The philosophy behind Dastkar’s design intervention is to provide ideas and stimuli for creativity and innovation in the craftspeople themselves, to help develop a range of products that incorporate different traditional skill levels, and to harmoniously integrate the colours and motifs of the region in products with a contemporary appeal.
As part of its on-going attempt to value-add both to the skill-set of craftspeople and the appreciation of craft, Dastkar has regularly undertaken design collaborations with craftgroups through HANDS ON Dastkar Artisan Development Pvt. Ltd.
HANDS ON Dastkar Artisan Development is a private limited company, registered under The Companies Act, 1956. The company aims to preserve and popularize the traditional arts and crafts and to improve socio-economic condition of artisans and craftspeople.
Some of the notable projects undertaken are the large-scale wall hanging projects and international exhibitions organized for the Victoria & Albert Museum, London’s Mughal Tent Exhibition in 1996. Today Dastkar continues to develop exclusive one-of-a-kind wall hangings and objects for the high end market.
Special pieces have been created for the Ministry of External Affairs as well as for India’s Embassies abroad; for international designers like Italian Tarshito Antonio Strippoli, for the Joss Graham Gallery in London and other UK buyers.
In 2013, Taj Gateway Resort in Sohna commissioned three 21ft patchwork and embroidery panels that were co-created by Dastkar and the talented craftswomen of Banaskantha, Gujarat and Lambani embroiderers from Karnataka.
“It’s exciting that there are clients who are ready to sensitively support projects which allow artisans to fulfill their full creative potential. One wishes for more…” Laila Tyabji, Designer and Chairperson, Dastkar.
Taj Gateway Resort – Sohna, India, 2014
DASTKAR was excited at the idea of collaborating in the creation of a range of exclusive, one-of-a-kind textile artworks for a project at the Taj Gateway Resort, Sohna, in which the best of Indian textile techniques, traditions and textures would be re-designed to meld with the contemporary feel of the interiors, and the external garden spaces.
Working with talented and experienced embroiderers from the Banaskantha region of Gujarat and Lambani tribal craftswomen of Karnataka, under the guidance of designer and Dastkar founder and Chairperson, Laila Tyabji, three 20 ft tall wall hangings were developed for the Reception Area.
A combination of patchwork appliqué and embroidery was applied to the theme of Nature and the Crafted Forest, inspired by Indian flora and fauna as traditionally depicted in Indian craft and textiles.
A colour palette of greens, yellows, terracotta, browns, blues, and earth colours was decided upon – each panel with slight variations of the base colours, deepening progressively. Fabrics used would be Indian handloom Mangalgiri cottons, with accents of ikat, blockprint and mashru.
160 further artworks were produced to decorate the suites and bedrooms. These were painted textiles also inspired by the Nature and the Crafted Forest theme. The techniques used were Kalamkari, Madhubani, Gond painting and Mata-ni-Pacheri, painted on silk tussar fabric or handloom cotton, and using traditional motifs and imagery, re-created exclusively for the resort. Each piece being unique and one-of-a-kind.