A fervent supporter of Indian handloom and the artisans who create it, Neha Lad is currently using her textile design background in the automotive domain
How did you become passionate about handloom?
NL: As a part of my student years at NID we had a module called ‘Craft Training’ for which we had to select a craft and a region of our choice, and find a crafts person or an organization who could teach us the basics of this handcraft. The explorer in me wanted to use this as an opportunity to travel and explore places I had never been to and meet people from completely diverse backgrounds. The slowly dying craft of making footwear out of hemp fiber yarns - pula chappals - in the Kullu region of Himachal Pradesh caught my attention. Essentially, this craft entailed a technique of interlacing hand spun hemp yarns to form a strong base for the footwear.
Soon after this first step into the craft sector I realized that I derive immense joy from traveling and meeting people (specifically artisans) from diverse cultural backgrounds who are absolutely selfless while sharing their precious skills with you. For me, it was all about the people and experiences. Good work and collaboration always followed! I gravitated towards handloom over all other crafts because of my fascination for structure, texture and mathematics (weaving is all about numbers)! Also, no matter how much you try to visualize the result of your design on paper it always has an element of surprise and unpredictability!
Tell us a little about your journey in design.
NL: NID introduced me to the strong basics of design, functionality and technical expertise. My time at the Royal College of Arts, London, where I pursued a Master of Arts, helped me use all of the above to create work that was an extension of myself, a selfexpression. It also gave me a chance to exhibit my work on a much larger platform that could be viewed by people from all over the world.
The head of textiles at NID, Aditi Ranjan, had an extremely important role in introducing me to the world of handcrafts in India and encouraging my passion for crafts. My six-month internship towards the end of my time at NID left a lasting impression on me. I was working with an organization called Avani located in the Kumaon region of Uttaranchal. I lived on the main campus and traveled to the other centers around that region (some of which were only accessible by foot). I also had the chance to live at the home of one of the weavers. This close glimpse into the lifestyle of my weavers made me treat them with great respect and at the same time be patient yet persistent in getting the best out of them as far as weaving and work was concerned.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
The perfect balance
Aniruddh Mehta is as much graphic designer as visual artist, and he tries to do justice to both through his work at Studio Bigfat
The Nature of Light
Prateek Jain and Gautam Seth of Klove Studio combine the delicacy of hand blown glass with the sturdiness of metals to create a breathtaking range of lighting options.
The Creative curve
As partners at GCD Studios, graphic designers Shahana Jain and Devshree Sahai contribute enthusiastically to the ‘creation of ideas without boundaries’.
All ABOUT SCALE
A well known industrialist, Dr. Naushad Forbes is Co-Chairman, Forbes Marshall, India's leading steam engineering and control instrumentation company. He is on the Board of several educational institutions and public companies and was recently listed in the Indian Express list of the 100 most influential Indians. His is also a familiar name in Indian design circles. As former Chairman Governing Council National Institute of Design (NID), and Chairman India Design Council (IDC), Dr. Forbes has been able to work at bridging the still large gap between industry and design in the country.
NO NEED TO HIDE
By encouraging traditional leather artisans to explore recycled rubber and other material, Sudheer Rajbhar is giving them the opportunity to keep their skills alive
A NATURAL INSTINCT
Nibha Sikander’s 3D figures of birds and insects are intended to draw attention to the wonders of nature. She tells Sonalee Tomar of ‘The Indian Curator’ how she was drawn to the art of paper-cutting.
A moving experience
Amrish Patel and Darshan Soni came together to share a common vision that has since come alive through striking explorations of kinetic art
The Richness Of Handmade
Amit Vijaya and Richard Pandav are committed to bringing together many hands and hearts through their clothing label ‘amrich’
Bringing Ideas To Life
Creative Director at her eponymous design studio, Sharon Nayak picked up the camera to bridge the gap between her creative vision and its photographic execution
The Striking Right Note
Johnny Ganta might have made a career in music if he hadn’t chosen to work at being a master visual storyteller instead
Women & Spirituality
MIRABAI BUSH is the author of Working With Mindfulness, co-creator of Google’s “Search Inside Yourself” program, cofounder of the Center for Contemplative Mind and Society and a founding board member of the Seva Foundation. She teaches contemplative practices, and has facilitated retreats, workshops and courses on spirit and action for over 20 years. To commemorate International Women’s Day, Mirabai spoke with PURNIMA RAMAKRISHNAN on March 6, 2021.
An Exclusive Interview With RÉMY BOND
It is a pleasure to interview one of the rising stars in today's contemporary art field, a surprising artist, full of vision, with incredibly unique and sophisticated artworks! Rémy Bond, born in 1983 in Paris, France, dreamed of becoming an astronaut.
UNDER THE WEATHER
THE FACTORS THAT CAUSE CLIMATE CHANGE ALSO MAKE US SICK.FIGHTING IT CAN SAVE MILLIONS OF LIVES
thumbs up! and down!
Best Of Show Or Worse For Wear? Digest Decides.
ALSO ROARING BACK FROM PANDEMIC: EARTH-WARMING EMISSIONS
Global warming emissions are expected to spike this year as the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic and economies begin to recover.
Reincarnation And Realpolitik
China, India, and the U.S. are vying to influence the selection of the next Dalai Lama
Kingpins and wannabes barrel through the London underworld.
An Exclusive Interview With Nandakumar Narasimhan
The Little Red Train
Back on the Road
We all know travel can be a pain, but when it hits below the belt you need to know there’s something you can do about it
A Room for Dad
Before Mom passed, I made a promise to her