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Providing an upscale platform for artisans

The Crafts Council of India (CCI) opens Kamala – The Crafts Shop, in the city, to the service of the artisan communities, offering a permanent window for high-quality crafts, in some of India’s most important markets.

Providing an upscale platform for artisans
Works of artisans available at Kamala


Kamala is named after Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, social activist, freedom fighter and most importantly, the force behind the handicrafts movement that began in the 1950s-60s. The first Kamala shop was set up in Delhi in 2005. It has now become a popular shopping destination and a must-visit in travel guides. The equally inviting Kamala Kolkata was set up in 2008. Now, CCI brings the store to Chennai at Pantheon Road, Co-optex grounds. 

Geeta Ram, chairperson of CCI that is head-quartered in Chennai, says, “The main idea is to give the artisans and weavers a mainstream platform to showcase their work. We have also tried to equip them with skills that will be pivotal in helping them create and market products that are not just artistic but also serve as utility items.” 

At Kamala, CCI showcases products of excellence and quality as well as specially designed products developed during the course of interaction with artisans over the last three decades. Customers to the store can expect to see unusual mats, trivets and serve ware, in wood, terracotta, stone, ceramic and metal; tribal art for walls, trays that have folk idioms, painting on wooden boxes, marble with mother of pearl inlay, floor coverings made of grass; an array of bedspreads and table cloths, using appliqué, block prints, ikkats and other striking weaves; wooden toys, puzzles and craft kits for children.  

“In a world of increasing uniformity, it has been CCI’s dream to weave the unique beauty of handicrafts back into everyday lives — to reaffirm the relevance and the viability of the handcrafted object. We will keep reinventing the store every two or three months. 

In April, for Tamil New Year, the focus will be on handicrafts from TN, while July will have natural dyes as the main element. Also, people will get to hear fascinating stories about a creation’s origins, its makers and more,” she adds.

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