Kovai-based artiste crafts keepsakes of an ‘organic’ kind

Sabari says that being in the business for over two years, she has received bizarre things but still reveres the memory anyway. “I have had people send me articles like used soaps, half-eaten chocolates, shampoo packets, and a single strand of eyelash hair.
Kovai-based artiste crafts keepsakes of an ‘organic’ kind

A room filled with dried flower bouquets, wedding garlands, nuptial threads, and personal articles belonging to someone or the other; having a story of its own. Sabari Girija from Coimbatore understands that memories are everything. That is why she took it upon herself to maintain the sanctity of these memories by preserving them with her art.

Sabari preserves articles sent to her by her clients into artsy keepsakes like pendants, name boards, earrings, resin discs, keychains, and lots more.

Sabari, who was working as a Financial Executive at BNP Paribas in 2020, had to quit her job after she got married and moved with her husband to the US. “We were in the US for 6 months and then we came back to Coimbatore. That’s when the lockdown happened. I was so bored at home, that I decided to rediscover my passion for art. I used to paint on canvasses and post them on my Instagram page, Saba Art House. My followers grew and people started inquiring for commissioned art,” she says.

On asking how the preservation art began, she says, “I always wanted to create a Baby Memory Kit, the idea is to preserve articles belonging or used by the baby during the first three months of nursing, like clothes, pacifier, etc. While discussing this idea with a client, she asked me what are the other things I could preserve. The question struck me and I began wondering what are the other things I could preserve.

“That was when my friend was getting married and I offered to preserve her wedding garland into a resin name board. I made it and posted it on my profile. People loved the idea and I began receiving several orders. Among many things people send their nuptial threads, baby nails, chocolate wrappers, proposal bouquets, and umbilical cords.”

Sabari says that being in the business for over two years, she has received bizarre things but still reveres the memory anyway. “I have had people send me articles like used soaps, half-eaten chocolates, shampoo packets, and a single strand of eyelash hair. One of my clients lost his father and wanted me to turn his bone into a pendant. They even sent me a picture of the partially burned bone. I got so uncomfortable that I had to polietly decline the order,” she says.

While also fulfilling such bizarre orders, she says she feels immense gratification when she is able to help in easing the pain of grieving people who have just lost a loved one. “Many people send me their loved ones’ ashes to be turned into pendants. I made a gold pendant with cat hair in it for a cat parent who lost her cat recently. Whenever I receive these objects I am extremely scared because I don’t want to damage them. But I also feel extremely privileged that they chose me and my studio to make it for them,” she smiles.

Sabari now has over 15 thousand followers on her social media handle and receives over 25 orders in a month. She says she makes do with whatever help she receives from her husband, but it is difficult to manage so many orders. Therefore, she momentarily takes a break to complete orders and resumes work again.

Sabari’s goal is to make the Baby Memory Kit well-known among her followers and produce it on a bigger scale.

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