Leaving a paper trail

Leaving a paper trail
The worlds of science and art are set within boundaries but shaky ones. Every now and then, when the two collide, they create something unexpected. The day Tanvi Shah, a microbiologist by profession, decided to get creative, she became the owner and designer for ‘Paperfantasees’.

As the name suggests, she indulges her love for paper in as many ways as possible. And she makes clear that she has no regrets about leaving the scientific community. “I think I’m a crafter by blood!” she says. But it took her a while to realise her dreams and passions. “Ever since I was in school, I would hoard stationery, especially paper — those days, handmade paper was the most popular. If a different colour pen ever came out, I’d pick that up too. But I never had any time to use all these supplies. I had a job and then, my children came along.”

It wasn’t until four years ago that she found a suitable outlet for her crafting needs. “When I quit my job, I realised I needed a productive way to utilise my free time. That’s when I started my blog. It was then that I started crafting and slowly, the supplies that I had accumulated became useful,” she says.

Tanvi began making three-dimensional cards, quirky bookmarks, scrapbooks, photo albums and more. And to perfect her art, she has a collection of over 400 rubber stamps which are used to letter the paper items. “Any card you buy has some lettering on it, whether it is to a mother, friend or brother. This is what the rubber stamps are for — they give the cards (or any item) sentiment (as we say in the crafting world). I have stamps for all occasions.”

She even takes the time to upcycle boxes and bottles, but her passion lies in paper artwork. “I don’t think I can ever switch to another medium, I’ve invested too much in this. I have always been fascinated by paper and will continue to be.” She may make the shift to tissue work every now and then but that doesn’t mean she won’t head back home.

When making a product, Tanvi takes many things into consideration, including the customer and their personality. “I first check what age group the customer is in. Then I find the right sentiment stamp and move on to coordinating colours.” The Indian crafting community has also helped her immensely. “When I moved to Bengaluru, I came across the Bangalore Craft-Lovers group on Facebook. I was astonish by the warm welcome I received.” This bond she has with other crafters and artists makes her enjoy her passion even more. “It’s not just in the City. Anywhere I go, I make time to meet and spend time with crafters,” she mentions.

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