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From an ecological invasion to building material: Lantana camara finds new purpose in architecture and design.

From an ecological invasion to building material: Lantana camara finds new purpose in architecture and design.

Lantana camara, an invasive shrub, now threatens 40% of India's tiger range.
It's quite alarming, especially since the Shivalik hills, Central India, and Southern Western Ghats are the hardest hit areas with it occupying about 300,000 sq. km of land.

Creative solutions to tackle this problem include using its branches as a building material. Providing this opportunity to the Nilgiri tribals not only offers them a source of income but also helps safeguard our forests.



This repurposed shrub presents a new opportunity for architects and designers to use in their projects, from fencing to cladding to furniture and potentially even lighting and home decor.

While creative, this solution highlights the urgent need for biodiversity monitoring and restoration studies to protect against invasive species.
Nonetheless, this is a positive step towards making the best of a difficult situation and turning an invasive species into a valuable building material!

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Bamboo: A Culinary Adventure

Bamboo: A Culinary Adventure

In the world of gastronomy, there are countless ingredients that inspire creativity and culinary exploration. One such ingredient that has been captivating chefs and food enthusiasts alike is bamboo. Often associated with pandas and towering forests, bamboo is an incredibly versatile and sustainable plant that has found its way into various cuisines around the world.

Did you know that there are over 1,500 species of bamboo found across the globe? From Asia to the Americas, bamboo thrives in diverse climates, making it a versatile culinary ingredient. In the coming chapters, we'll discover the various ways in which bamboo manifests in the culinary world, from tender shoots to nutrient-rich leaves and even the bamboo sap known as "bamboo water."

Chapter 1: Bamboo Shoots: The Delicate Delight

One cannot discuss bamboo cuisine without highlighting the wonders of bamboo shoots. These edible sprouts hold a special place in the culinary traditions of many cultures. From China to India, from Japan to Thailand, bamboo shoots find their way into a myriad of traditional recipes.

When properly prepared, bamboo shoots can transform a dish into a savoury masterpiece. They provide a delightful crunch and absorb the flavours of the accompanying ingredients. Whether you incorporate them into a spicy curry, a zesty salad, or a comforting soup, bamboo shoots are bound to elevate your culinary experience.

Chapter 2: Bamboo Leaves: Nature's Wrapping Paper

Bamboo leaves serve as an edible vessel for various culinary delights. They are often used in traditional Asian cooking to wrap rice dumplings, giving them a distinctive aroma and flavour. These bamboo leaf-wrapped delicacies, known as zongzi, are a common sight during festivals and celebrations. The leaves infuse the rice with a subtle, earthy taste, and as they steam, they release an irresistible fragrance that entices the senses.

 Photo courtesy: Ahead of Thyme.

Chapter 3: Bamboo Charcoal: A Twist of Elegance

When bamboo is subjected to intense heat, it transforms into a substance known as bamboo charcoal. With its jet-black colour and porous texture, bamboo charcoal has gained popularity as an ingredient that adds a touch of elegance to culinary creations. Chefs often use it in unique ways, such as infusing it into ice cream, creating visually striking black buns, or even incorporating it into sauces to add depth and smokiness.

 Photo courtesy: Sports Casual International.

Chapter 4: Distinctive bamboo delights

In the scenic Araku Valley of India, a unique culinary gem awaits - bamboo biryani. This delightful dish showcases the fusion of local Andhra cuisine and the aromatic flavors of biryani. Cooked in bamboo stalks, the rice absorbs the earthy essence of bamboo, creating a truly unforgettable dining experience. The tender meat or vegetables, aromatic spices, and the smoky undertones of bamboo combine to create a biryani like no other. For more information and a recipe to try, visit: Araku Bamboo Chicken Rice.

Another delicacy is the Bamboo pickle, known as "Mulayari Achar," traditionally from Kerala, India. Tender bamboo shoots are marinated in a blend of aromatic spices, resulting in a tangy and flavorful condiment. This pickle adds a zingy kick to Kerala meals and is enjoyed with rice, curries, or snacks like dosas. Not only delicious, but bamboo pickle also offers health benefits, as bamboo shoots are low in calories and rich in fiber and essential nutrients. Embodying Kerala's sustainable practices, bamboo pickle showcases the region's commitment to eco-friendly culinary traditions.

Chapter 5: Fusion Cuisine: Bamboo Beyond Borders

While bamboo has deep-rooted cultural significance in Asian cuisines, its versatility allows it to transcend borders and find a place in fusion cooking. Talented chefs around the world have been experimenting with bamboo, incorporating it into their innovative creations. From bamboo shoot salads with citrus dressings to bamboo charcoal-infused desserts with a Western twist, bamboo's culinary potential knows no bounds.

Chapter 6: Bamboo Utensils: An Eco-Friendly Choice

Beyond being a delicious ingredient, bamboo serves a practical purpose in the culinary world as well. Bamboo utensils have gained popularity due to their eco-friendly nature. From bamboo chopsticks to bamboo steamers and serving bowls, these sustainable alternatives are not only aesthetically pleasing but also help reduce our reliance on single-use plastic. You can explore and purchase bamboo utensils by visiting this shopping link:

In the quest for eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastics, bamboo straws have emerged as a sustainable solution. Crafted from natural bamboo stalks, these straws are biodegradable and reusable. With their rustic appearance, bamboo straws add elegance to any beverage. They are easy to clean and can be used in various settings. You can find bamboo straws including a travelers set of bamboo cutlery, from this shopping link: Bamboo Cutlery Set.


Moreover, these eco-friendly bamboo products, such as utensils and straws, can revolutionize traveling sustainably. By carrying your own bamboo cutlery set and straws, you can reduce the need for single-use plastics while enjoying meals on the go. This not only helps to minimize plastic waste but also promotes environmentally friendly practices wherever your travels may take you.

From the delicate shoots to the fragrant leaves and the unexpected delights of bamboo charcoal and water, bamboo has showcased its versatility and captivated our taste buds. So, the next time you encounter this majestic plant, remember the culinary potential it holds. Embrace the adventure, experiment with new flavours, and let bamboo elevate your culinary creations to new heights. Bon appétit!

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Crafted Conversations: Tales of Kouna basket and Longpi pottery

Crafted Conversations: Tales of Kouna basket and Longpi pottery

Imagine stepping into the Bamboopecker store where the entrance greets you with a canopy of green leaves and as you stroll through the aisles you can't help but eavesdrop into the playful murmurs in the air. The conversation seems to be originating from the Longpi pottery section and the Kouna grass baskets bunched together. Intrigued, you inch closer, finding yourself leaning into their comical banter.

Longpi Pottery: "Well, hello there, my finely woven friend! Have you noticed how our presence in this store adds a rustic charm to the atmosphere?"

Kouna Grass Basket: "Ah, indeed! Your flawless exterior and robustness might make me green with envy, but I can't deny your appeal. Together, we're quite the dynamic duo, aren't we? “It’s like you have an air of sophistication that I, as a humble grass basket, can only dream of."

Longpi Pottery: "Oh, come now! Your intricate weaving and natural texture make you the epitome of rustic beauty. We may be different, but we share the same purpose of serving with style and functionality."

Kouna Grass Basket: "You're right, dear pottery! Speaking of purposes, do you remember our journey to these shelves? It's quite a tale!"

Longpi Pottery: Let's give in to nostalgia today. Shall we dive into your origin story?"

Kouna Grass Basket: "Absolutely! lush green fields near the tranquil river in Manipur, is where I grew. The farmers lovingly cultivate the grass alongside their paddy fields, nurturing it with care."

Longpi Pottery: "Ah, what a serene beginning! And then the farmers carefully cut the mature Kouna grass, ensuring it's at its prime for crafting our beautiful baskets. What happens next?"

Kouna Grass Basket: "Well, the freshly cut grass is then laid out under the sun to dry completely. It's crucial to dry the soft inner portion of the stem thoroughly, as it helps prevent mold once weavers start their artistry."

Longpi Pottery: "Indeed! Meanwhile, in the village of Longpi,Manipur skilled artisans gather the unique ingredients for my creation. They source black serpentinite stone and special brown clay, which are native to our village alone." The artisans meticulously mix ground black serpentinite stone with special brown clay, creating a paste that brings out my natural black color.

Kouna Grass Basket: "Wow, that's impressive! So, they don't use any chemicals or paints? Just the power of their hands and the earth's elements? No wonder you have such a captivating and unique appearance!

Longpi Pottery: Exactly! you're right, Once the paste is ready, the artisans begin shaping me by hand, without the use of chemicals, machines, or pottery wheels. Each stroke, each curve, is carefully crafted to bring out my true essence."

Kouna Grass Basket: I admire the craftsmanship of those skilled Longpi pottery artisans. The way they shape and mold the clay with their hands is truly impressive. Creating a perfect harmony between form and function."

Longpi Pottery: "Haha, but hey, let's not forget about your weavers, the artistry of the weavers! It's awe-inspiring how they transform humble grass into functional and aesthetically pleasing baskets. And let's not forget the patterns and weaves they create, using traditional weaving techniques and simple tools that are passed down through generations."

Kouna Grass Basket: "Absolutely! To ensure consistency in size and shape, village carpenters create plywood or tin moulds as per the weavers' orders. These moulds help standardize our dimensions for bulk production, while still retaining the charm of handcrafted artistry."

Longpi Pottery: "Ah, my dear basket, you may have versatility, but I can withstand the hottest of kitchens without a flinch. I'm the hero when it comes to simmering and slow cooking, coaxing out all the delicious flavors. And on a bonus note, I can be used on gas stoves, open fire, and even in the oven. But I must admit, your trays and baskets are perfect for carrying everyday essentials”.

Kouna Grass Basket: "Oh, you've got me there! We complement each other well, don't we?"

Longpi Pottery: "Absolutely! It's like we were made for each other, destined to grace the shelves of Bamboopecker, our beloved store.". let's not also forget how our sustainable journey positively impacts the environment."

Kouna Grass Basket: "You're right! Our raw materials are completely natural, easily biodegradable, and leave no harmful impact. Though we have different materials and techniques, our artisans share a common goal – to create sustainable and beautiful products that bring joy to people's lives. It's incredible how our journeys intertwine, representing the rich tapestry of craftsmanship". The harmony between nature and skilled craftsmanship shines through in our creations."

As their conversation continues, the Longpi pottery and Kouna grass baskets share anecdotes and poke fun at their contrasting yet complementary qualities. It reminds us of the beauty and humor that can be found in the simplest things, from grass transformed into intricate baskets to clay molded into elegant pottery. So, the next time you encounter Longpi pottery or a Kouna grass basket, remember the whimsical tales they carry and the incredible journey that brought them to your hands.

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Exploring the artistic Marvels at The Kochi Biennale: Our Unforgettable Journey

Exploring the artistic Marvels at The Kochi Biennale: Our Unforgettable Journey

A Celebration of Art, Culture, and Creativity; Art has a remarkable ability to transcend boundaries and connect people from diverse backgrounds. In the coastal city of Kochi, located in the southern Indian state of Kerala, this transformative power of art is brought to life through the Kochi Biennale. Before I get into our experience at the Biennale let me give you a glimpse of what The Kochi Muziris Biennale is all about.

The Biennale is known as one of the largest contemporary art exhibitions in South Asia, it has emerged as a global platform for artists, art enthusiasts, and curious visitors alike. The biennale utilizes a range of unique and unconventional spaces as exhibition venues, blending art with the city's historical, cultural, and architectural heritage. Old warehouses, disused buildings, heritage sites, and public spaces are transformed into immersive art installations, creating a dynamic experience for visitors. Some of the iconic venues include Aspinwall House, Durbar Hall, Pepper House, and the historic Mattancherry Palace.

The Biennale encompass a wide range of mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, video art, performance art, and interactive installations. This diversity ensures that there is something for every art lover to appreciate and engage with. These themes often reflect contemporary social, political, and environmental concerns, inviting artists to respond and present their unique perspectives. It has been credited with promoting cross-cultural dialogue and exchange for fostering a sense of global citizenship among its participants and visitors.


As we entered the transformed city of Kochi, we were immediately greeted by a vibrant atmosphere buzzing with creativity. Our team eagerly delved into the diverse range of artworks spread across various exhibition venues. The sheer magnitude of the biennale was awe-inspiring, and we knew we were in for a treat. Embarking on this artistic adventure with a team of like-minded individuals, we were ready to immerse ourselves in the world of contemporary art. Little did we know that the experience would exceed our expectations and leave an indelible mark on our souls.

While we explored the biennale and witnessed various types of arts, we came across a captivating bamboo installation. One of the standout installations that caught our attention was a magnificent display created entirely from bamboo. The sheer ingenuity and craftsmanship on display left us spellbound. The installation seemed to defy the limits of the material, bending and shaping it in unimaginable ways. As we weaved our way through the intricate patterns and structures, we couldn't help but appreciate the artist's ability to transform a humble material into a breath-taking work of art. The installation served as a reminder of the boundless possibilities of artistic expression.


Among the myriad of artworks, one particular piece by Shubigi Rao titled "Cannot be Broken and Won't Live Unspoken" captured our hearts. Her intricate installation drew us into a world of narratives and stories waiting to be unearthed. It was a testament to the artist's talent and her ability to evoke emotions and inspire contemplation. This Artwork was constructed of weavings, rakes, metal colanders, rattan sticks, washers, plastic swords, toy soldiers, beads and metals and plastic ornaments. The floor-based work was inspired by Rangoli and the assemblage represented scared symbols of purity, rebirth and strength. We found ourselves lingering in front of her artwork, lost in its beauty and depth.

As we explored the Kochi Biennale together, our team engaged in passionate discussions, sharing our interpretations and thoughts on the various artworks we encountered. Each of us had our favorites, and it was fascinating to see how art resonated differently with each individual. The biennale became a catalyst for intellectual and emotional exchanges, fueling our creativity and expanding our perspectives. However, the experience was undoubtedly unique and filled with creative wonders, I couldn't help but feel a tinge of disappointment. As the pandemic posed an unforeseen challenge for the artists and left them underprepared for the biennale and the prominence of video-based artwork may have left me yearning for more diversity, it is important to acknowledge the evolving nature of contemporary art.

While my visit to the Kochi Biennale left me with mixed feelings, it also sparked an important realization: the need for support to sustain and evolve this remarkable event. By addressing financial challenges and striving for a diverse representation of art forms, the biennale can continue to captivate audiences and foster a thriving artistic community. Let us recognize the significance of the Kochi Biennale and come together to raise funds, ensuring that it remains a beacon of creativity and cultural exchange for years to come.

If you would like to know more about the Kochi biennale you can get In touch with us here-

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"Bamboo and Cane: A Clash of Titans in the Quest to Make the Right Decision!"

"Bamboo and Cane: A Clash of Titans in the Quest to Make the Right Decision!"

You may be wondering why we are doing this contest. The answer is simple: to understand the secrets and complexity of bamboo and cane! People frequently mix up these materials, unaware of their distinct qualities. But don't worry, we're about to begin an exciting trip to unearth the differences and assist you in making the best decision.

It's time to separate the bamboo from the cane and find out which material will be crowned the champion in your heart and home. Get ready to witness the clash of the Titans and discover the perfect material choice for you. Let the games begin! 

Let us start off with the first event, the Sustainability Slapdown. 

Bamboo: With its rapid growth, increased oxygen production, extensive root system preventing soil erosion, natural resistance to pests and diseases, and quick growth cycle enabling versatile utilization, bamboo emerges as a truly remarkable plant offering a multitude of benefits and making it an eco-friendly choice that helps protect our planet. 

Cane: While cane may not grow as rapidly as bamboo, it's still a sustainable option. It's often derived from rattan, a vine that grows abundantly and is easily replenished. Cane products also promote longevity, reducing the need for frequent replacements. 

Bamboo is the undisputed sustainability champion. 

The second event is the Durability Smackdown. 


Bamboo: Despite its lightweight look, bamboo has exceptional strength and resilience, typically outperforming many traditional building materials, as well as high tensile strength, which means it can sustain substantial pulling or bending forces without breaking. Because of this property, bamboo is a great material for usage in locations prone to earthquakes or high winds, as it can flex and absorb energy without getting damaged quickly. 

Cane: Cane has similar durability to bamboo, but it does not have the same punch. It's still strong and dependable, but it's a little more prone to wear over time. 

Bamboo earns another point, putting it in first place with two points. 

The third event is the Comfort Clash. 

Bamboo: Although bamboo is not the softest fiber available, it has its own distinct appeal. Its smooth surface and soft touch provide a pleasant seating experience, particularly in hotter regions. Every time you sit down, it's like taking a mini-vacation! 

Cane: This is where the cane shines! Its inherent elasticity and mild bounce give a relaxing seating experience. You'll feel as if you're floating on a cloud, with a sense of relaxation and whimsy.

Cane supporters shout in delight as the team scores a point and opens its account. Bamboo fails this time but still takes first place with two points, followed by cane with one point.

The fourth event is the Marvelous Malleability. 


Bamboo: This adaptable material demonstrates its worth by easily adjusting to the hands of expert craftspeople. It can be molded into a wide range of shapes, from beautiful curves to intricate motifs, making it an excellent choice for individuals looking for one-of-a-kind and eye-catching furniture items. Its inherent strength and flexibility enable seamless transformation, resulting in beautiful works of art. 

Cane: It exhibits mesmerizing malleability. Because of its pliability, this substance transforms into putty in the hands of skilled artisans. It may be intricately woven and sculpted into patterns and shapes, displaying the craftsmanship and inventiveness of its creators. Cane furniture shows the delicate elegance that can be attained through its malleability. 

Both bamboo and cane win in their own right, with a tied score of 1 point apiece. They demonstrate their distinct properties, showing that when it comes to malleability, both materials thrive.

The fifth event is the Battle for Versatility. 

Bamboo: Prepare to be amazed by the versatile powerhouse that is bamboo! Bamboo can be used to make everything from furniture to flooring to wall coverings to kitchenware. Because of its inherent beauty and versatility, it can fit into any home design style. 

Cane: While cane may not have the same level of adaptability as bamboo, it is still a viable option. The woven texture of cane lends itself nicely to furniture and décor items, providing elegance and sophistication to any room. 

Bamboo gets another point and retains its top place. 

The Aesthetic Grand Finale, the sixth event. 


Bamboo: This material effortlessly embodies a minimalist and contemporary aesthetic. With its clean lines, smooth surfaces, and natural warmth, bamboo creates a sense of tranquility and harmony in your living space. It's a perfect match for those who appreciate a minimalist or Scandinavian style. Bamboo's simplicity and versatility make it an ideal choice for smaller houses, where it can bring a spacious and airy feel. 

Cane: This material embraces a bohemian vibe, adding a touch of eclectic appeal to any room. Its woven texture exudes vintage elegance and rustic charm, creating a cozy ambiance reminiscent of a hideaway retreat. Cane furniture and decor pieces effortlessly blend with more decorative and ornate styles, adding character and personality to your space. 

As the Aesthetic Grand Finale unfolds, bamboo showcases its modern and minimalist allure, while cane mesmerizes with its bohemian and decorative charm. Both materials have their distinct styles, allowing you to curate a space that perfectly reflects your personal taste. 

Who Will Take Home the Gold in the End? 

You may be wondering who will be the winner in this epic showdown between bamboo and cane. But let me tell you, the true champion of this competition is none other than YOU! Yes, you are the winner for considering bamboo or cane as your material of choice. 

Both bamboo and cane offer incredible benefits compared to other materials like unseasoned and unethically harvested wood, which contributes to deforestation, or metal and plastic, which can harm the environment and perpetuate waste. 

Dear reader, congratulations on being the ultimate winner and shining brilliantly as a symbol of your commitment to a brighter and greener future. May your decisions continue to inspire others and bring us to a more sustainable and harmonious society.

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Women entrepreneurship in Handicrafts.

Women entrepreneurship in Handicrafts.

The centre market in the village of Mairang in Meghalaya is bustling with activity in the morning. The market is a square with many narrow lanes, some lanes have just enough space for two people to walk at a time with shops on either side of the lane. People from surrounding villages throng to the market to stock up for their daily necessities. Market is filled with shops selling pulses, rice, bamboo baskets, traditional Khasi clothing, snacks and much more. Whats interesting is that most shops are run by women. This is the way of the Khasi and Garo people of Meghalaya, they follow the matrilineal descent where the tracing of the kinship is through the female line.

Most small business in Meghalaya are hence run by women. In the Meghalayan society women enjoy all the rights to live an independent life and have financial freedom. They enjoy total security, unlike in the rest of the country.
Similarly, in the rest of India the handicraft industry is often a way for women to become economically empowered. It provides them with the opportunity to earn a livelihood and gain financial independence.
Women are often the primary caretakers of cultural heritage, and their involvement in the handicrafts can ensure the continuation of these traditions involving more women in the handicraft industry, we can ensure that these skills are not lost.
Having women in handicrafts can help diversify the products that are produced. Women often bring a unique perspective and creative flair to their work, which can result in new and innovative products. The handicraft industry is often deeply rooted in the social and cultural fabric of community. By involving women in this industry, we can promote gender equality and challenge gender stereotypes. This can have a positive impact on the community as a whole.      
Sisters Presley and Pam from Manipur, bring traditional Longpi pottery to the rest of India.
The sisters have been doing this for a long time, they travel the length and breadth of India to bring forward their craft. Each year they bring their products to exhibitions and craft fairs to showcase what they do.
Longpi pottery is a lot of hard work, the serpentine from the village of Longpi is broken off by tribal women and dried during the winter months when there is no rain. The pots are hand shaped, and no potters wheel is used. The products are then sun dried and baked in an open fire. Initially there only a few traditional designs were brought into the market, but seeing the customer interest the sisters have added many more designs to diversify and bring these traditional crafts to the rest of the world and in turn keeping it alive.
These stories tell us why we need to continually support women in the handicraft industry. Their vulnerability brings into the handicraft industry an increased openness enabling them to bring togetherness in the artisan community.
One of the shortcomings of the handicraft industry is it can be unorganized and making it prone to exploitation of resources in terms of working hours and wages. Education around these topics among women Artisnas is crucial to their upliftment and financial and operational support is necessary. These changes in our society take time but with effort from organizations such as 100 hands, Varnam , Bamboopecker and many more we can keep traditional sustainable crafts alive and in turn bring in gender equality.
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How You help keep traditional Indian crafts alive

How You help keep traditional Indian crafts alive

Our identity, our past as a community and as individuals is deeply rooted in craft forms that came into being out of necessity and the culture of the region. From their inception, these crafts have also taken on an aesthetic appeal, ever-changing to the array of skills developed by the artisans.

Function began to take on the undeniable charm of the handcrafted and new techniques, patterns and weaves were developed. We see this in the many weaves of rattan and the many shades of bamboo baskets. 

However with the shift from slow and sustainable production to the mass manufacturing of goods with the onset of the industrial era, traditional craft forms have been on the verge of extinction. 

A lot of the weaving patterns, the techniques that were common practice began to fade away and some have even been lost. A number of factors played a role in this:

  1. Artisans could no longer sustain a stable livelihood with traditional crafts as the pace of mass production was absolutely unmatchable.
  2. With the focus shifted to machine-made, younger generations moved to the cities to take up such jobs in search of financial stability.
  3. Another one being that, most of these techniques and skills now only remain with the older generation with no one to pass them on to.

Let’s take the example of this impressively unique weave we unearthed at our Tripura cluster. It’s sad to think that this was almost lost..but we’re glad we were able to document it, show it to you, and know what our audience on Instagram thought about it.

So, you must be wondering how You help keep these craft forms alive. This is how! Once we share our documentation of such crafts with you, that lets us and the artisans access how it can be adapted to the modern market and how it can most efficiently put to use.

We then further looked into another cluster of artisans in Idukki to document 38 different weaving patterns they know that are almost no longer seen anymore. Now that we have that documentation and can share them with you, we can get input from you and the artisans now have a direction and new purpose to restore their heritage craft forms.

With that, we see old products and designs being adapted to the needs of the urban market while instilling generations worth of culture into each weave. This is also further fueled by the slow shift we have seen in the market in the past few years for the desire to bring in more handcrafted and sustainably made products into our homes. After all, craft is about connection – to nature, to one’s place, and to oneself.

Such is the case with these two products as well:

1)Traditionally this bag was used to carry tea leaves plucked on the slopes of Arunachal Pradesh. They came with a headband, so it could easily be rested upon the back leaving the hands completely free. Now, this design has been slightly adapted so it can be used as a tote bag that rests on your shoulder. That’s years of tradition you’re carrying with you on a normal day out. Isn’t that absolutely amazing to think about? The artisans feel so as well, seeing their products being utilized in new ways and by the modern market. It keeps them going, on their mission to bring you handcrafted goodness.



2)This basket is traditionally used for catching fish in small canals and paddy fields. We decided to put our own spin on this product, giving it a modern utilitarian function by turning it into a lampshade with a few design changes. Now, this lampshade finds its place in many of your homes! Something that probably would’ve been replaced with plastic or metal now lives on in a new form, illuminating the craftsmanship of the artisan.






Check out our post to see how we transform it (Link to instagram post)

It is difficult to quantify the absolute value of both the techniques and the lore of the community of craft but it is vital to keep it going because once lost, it is very difficult to recover. It also generates great pride and rightly so for the community of artisans that strive to keep their heritage alive and for their livelihoods to thrive with the skills that have been passed on from one generation to the next.

Hence, we go on to document and collaborate with you through the process as your input, and your passion for the handcrafted is absolutely vital to bring back and sustain the beautiful eco-system of the handcrafted.

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How design impacts the livelihoods of Rural Artisans

How design impacts the livelihoods of Rural Artisans

For millennials and earlier generations, exhibitions during their childhood were a place to see and experience products, merchandise, etc., from different parts of India. The stalls at the exhibitions that intrigued the most and crowded were the non-mundane stalls with novelty and uniqueness. The fine and handwoven crafts and merchandise from villages were a rarity in the cities which the exhibitions would take advantage of. These crafts while not utilitarian found a home pretty easily those times. Fast-forward to the current times, globalisation, umpteen exhibitions, and online marketplaces have provided easy access to these crafts, and bodes well to keep the crafts alive in India.


But wait!, that is not the whole story, these new marketplaces have created a unique scenario - the crafts that were considered unique once upon a time are losing its charm slowly and steadily. I am sure, at exhibitions you would have overheard people saying “I have seen these and have one at home, let’s move on to the next stall”. There are many reasons why the craft stalls at exhibitions churn out the same things again and again, I will just list the major reasons here,

 1.The disconnect – Artisans know how to make things, but rarely know what to make. The raw material and skill is in the villages, but the market is in the cities, you see the disconnect?

2.The Conundrum – Let me put this brutally out there – most artisans lack design knowledge and most designers aren’t willing to understand the artisan’s skill and raw material. A designer-artisan association will fail if the designers are over aggressive in their designs, or come with timeline - I WANT THIS THING TOMORROW.

3.Next meal – Most artisans minds are consumed by where their next meal is coming from. When you are thinking about the next meal for your family, you rarely have the inclination to be innovative.

4.The great Indian migration – Industrialisation has opened so many avenues for rural India, most of the younger generations want to move to the cities. Can’t blame them, can we? Everyone wants to be financially stable, seeing their parents struggle to sell their goods, the younger population are looking for greener pastures.

5.Comfort - Artisans find it comfortable doing the same thing again and again.

6.CSR initiatives – Ill managed CSR funds spread a false sense of hope. When funds dry up, and the initiative is abandoned before a craft is self-sustainable, and the artisans are back to square one.


 Now that is ranted out, what is the solution? The answer is DESIGN to MARKET... Through design we need to reinterpret the craft, reorient the craft to the modern context by ensuring that each design has functional and aesthetic value. We need to transform traditional crafts to products that can be showcased on par with the contemporary-created products of today in lifestyle stores and not be limited to the craft-fairs alone.

 Well thought out designs can make a craft very popular and bring it back to life, for example revival of bamboo/rattan weaving patterns. Back in the days, bamboo mats were extremely popular, these mats would come in many forms – simple to extremely complicated weaving patterns. Some of these patterns can be seen on wooden chairs and sofas of the past. Artisans find it easy to make mats and when incorporated in multiple daily life needs of the modern world, we create a win-win situation. Since 2019, Bamboopecker has been reviving these patterns by incorporating them into furniture, décor, lighting, etc. Below are some of the examples of how Bamboopecker has transformed weave patterns into products of high utilitarian value, quality and aesthetics that are current.


Take it one step further, strong branding will be make a craft sustainable and Bamboopecker is all about that! Our Indian craft sector need more organizations like Kadam Haat and Bamboopecker, the ones that make crafts easily accessible to designers and architects and bridge the gap between them. Organizations that work at the grass roots level tend to better understand the skillets, the effort that goes behind a craft, quality of raw material, and the cultural intricacies. Collaborations between designers and artisan collectives will bring various crafts to the fore through custom designs and create unique spaces. Currently, Bamboopecker and Maia design studio are collaborating to design and build a very large homogeneous lampshade spanning 12 feet in diameter. This will be a statement piece, that will bring skills and crafts of bamboo and cane artisans to the fore and will arguably be the largest lampshade in Bangalore, India, if not in entire India. 

I feel the biggest contribution in reviving the crafts of India and in turn the livelihoods of rural India should come from Gen Z and Gen Alpha. Educational institutions of design and architecture should incorporate local crafts of India into their curriculum. These institutions should encourage design students to take up projects in rural India. Indian crafts need support from every quarter and more importantly from the young minds of India.

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The Artisans of Green India

The Artisans of Green India

Living in an Indian household, I'm pretty sure you would have come across at least one cane chair that's just lying around in your house. Have you ever wondered where they've come from and why were they so common in earlier times?

India is well-known for its sustainable materials, skilled artisans, and rich culture. These green artisans are the ones who are keeping the traditions of their ancestors alive while also ensuring that their crafts have a positive impact on the environment. All the materials that they use are sustainably sourced. There's a wide variety of materials like bamboo, rattan, moonj, banana fibre, and many more based on the region and terrain of india. The handicraft styles also vary depending on these factors.

Now all these artisans have been making all their crafts for ages and the monotony of their designs has slowly started killing the industry. This is mainly happening because the current public cannot relate to it and they've become out of context. So to eliminate this silly reason to stop the beautiful craftwork, ventures like Bamboopecker, Kadam Haat, Uravu have taken it upon themselves to work along with different clusters panning across India to help them stay in business by providing them with the necessary training and infrastructure. By doing so, they are not only helping to preserve the environment but also ensuring that the traditions of these artisans are passed down to newer generations.

To understand the craft and material better, the team of Bamboopecker has travelled extensively throughout India and broadened their knowledge about the sustainable materials that are out there mainly to design products that can exist in this modern world. They mainly have a collaboration with 7 clusters from different parts of india. There's 1 in kerala, where there are 3 families who have come together and they make very cool masks and keychains out of the waste pieces of bamboo that are leftover. Benny and Kavita are the main artists and they have taught the others as well.

Sangeeta, another green artist from Manipur makes beautiful lampshades and baskets from this material called ‘Kouna’ which is a type of cattail grass. It’s such a diverse material that there's plenty of ways to make new designs and curate new weaving patterns. A cute little basket made by sangeeta could be the right lunch bag for your daily needs and this way you would be helping India getting green as well!

There is such a huge emphasis on switching to sustainable materials like bamboo because bamboo grows back really quickly and it requires very less water. It's 100% biodegradable and doesn't require any kind of pesticides or chemicals to be preserved. So all this makes it very safe for humans to use and one of the best options out there for our better health. Just by switching to a bamboo toothbrush, we humans can avoid health issues like asthma and reproductive issues that are caused by phthalates that are present in plastic brushes. The bamboo bristles are also completely natural so you can throw out the whole toothbrush in your compost bin. Be sure to check out the dental kit from Bamboopecker!

Now it is up to us to support such brands and promote their green and sustainable values by using their products and saying goodbye to the plastic world. The government has come up with great schemes like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Vocal for Local’ and brands like Bamboopecker are the prime examples of it who are making sure that the artisans of Green India are being recognised and not going unnoticed.

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