At their 16th edition, By Hand, From The Heart unites 41 craftsmen, bakers and eco-warriors to give the city a bazaar to remember
RAFT AFICIONADOS make note. Forty-one artisans and entrepreneurs from around the country are setting up shop at Poes Garden today — for the 16th edition of By Hand, From The Heart. “We identify people who make their own products and designers who own a label/brand,” says Deepa Sekar, one of the organisers, who tells us to expect a mix of regulars and new participants.
At the two-day outing, there will be paper mache costume dolls by Nagpur-based Ramani of Artekrafts, innovative glass décor by city-based Mridula Harihar of Full Fuse and designer fairy lights by Bengaluru-based Parul Khanna of Coral Charm. Rashmi Prithviraj catches our attention with Skinsense—handcrafted soaps and skincare. But this time, the brand will also bring down textile jewellery, made using different fabrics, that are layered with embroidery. Here’s our pick:
Tribal silver jewellery, Moha: Mumbai-based jewellery designer Geetanjali Gondhale is bringing down her collection inspired by tribal designs. The 36-year-old says, “I do heavy jewellery, but for Chennai, I am bringing down everyday wear— light earrings, silver oxidised neck pieces, bracelets and anklets too.” Rs 800 onwards.
Organic rompers, Chakra Design Studio: Specialising in kids wear made of organic cotton with block prints in vegetable dyes, this US-based brand by Bindu Kasinadhuni from the city is also venturing into women’s wear this time. The 44-year-old is offering rompers, skirts and tops for kids, along with tunics, palazzos and shorts for women. Also expect draw string handbags and table mats in linen. Rs 800 onwards.
Organza capes, Wabi Sabi Studio: Coimbatore-based Manaswini Balasundaram is bringing down her collection of tunics, dresses, shorts, jackets and capes. She has used organza, linen, cotton and crepe silk. “I have not stuck to any colour palette. The line concentrates on summer wear,” shares the 24-year-old designer. Rs 950 onwards.
Quirky picture frames, Deshframe: Bringing down 3D-like boxed frames, Mumbai-based designers Siddhika Nagwade and Priya Subramanian give these giftables a cultural twist by using symbols of states like Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan. The collection features the Jagannath idol and ghungroos representing Odisha to kanjeevaram saris and marapachi dolls from Tamil Nadu. Rs 2,000 onwards.
Khadi tussar, Kala Aur Katha: Bhubaneshwar-based Pankaja Sethi is bringing a range of hand-woven saris from Odisha made from khadi tussar, organic cotton and mulberry silk. The collection has mostly neutral colours along with a few pieces of dark-hued saris. “I will also have tunics made from recycled fibres,” shares 36-year-old Sethi.
Rs 3,300 onwards.
Crochet clutches, Samoolam: Delhi-based Usha Prajapati’s NGO, Samoolam, works with a community from a village in Gaya. They make hand-crafted crochet earrings, necklaces, clips and bags in bright hues. Rs 100 onwards.
At Hanu Reddy Residences, Poes Garden, on August 7 and 8, 10 am to 8 pm. From Rs 25.
With popular brands like Sorrel (miniature garden décor), Naamabhoomi (eco-serve ware and edible spoons) and Grow Green (seeds and accessories) showcasing their products, the festival focusses on sustainable living, eco-gardening, organic and urban farming, among others. The Urban Farmers group, founded by the alumni of Loyola College in Chennai, who do terrace farming on top of one of their college buildings, and Anisha Nichani’s Svaach, that uses newspapers to make disposable pouches to bring a touch of value to waste, will be participating in the festival for the first time.
There is also something for those who visit the bazaar for homemade treats. Old Mercara’s Shantala Medappa shows off her passion for baking by whipping up her famous pastries, besides ice creams and squashes. Radhika Pasari of Flat Tummies has delicacies like cakes and other desserts for the vegan group. Chinmaya Raja’s Panakam will have different varieties of pickles on offer. Also add Pada Payasam’s bottled payasam and Basecamp Social Research Foundation’s wild honey to the list.
— Mayuri J Ravi and Srishti Dasgupta