Babu Bhai – Goes global with his metal craft
Gujarat is home to some truly amazing art and craft traditions which have been survived and preserved over many generations. There are many artisan families who have worked relentlessly in sustaining these Handicrafts and presenting them to world. One such story is of “Babubhai” from Mehsana.
Babubhai’s family had been working with metal craft for last many generations. Babubhai continued this tradition and started working with Metal craft at a very young age.
However, Babubhai saw this dream coming to an end in early 2000. With constantly increasing challenges of marketing, costing and raw material availability with Metal Craft, Babubhai decided to give up on his artisanal brilliance and shifted working with other crafts which were easier to sustain.
In 2006-07, team of Craftroots visited Babubhai in his village and convinced him not to give up on his dream. Team started working with Babubhai on improving his designs, introducing new products such as lamps and identifying new markets for his products. Babubhai through Craftroots also participated in workshop on metal craft conducted at prestigious institute CEPT in Ahmedabad, Design innovation and craft Resource Center(DICRC), CEPT University, Ahmedabad in collaboration with Craftroots, Ahmedabad along with industry support -International Copper Promotion Council (India), Mumbai and Rachaita Creation Solutions, Baroda. While Babubhai used to make only vessels and dishes, along with team of Craftroots he started designing lamps of metal.
2017 Exhibition at Surat
Babubhai participated in a large-scale exhibition organised by Craftroots in Ahmedabad in 2010. More than 3000 people visited the exhibition and Babubhai was overwhelmed at the response and appreciation he received. Since then, he has been a regular participant at all Craftroots exhibition across many cities.
Since then Babubhai, known as Babukaka has not looked back. He is a regular participant in many exhibitions across the country and in Craftroots.
Pithora Paintings, All the way From Chhota Udaipur From Urban India.
Chhota Udaipur, a small district in Gujarat is home to many unique craft forms such as Pithorapainitng, bamboo craft, terracotta etc. However, many of them are languishing day by day due to lack of education, awareness and market access amongst local community. It was not long ago that tourists would fear travelling to interior part of the district due to fear of being robbed.This has had adverse impact on local crafts.
The Rathwa tribes of Chota Udaipur are famous for their Pithora mural paintings. These paintings are produced by mixing colours with milk and then using it to depict intricate motifs and scenes on the walls. As Craftroots, our first interaction with the community was in 2013. Meeting their local leader Mansinghbhai, was nothing less than an adventure. Mansinghbhai’s family has been practicing this craft for last many generations.When the local community feared exposing themselves to urban cities, it was Mansinghbhai who came to their rescue. He used to take many local artisans along with him whenever he got the chance to visit city markets for the purpose of business.
2014 was the first time Mansinghbhai participated in Craftroots exhibition. Since then, our team has worked closely with Mansinghbhai and local community in developing their paintings on various other mediums such as fabric, paper etc apart from wall painting.