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1.  What is the ‘Craft in India’ initiative?

India loses about 10 percent of artisans every decade. We’ve already lost some crafts and there are many on the brink of extinction. One of the key reasons for this increasingly common phenomenon is lack of market for traditional crafts. There is a definite shift in society and crafts in the traditional sense are not sought after. This calls for a design intervention that will enable the artisan and designer to collaborate and develop products that have a universal appeal yet hand-crafted to perfection.

However to maximize artisanal output and to ensure that a large base of artisans find a means to sustainable livelihood, contemporary design input is critical. Through the ‘Craft in India’ initiative, we hope to provide design access to artisans by inviting interested designers to work with our artisan partners.

CraftCanvas has linkages with over 20 craft clusters across the country. We have a small in-house design team that caters to our projects.  With a steady and ever-growing client base, we are ideally placed to market handcrafted products and services.

2.  What are the categories that we are inviting proposals for?

a.  Wall solutions

b.  Furniture elements

c.  Lighting design

For each of the categories, a part or whole of the design needs to be hand-crafted using the crafts specified. However, the part that needs to be hand-crafted should be in a modular format that will enable us to send that part to the artisans living in remote locations.

3.  What is the theme that we are inviting proposals for?

The theme for this round is ‘nature inspired’. Indian crafts derive heavily from the local setting, though the styles vary depending on the type of painting. Nature is a very common theme across craft forms and nature inspired motifs are some of the first that the craftsperson learns.

For instance, every square inch of space is covered in Madhubani paintings with illustrations of flora. The Madhubani region in Bihar receives copious rainfall and is naturally lush. 

4.  What are the shortlisted crafts?

For the first round, we’ve shortlisted 3 crafts from across the country.

a.  Madhubani from Bihar

b.  Gond from Madhya Pradesh,

c.  Mata Ni Pachedi from Gujarat

For suggested reading material on the crafts mentioned, please click here.

5.  What is the eligibility for application?

Any person with a background or inclination in design, either academic or professional can apply.

6.  Can one submit multiple designs?

Yes, the online form gives the designer an option to upload multiple designs.

7.  What is the deadline for submission?

The mentorship committee reviews projects on a quarterly basis. The deadline for this quarter is 31 October 2015.

8.  What is the process of selection?

Step 1: The designer needs to register on this link and upload his/her designs/sketches in the formats mentioned

Step 2: A mentorship committee will review the designs submitted and select entries for prototyping. Please note that the decision of this committee will be final and binding

Step 3: In this round, selected designers will work with an artisan (if required) and develop a prototype for the design.  All our in-house materials on the craft chosen will be available for reference and our in-house team of designers and artisans will be available for help

Step 4: If the prototype is successful, the final selected product will be listed for commercialization and we will look at avenues to market the product/design.

9.  How does a designer benefit from this?

a.  This project provides the designer with the first hand opportunity of working with highly skilled craftspeople . We hope that this will prove to be an enriching experience for the designer and offer him/her the satisfying feeling of helping a craft survive in such trying times. Over the years, CraftCanvas has developed processes for designers to collaborate with artisans and achieve results in a short span of time

b.   Once selected for commercialization, CraftCanvas will launch the product in the market. We have a large base of customers in the Interior design segment. This will help the product reach a wide audience

c.  Commercially, the top three designs will receive prize money of Rs. 20,000, Rs.10,000 and Rs.5,000 respectively

d.  In the long term, credits will be provided on every product made and royalty paid for every product sold.  The percentage of royalty will be decided on a case-to-case basis on mutual agreement between CraftCanvas and the designer

10.  What expenses are borne by CraftCanvas?

a.  For the designs selected for prototyping (step 3), the expenses for the same will be borne (or reimbursed)

b.  In case of travel to Ahmedabad or artisan location, an equivalent of 3rd AC train fares will be paid and accommodation expenses (on pre-decided per day slab) will be reimbursed

11.  What are the parameters for short-listing?

a.  Innovation in design, while adhering to constraints of the craft

b.  Ease of execution by craftspeople

c.  Modular format that makes it easy for craftspeople to work from remote locations

12.  What happens to designs that are not shortlisted?

Designs that are not shortlisted are solely the designer’s property and we will not use it in any manner.

13.  How is the designer protected from plagiarism?

We believe in the spirit of collaboration and will strive to expand this base constantly. We assure you that your design will not be reproduced or used by our organization without your permission. Our mentorship committee comprises of the best in the industry- both academicians and professionals. So we’ll let our associations speak for our credibility. 

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