trained designers at our head office. The weavers make the carpet by carefully adhering to the map. But sometimes, we do not like to follow a set path. Instead we want to wander and see where the path takes us. This is exactly the idea behind the Weaver Design Project, which allows artisans a free hand at designing their own rugs rather than following someone else’s composition. From this project, The Artisan Collection was born.
“I encourage all weavers to take inspiration from the Artisan Collection and create your own designs by weaving your lives into the carpets you make,” said NKC. Kavita Chaudhary, design director at JRC, spoke to the artisans about their strong connection to design. “Artisans may or may not be aware, but they often inspire designers to come up with exciting and new types of patterns,” she said. “I am so proud to be part of a community that has such deep and raw talent.”
Connecting rural artisans to the global community an important goal of JRF and JRC. To make this connection even more meaningful weavers viewed a video with messages from customers around the world praising their work. They were also shown all of the different countries in which their rugs are sold and pictures of the actual carpets in various spaces.
“My business wouldn’t exist without the weavers. That’s how important you (weavers) are to me,” exclaimed one customer.