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Christmas cribs with a message

C.A. John,a Chennai resident, uses scrap creatively every Christmas to devise cribs with a message

Christmas cribs with a message
C.A. John and Santa Claus next to the crib designed by him, at his residence


C. A. John’s idea of Christmas is a decidedly far cry fromthe mistletoe and holly routine, with all its consumerist trappings -- reams ofwrapping paper, satin ribbons and tinsel and sequins, discarded the momentpresents are torn open. The 59-year-old resident of Kodambakkam makes Christmascribs, based on various themes, out of waste material.

“I started doing this in 2006. My first model was a hummingbird. I then went on to devise a lotus pond, house boat, bamboo forest, treetrunk, candle (large size), jingle bell, and this year, it’s a globe to conveythe importance of saving an environment which is dealing with global warming. Imake all this with discarded material,” he says. 

When John was in Class 8, he’dhelp decorate his relative’s marriage hall. While others did it with flowers,he wanted to do something different and started mining scrap to put what hederived from it to good use. The passion grew and he started using unwanteditems to create beautiful objects. “For me, everything canbe used to make something. I don’t like the idea of throwing away things. 

Fromshopping bags to logs of wood, water bottles and the caps of cold drinks, I trymaking use of everything,” says John, who works as an administrativeprofessional in a private firm. It took him 15 days to make the globe. “I usedtwo bamboo basketsto give it a shape. For the decoration, I used gunny bags,dried tea bags, small plastic bags, unused thermocol, sponge, old clothes andfabric,” he says. 

“It’s all about creativity. When I made flowers, I usedplastic bottles to recreate the petals and green coloured shopping bags for theleaves.” People can visit his home to see the 2.5-foot tall crib. For furtherdetails, call 90435 21772.

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