All things bright and beautiful

All things bright and beautiful

Art’ is a part of her name! So it’s not a wonder that Arthini Ramaswamy creates gorgeous accessories that would make anyone think they were from a branded store.

A self-taught artist and crafter who has created wonderful designs and items using crotchet and quilling, Arthini’s current focus is tatting, which is an art of lace making.
One can create anything from doilies (a piece of cloth with a pattern of holes) to jewellery through this process by making a series of loops and knots using a crafting product called shuttle. In the shape of a fish, a shuttle is as long as the index finger and as wide as the thumb.

Taxing as tatting may sound, the young patent specialist from SAP Labs is extremely passionate about it and takes time out for it despite her hectic schedule. Talking of how it all began, she says, “When I was learning origami and crochet, I used to watch videos on Youtube.”

Once, as she was watching these videos, she saw some videos listed under the title of ‘tatting’ and was curious to know more. And as they say the rest is history! 

“There were a number of patterns online and I tried my hand at some of them,” she recalls. Though it was tough in the beginning, Arthini became a pro at it with practice. “A thin thread called the tatting or crochet thread is used for the process.

It is slightly thicker than the sewing thread. You make a loop with it and the shuttle goes in and out. This way, you make a series of knots,” she informs.

Elaborating a little on the history of the art, she says, “It dates back to the middle 18th century and was loved by queens and courtesans. Laces and doilies were used as frills on skirts. In fact, I have read that some of them were even found in Egyptian tombs. That’s how old the art is! However, along the way, it lost its original name.”

Coming to the present, tatting has various applications and with a little bit of imagination, one can create any shape with it the way Arthini does! From earrings, necklaces, bracelets, barefoot sandals, hair clips to even bag tags, key chains, pen clips and other decor items, you name it and she can make it.

The barefoot sandal is her personal favourite. “It is a fun accessory and can even be worn along with ballerina shoes. It will also go well as a bridal foot jewellery,” she notes. While the bracelet can be worn to parties and also as a bridal hand jewellery, the tatted motifs can be used to make some pretty greeting cards and doilies can be used to decorate furniture.

Ask her how she balances her hobby with her job and she is quick to say, “I make things after work. I also don’t watch much TV and go late to bed. During the weekends, I get a chunk of time too.” While some of the smaller projects take as little as half an hour, intricate items like barefoot sandals and necklaces take three to four hours at a stretch or an entire day with short breaks in between. 

Sourcing her raw materials from eBay, Arthini sometimes finds a few treasures in the bylanes of Raja Market. “You can use a combination of colours and create multi-coloured accessories,” she adds.

Arthini says that she gets a sense of gratification when simple household items are turned into beautiful and useful pieces of art. “I like to indulge myself in activities, like tatting, which have a quick outcome. Creating things also gives me a sense of satisfaction,” she explains. She also likes to gift her creations to her friends and family, who end up loving them as they are so unique.

Pointing out that the internet is a powerful learning tool, Arthini’s future plan is to make a video tutorial on her works. “One can learn any art or craft on the internet as everything is available on it. All you need to do is go online and learn the basics. Once you get a hang of it, you can be more creative and make your own patterns,” she sums up.

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