Pieces of passion

Unique hobbies

Pieces of passion

Anuja Singh never thought crafting would be such an intimate part of her life, but now she can’t get enough of it. “I don’t belong to a crafting family but it’s my passion,” she says. Her decoupage work has managed to catch quite a few eyes over time.

“After my post-graduation, I worked in a bank for quite a while. Then I got married and moved to Delhi, where I again worked for a bank. When my son was born, I quit my job and became a full-time mother for five years. Last year, I began making decoupage party decorations and gift items. I couldn’t go back to work because of my son but I wanted to do something or the other. I’ve always been inclined towards crafting and extra-curricular activities, so with a little push from my friends, I took my work more seriously,” she explains. It was this love for crafting that made her creative side blossom.

How did she pick up the art of decoupage? “I learnt it on my own, by ‘Googling’ for details and asking fellow crafters. But I give the products my own touch.” Even as she handles a precocious five-year-old, she makes time for her craft work. “It comes naturally to me and acts as a stress buster. This is why I give it a 100 per cent. My son sleeps at 10 pm, after which I work till 3 am or so. And once my son leaves for school, I go out to buy raw material at the various markets. I never feel tired; I just have a good feeling at the end of the night,” she adds enthusiastically. She also works on clay and ceramic products, and learns different techniques whenever she can. 

   Her crafting journey had a simple and humble beginning with, “During Socially Useful Productive Work (SUPW) classes, we would do needle and craft work, and I was the captain of the chart making team in school. People also told me I have good handwriting. Although I was average when it came to studies, I would get an A plus in art classes.”

    She continues, “In college, I didn’t get much time or exposure to the arts, but when my son was born, I began stitching his clothes. All his clothes were made by me during the first month.”  Now, she makes gift boxes for various occasion, including the festive seasons. “For festivals like ‘Diwali’, I make ‘rangoli diyas’, floating diyas’ and ‘puja thalis’ and traditional designs and patterns.” For ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’, she is planning a series of products made from clay and ceramic. “I’m making small Ganeshas for the festival, ones that won’t harm the environment.”

Why does she have this passion for decoupage? “I get to work with paper – vintage and new. And it doesn’t cater to one specific age group. Also, I can work with a variety of designs.” She uses glass bottles, old boxes and photo frames to make items like wall hangings.

   She adds, “This is a way for my imagination to show itself. I draw whatever comes to my mind and imagination.”

Anuja says that her son keeps her going. “My son is very attached to me and sleeps close by. When he goes to bed, he tells me to quickly. But I usually work till 3 am so it’s only when he wakes up that he sees what I’ve been upto. When he tells me that my art work is beautiful and pretty, I feel as if my work has paid off. He goes to bed with only the blueprint of my designs in his head but wakes up to finished products, and he loves that.”

 She has currently put all her other projects on hold because, “My son’s birthday is this month and I’m having an Avengers theme-based party for him. Hopefully I’ll be able to make an accurate ‘Iron Man’ figure.”

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