Crafting is her true calling

Unique hobbies

Crafting is her true calling

The word ‘therapy’ is commonly associated with comfortable long chairs and a stern-faced listener. But Vinita Bajla has found her own and innovative way to deal with stressful situations — she crafts. “Crafting is healing and therapeutic,” she says. Now, she enjoys it so much that she spends all her free time with paints, papers, brushes, tissues and a variety of other stationery. These have become her intimate friends and never fail to brighten up her day.

But she waited for the right time to pick up a brush. “Crafting and the love for arts is in my blood — I grew up in Kolkata, which has a rich art heritage. I’ve always been interested in it but never took it up fully because of my children. However, now that they are grown up, I can give it more attention. Even my children encourage me to take up something for myself.”

Vinita mainly works on untraditional canvasses like aluminium kettles, boxes, clothes hangers, trays and more. She tries her hands at painting with acrylic colours and decoupage work. While painting kettles is one of her specialities, it is also a self-taught art. Her inner-creative side blossoms out and shows itself through the kettles. “I love working with aluminium kettles because there’s something very Indian about them,” she says. Even the designs she traces on them have a more ethnic tinge to them. “I usually use ethnic designs for the kettles — elephants, swans, lotuses, tribal designs and more,” she adds. And the best part is that these kettles aren’t just decorative pieces. “The inside of the pot is not painted or varnished, it’s just cleaned thoroughly. But the outside is varnished and if it isn’t scrubbed too hard, the painting will stay on.”

Initially, she worked on murals but switched over to different bases. “Last year, I
attended a decoupage class and that’s when I began taking it more seriously. I work from home, as and when I can or want. Crafting is my calling! It’s a passion that gives me peace of mind,” she says.

When it comes to decoupage, which lets you play with paper and tissue and is a delicate art, she has grappled and found her footing with time. She says that it’s important for every artist to find their own technique. “Decoupage is not just about getting the right paper; it’s about where and how you place it. You have to apply different kinds of techniques. A person cannot be over-confident when it comes to this. You never know when it might fall apart and you’ll have to start the whole process again. But I’ll admit, the materials are readily available.” As she paces herself and doesn’t hurry around, decoupage bottles take about eight to nine days to make.

Even the way she wets, wraps and glues a tissue is her own. “I’ve learnt that you must wait 10 seconds and for the first tissue to dry before you can apply another coating. So it’s a tedious process.” Her most difficult project so far has been the clothing hanger.

“It was very challenging because it has limited space. The bottles are difficult too.” And what inspires her? “Anything I see around me or some other painting. If I like it, I incorporate it in some way. But the decoupage work is more on the English vintage side, while the kettles have ethnic designs. I also work on cards. And I’m soon planning to try out canvas painting.” She says that she never wants to stop exploring, and since there’s a wide playing field, she has a long way to go — and this can’t get her anymore excited than she already is!


(Vinita can be reached at vinita.bajla9@gmail.com)

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