Priti / Founder of Indian paper product "CRAFT BOAT"
In the winter of 2021, "FORTUNE GEM" was produced by ARTIDA OUD. Six different types of amulet bags made with products from the Jaipur, India papercraft brand Craft Boat. They were accompanied by 11 types of colored stones and a message describing the meaning of the stones. 66 different combinations of amulets were randomly delivered to the purchaser.
The colored stones were too small to be made into jewelry and were destined to be thrown away. They are small enough to be made into jewelry, and should have been discarded, but they do have a beautiful sparkle that holds a strong power inside.
Crafted with traditional Indian craftsmanship, CRAFT BOAT was launched out of one woman's desire. We asked Priti, the director of the brand, about her encounter with ARTIDA OUD and her thoughts on the product via e-mail. Even though we are far away from each other, our tender feelings for the world and the earth resonate with each other.
Sustainability is the soul of all design
ーーーYou are working together with ARTIDA OUD and " FORTUNE GEM " How did you meet the brand “ARTIDA OUD”?
I met Mariko in Jaipur at my studio, we were connected by a common friend.
ーーーWhat was your impression when you first saw ARTIDA OUD?
I immediately fell in love with the simplicity and the story that connects with every piece. Mariko spoke very briefly about the brand but her description was crisp and in few words, I could sense that jewelry for the Brand is more than an accessory.
ーーーMost of ARTIDA OUD jewelry is hand-made by craftsmen in Jaipur, India. Please tell us about the work of tradition of paper craftsmanship, also about paper, what is a feature of the paper craftsman?
In Sanganer (Jaipur), paper making is a craft that was started during the Mughal’s ruling in India. The craft during that time was practiced by paper making community who were called ‘Kagazis”. This paper-making craft from Sanganer is unique and holds a special place in the paper industry because every sheet is made from 100% recycled cotton textile waste. At Craft Boat, we have been taking this craft practice forward by working closely with textile manufacturers and garment houses to recycle their leftover cotton fabric scraps and converting them into paper pulp and then using these sheets to paper products for packaging, stationery, and home decor goods.
ーーーWe heard that you were originally working in the apparel industry. How did you start " CRAFT BOAT "? Please tell us your thoughts on sustainability.
By education, I am a Fashion Design graduate and worked initially as a design consultant for apparel brands. I was always inquisitive about the cycle of nature and the process with which everything is created. When I closely saw the garment industry during my college days I was not able to understand the pace and why so much was created in this industry. Seeing the rush in the designers to just create more and more really put me into thinking and I made my final graduation collection by using my mother’s 25 yrs old Sarees - that was my 1st moment of action for re-using and the journey find more ways to re-cycle textile started for me from there. Sustainability as I am learning is more about consciously choosing your actions every day with being in tune with your natural surrounding and sustainable design can become a way of life with learn to re-create and re-do with things that are already made and exists. I feel when we rush to innovate too much without knowing what problem are trying to solve or what value am I adding by that creation then it just disconnects the maker with the purpose and further with the soul of the idea. So I would say sustainability for me is the soul of every design.
ーーーI heard that there are projects that encourage sustainable crafting, please tell us about your project.
At Craft Boat all of our projects are mostly centered around using cotton paper, natural dyes, to hand printing techniques like screen printing, marbling, and block printing.
ーーーIt seems that the traditional Indian printing technique “block printing” is adopted. What kind of technique is it? Also, please tell us your thoughts on the ”traditional” technique.
Block Printing is a slow process of printing art of paper or textiles with wooden blocks. An intricate floral or geometric design is carved by hands on a block of wood. These wooden blocks are used to then print with different colors to create a repeat pattern. It’s a very slow process and is one of a kind with its results. As every block when prints make the design look like a hand painting.
ーーーThere are various patterns, but what kind of feelings do you put into making the patterns? Is there any source of inspiration?
Most of my design inspiration is from the flowers I love to see growth during different seasons in India. Every time we design a collection we try to see how we can add more character to the flower with some geometric lines or grids. So if you will see our collections overall, then the colors are inspired by nature, and with florals, we coordinate grid-like patterns that vary from stripes to checks to chevrons.
ーーーPlease list a few of your favorite works with photos and tell us why you like them.
From our Collection, I love the Bougainvillea Notebook. This intricate design is carved and printed a wooden block using 4 different colors. Jaipur is most beautiful in the season when the bougainvillea bloom in abundance in the city.
From our Collaborations, I love the work we do with Rosi in the UK with making Lampshades with Marbled Handmade paper.
Dyeing with Plant-Based Natural Colors is ongoing research at the Studio for almost 3 years now it’s something very close to my heart.
ーーーARTIDA OUD is engaged in donation activities. Last year, the "Project to Build a School in India" reached the target amount, and now we have started the "Children's Educational Environment Improvement Program" in Bihar, northeastern India. Please tell us about the current situation and issues in India.
Right Education for Children in India is one of the key concerns. I feel positive to see a lot of work is happening in many ways to improve the rate of literacy and access to knowledge in both urban and rural India. I feel India is a complex nation with deeply rooted traditions that sometimes make any change happen a lot more time, education is one of those areas, especially female education is still a subject question for many families here.
For me, it’s an absolute honor to be collaborating with a Brand that believes in subjects like female education and doing it with such transparency.
ーーーIs there anything you would like to express or dream about in the future?
I do dream that someday we can give back more to mother earth than we consume from it in a lifetime.
To be simple accept one’s skin and color
ーーーThe brand’s theme is " Raw Beauty = we don’t overdress, the natural beauty of female ". What is the " raw beauty " for you??
To be simple in wearing one’s own skin and color.
ーーーAre there any women who you think are beautiful? What do you find < beautiful> about that person?
For me, it’s my Mother. I have seen her aging in the most beautiful and innocent. She is a homemaker and has been blessed to live most of her life from the heart and with grace. She is fighting Blood Cancer for a year now and has yet not lived a day without a smile on her beautiful face and still loves to see the world as a child.
ーーー" The natural beauty of women ", the beauty More of the inside I think. what is your favorite books and quotes , movie which inspired your life Favorite Movie?
ーーーPlease send some message for Japanese women.
At the end of the day, we can all endure much more than we think we can, sending your way love and positivity from India. Thank You for inspiring me with your simplicity and traditions in so many ways. I love the Japanese saying "one who smiles rather than rages" is always the stronger.
[eden] K10 amethyst tear drops pierced earring 22,000yen (with tax) / [elafonisi] morganite pave diamonds necklace 38,500yen (with tax)
Founder of "CRAFT BOAT", A handmade paper company based in Jaipur, India, and working with the ancient art of papermaking by recycling the fabric remnants from garment manufacturing industries and converting them into handmade paper. It has a unique texture and durability.
She creates beautiful papercrafts with colorful patterns that are traditional Indian style with a sense of gentleness.
TEXT／MAHO MORITA & HIROKI TAJIRI FROM 81journal , HANAKO FUJITA