Unbottling her creativity

Unique hobbies

Unbottling her creativity
Madam, would you have a bandaid?” It was the pleading voice of a scrap dealer that put the thought into Krittika’s head first. “He had cut his hands quite badly after picking up some glass shards from the garbage dump. From that day, I resolved not to throw any glass bottles or cans into the dump and even asked my friends to do the same,” says the engineer.

But when bottles started accumulating in her house, Krittika Shrivastava turned to an old passion — crafting — and turned it into a more fashionable avatar of itself — upcycling. “I had always been interested in arts and crafts since my childhood. My mother and grandmother were very creative people and my father, a Physics professor, is a great artist too. So no wonder this interest was sown in me right from an early age.”

So what started off as small sketches and greeting cards turned into creating works of art using decoupage method. “Ketchup bottles, wine bottles, even ‘MTR Gulab Jamun’ bottles became my raw material,” she says with a laugh. “Apart from knowing that I was doing my bit to reduce the amount of trash that lands up in landfills, I also had the satisfaction of pursuing my hobby in an economic manner. Craft materials are costly these days.”

While initially Krittika started with designing artefacts for friends and family, today she has a Facebook page ‘The Art Box’ where she commands a sizeable following. “Initially, the reactions to my products used to be somewhat mixed. But now the feedback is very positive and that is motivating me to continue this,” she says and adds, “The keepsake boxes, fashioned from MDF wood, are attracting a lot of people because they are useful and pretty at the same time. The bottle artworks and penstands are also quite popular.”

Though the themes depend on her mood, she admits to having a particular fondness for vintage-specific motifs. However, she is also open to customisation if someone asks her.

She fondly recalls a memory from the initial stages of her journey. “I created some return gifts for a child’s birthday party and presented the first piece to the birthday baby himself. He had been particular about a ‘Chhota Bheem’ design and though I had not watched the cartoon myself, I made exactly what he wanted. So delighted was the kid that he toddled over to me, hugged me tight and said, ‘You are my Chutki’. I was thoroughly confused until his mother explained that Chutki was a character in the series. I was touched and amused at the same time, especially because I was in no way a ‘chutki’ at that time,” she says with a chuckle.

Now compliments are a usual occurrence and she credits her husband and her family for having supported her through the journey. “I am working on bottle lamps now and am also experimenting with fabric decoupage, trying to come up with some unique cushion covers and bags. I make sure to keep working on something new all the time.”

(Krittika can be contacted on krittika.shrivastava19@gmail.com)
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