A guest post by the talented Aarti Badamikar on her experience while working with Aham Bhumika
Aham Bhumika is an NGO based in Bhopal, working on education and women empowerment for over 3 years. They have skill-trained 40+ women in hand embroidery in the outskirts of Bhopal. Embroidery as a skill and a method of making requires the least amount of investment. One can create wonders in embroidered with a single needle, thread and a piece of cloth.
Two years ago when I met Subrat Goswami, the founder of Aham Bhumika, I was overwhelmed by the quality of embroidery and their dedication towards the ‘handmade” concept. They were looking for design inputs to enhance their product line.
Design is not a discipline; it is a way of life – that was my mantra while working on project Aham Bhumika.
My idea of a good product is – good material, proper process, right detailing, optimum design and colour. Textile design is more of what you touch and feel than what you see. Streamlining fabric sourcing and pre-processes of embroidery and utilizing existing fabric is what I started with. The result of this was a small collection of zipper pouches named Eye Candy. Some of the designs for cushion covers were inspired by nature and geometry. Ranging from local inspiration of Gond Art to global inspiration like Sashiko and Otomi embroideries, I made sure that design is process driven and is as cohesive as possible. I believe it is important for craft design to have global aspirations along with a strong local foundation.
The best part of working with crafts is the hands-on approach it demands to achieve the desired outcome. I truly enjoyed working with Aham Bhumika and look forward to collaborating often. In fact, I am now working on a collection of hand embroidered stoles for the upcoming festive season.
Aarti Badamikar works at a juncture of design, craft and art. Her practice spans the areas of textile design, craft revival and making of art. She is a Textile Design graduate from Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai (2006) and has pursued her master’s from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad (2009). When not in the studio, Aarti can be found travelling to places with crafts, looking for inspiration in the city of Mumbai, reading poetry or honing her culinary skills by cooking an elaborate meal. You can follow her on twitter and read her blog here.