Art is in the air: Revisiting the treasure trove of homemade craft
KARACHI: Karachi was treated to a wide variety of homemade crafts as 85 local artists and crafters from the city and other parts of Pakistan participated in the Indie Arts and Craft Show on Sunday.
Visitors were welcomed by Baloch folk music and dance performances at the lively event organised by the Crafter’s Guild at Clifton Marquee.
Baloch folk singer Akhter Channa Zehri was among the many crafters who displayed their indigenous crafts. “This stall is of Mehrgarh Handicrafts,” he said. “We represent the Mehrgarh village of Balochistan. Its culture is thousands of years old and so is its art and craft.” According to him, art and craft is important for people all over the world as it encapsulates history. “Each stall stands for something; no item is meaningless. This history should stay alive.”
Another artist, Tasneem, was happy to have a platform and an opportunity to display her art. Her products comprised art pieces made of clay and metal. “This is a way to express myself,” she said. “I started it just five years ago. These kinds of events are my only outlet as I don’t have a shop. Using dots and Sindhi designs, each piece takes several days because several steps are involved. You create the base, paint different layers day after day and then give it final touches like glazing, etcetera.”
Among the stalls of handmade items, there was a stall of Tazamart, a new online grocery store based in Karachi. “Tazamart is the brainchild of the same team behind EatOye, the largest food ordering portal in Pakistan,” said Daniyal Akhtar, the man behind setting up Tazamart. “We are business and IT graduates.
We came here because most visitors are [women] here [and] are our target market. They have access to online shopping and women are usually the decision-makers in households when it comes to buying groceries.”
Moreover, Family Education Services Foundation’s Dast’Khat displayed work of its students with hearing impairment. The items included hand-embroidered cushions depicting pictures of major Pakistani landmarks in green and white, paper dictionaries with 1,000 words in sign language and digital dictionaries with 5,000 words in sign language.
Another young participant was Tehreem, a journalism graduate, who was displaying her work under the banner of Terry’s Treats for the first time. She baked various sugar delights for four days to set up her stall. She claimed to have sold over 50 per cent of her products just three hours into the event.
“This platform is important because it gave me the opportunity to interact with likeminded people. I got to collaborate with other businesses as well. I haven’t had a chance to interact with other crafters because I couldn’t leave the stall as yet,” she said.
There was a multitude of crafts on display such as hand embroidered bed coverings, calligraphy, clay work, fashion accessories, gift items and ceramic works. Local truck-art painters, graffiti artists and comic book, Team Muhafiz, also showcased their skills at the event. “Indie is our small event,” Varah Musavvir, the brains behind Crafter’s Guild, told The Express Tribune.
“Crafter’s Expo is the main event and is on a bigger scale. This year, the Indie has grown a lot. [But the expo, which] is scheduled for December, will accommodate more stalls and more participants.”
Speaking about the success of the event, she said that she sees Indie as a kind of a preview of what is to come in December. “This event is to offer crafters a platform where they can retail, network and find buyers who may stock their work as well,” said Musavvir. “It brings together people because it is a community event. It is not just me; it is the participants that make the show what it is.”