Craft is quite a known term but not many people understand the true sense of it. A skill when developed, taking along with itself Culture and Traditions makes a sustainable future. Bamboo is such a versatile material in terms of not just usability but also sustainability. A balanced combination of craft and bamboo can do wonders for which the Crafting Bamboo Workshop is organized. Industry and Online Programmes (I & OP) at NID has been organizing Summer Workshops since many years for students and professionals interested in the respective subjects to open up their boundaries of understanding of Design.
The first day of the 5 day workshop begins with an introductory session in the auditorium by the Activity Chairperson at I & OP- Neelima Hasija followed by the respective workshop heads. Pravinsinh Solanki would be conducting the Crafting Bamboo workshop. The participants have come from all across the country falling into varied age groups from 13 year old to retired from work. They got a chance to introduce themselves and so the session became very interesting by knowing each others’ aspirations hind joining the workshop.
After a short tea break, the 24 participants were taken to the International Centre for Indian Crafts at NID for a briefing about bamboo as a material. Understanding the behavior of a material is the foremost requirement prior to designing a product from it. The tools and machinery used to work for various purposes has also been explained.
They were taken to the bamboo plantation at NID to experience the details and feel of bamboo. The visit was to expose them with the parts of bamboo, how it grows, types of bamboo and its properties before starting work with the material. They really enjoyed the visit as they have seen bamboo this day with a design point of view.
The lunch break was followed by a deeper look at design and the involvement of bamboo in it. Pravin took them to the board room to show them some detailed presentations of the following topics:
- Understanding bamboo as a grass, its behavior, uses and treatment
- Living with Bamboo- his journey to Nagaland where bamboo exists in each and every use from houses to utensils to sustain in the environment.
- Contemporary Design and where bamboo plays a role in it- his own designs are great examples of contemporary and minimal design yet again with bamboo.
With the hangers he explains a very simple art of cutting bamboo in such a manner that the result is breathtaking. The participants were amazed to see how a very simple process when used in a smart way could come out with amazing aesthetics.
As the information part gets over, it’s time for hands on experience now for them. Subrata Sarcar, the master craftsman demonstrates how to cut bamboo by hand using a saw. Manual cutting is a time taking process which requires skill and technique. The participants enjoyed the process as it’s a very new experience for them.
Cutting is then followed by splitting bamboo. Using a hammer, the participants quite easily follow the instructions to split the bamboo in just one hit! They then moved forward to finishing the splits into equal size and thickness with the help of knife.
The participants enthusiastically took the activities as a learning where its not just about a 13 year old student learning to cut but this workshop has also set an example that learning has no age- when after 10 years of retirement, one is as keen as the youth to work.
Pravin and Subrata have been assisting the participants throughout the day wherever necessary. Splits once taken shape can be bent by heating them. Subrata demonstrates this technique to the students, finally putting an end to the day.