The small wonders

The small wonders

Unique hobbies

The small wonders

Urvi Shah was always interested in art and craft as a hobby but did not ever think about pursuing it seriously. It was a chance look at a relative’s wedding trousseau, back home in Mumbai, that set her thinking.

“It is a custom among Marwaris that whatever is sent as a part of the wedding trousseau must be packed and decorated beautifully. We saw the decorations and wondered — why can’t we do something like this ourselves?” says Urvi.

Thus evolved her interest in handmade products. The items include ‘diyas’, hangings, torans, small mandaps, hanging chains, ring stands and many more.

Says Urvi, “I was always enthusiastic about trying my hands at making things but this is the first time we are actually doing it on a large scale. Initially, I used to make some small items in my free time. Gradually the size and scale became bigger and relatives started asking for our help while decorating their homes during functions. After we came to Bengaluru, I continued making stuff and these were placed in our house itself. Later on, when some of my husband’s colleagues came home, they asked us to exhibit our products in different venues in the city since many people here were not aware about this venture of ours.”

The use of the word ‘ours’ is justified. Viral, her husband takes a keen interest in his wife’s work and helps her in making the artefacts. And Urvi is all praise for him. “He has always encouraged and supported me in my venture which is why I am able to pursue my hobby,” she says.

A brief glance at some of the articles around her give credence to the fact that it would indeed have been a great pity if she had not utilised her talent. Bright colours and intricate designs seem to be the dominant idea. An unusual item are the different types of ‘mandaps’ which can be used for small functions or religious purposes. Flowers are a major part of the decoration and have been made by hand, using different materials. Beads, stones and mirrors are other preferred accessories and give the end product a dazzling and professional look.

The ‘diyas’ are works of art in themselves, presented in colourful and creative designs. These designs largely derive inspiration from traditional motifs and patterns. The ‘torans’ and the wall hangings too sport such styles in a contemporary manner with vibrant colours. And her customers seem to love these experiments, says Urvi. “I have had many people come up to me and enquire about the process of creating these things. It makes me feel recognised as an artist and is a great motivation.”

Talking about the importance of using quality materials for her work, Urvi says, “It is very important to use only the highest quality raw materials since I want my products to be long-lasting. While I was in Mumbai, I knew exactly where to go to find whatever I needed. I am not very sure about the places here and I don’t want to experiment with new types of articles either. So I still source the materials from Mumbai. I buy coloured stones, beads, metal balls and even the LED lights we use in door hangings and ‘torans’ from there.”

Brene Brown once said, “Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world.” And nothing makes Urvi happier than when she is creating something. “It is a laborious process and many things can go wrong but finally when you have the finished product in your hand, the exhilaration and sense of accomplishment  is unmatched.”

Rajitha Menon
(Urvi can be reached at 9620142768)