Vijayalakshmi S discovered her creative genius when she started dabbling with colours in her spare time. Soon, she was designing different home decor items using tiny kundan stones. Spending hours to come up with unique designs, she puts her creative streak to good use.
“I bought these materials so that I could make something to beautify my home. Little did I know that my neighbours and relatives would start liking them. Soon, I was gifting these kundan rangolis to my friends and family members. Many of my relatives, who have visited us during festivals have, praised the rangolis. That boosted my confidence and I decided to take it a notch higher by adding more colour and coming up with elaborate designs. I try and make my designs a little different and give each a personal touch,” she explains.
There is a reason why these rangolis look so beautiful and intricate — immense hard work and patience is involved in putting them together. The process begins with ideating a different design each time. “A different pattern every time can be a little difficult but it is a challenge that I am ready to take up. I begin by taking transparent paper and making sketches on plain sheets. After this, I apply glue and place the kundan stones on it. The amount of time taken to complete each one of them depends on the size of the design. After I place the stones, I let them dry for a while and cut out the design. Once it is ready, it can be kept on a transparent background. The bigger and more complex designs require a lot more time than the smaller ones. Colour coordination and sticking the stones on to the designs require a lot of patience. It takes a bit of time and one has to be careful while sticking the stones — a wrong move may just ruin the entire
design,” she says.
Her dedication and creativity have earned her many admirers. She says that many of her friends and relatives have taken samples of her work to decorate their homes abroad. “I have a cousin in London. When she came home, she really liked my work and took samples back to the UK to show her friends. I have gifted these wall hangings and rangolis to many of my friends and relatives. I also give them as return gifts to my friends,” she notes.
Vijayalakshmi notes that she had to face many challenges and she has had a difficult time looking for a particular colour of stone.
“I plan all the colour schemes in advance so that I don’t have to do any last-minute preparation. There have been times when I had to travel long distances for a particular kind and colour of stone. It can become tiring, yet I don’t give up as this is what I want to do. My family is extremely supportive and encourages me to take up new things. Getting appreciated for my efforts is very satisfying. However, what makes me content is seeing people notice the hard work that I have put in,” she states.The intricate details that she adds to her pieces makes each one visually appealing. The brightly-coloured designs add a dash of spice to any area in the house. Although festivals are when she starts making more of these ‘rangolis’, she prefers making them all year round and states that she has lost count of how many she has made so far.
“Some of the designs that I make are different formations of flowers, heart-shaped designs, diyas, peacocks and tri-coloured formations. Peacocks and diyas are detailed and elaborate designs. I try to incorporate more layers and colours into them. Some other designs like a flower or a heart might look very simple, but they are as intricate as others — I try to make them simple yet elegant. A lot of my time is spent in ideating designs and getting the stones. I am passionate about it and feel that pursuing a hobby adds discipline to one’s life. It is also a stress buster,” she sums up.
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