Ever seen a flower arrangement that has been created out of a tissue holder? Geeta Kukreja (48) specialises in such unusual craft. She uses waste material to create beautiful, artificial flowers with very little additional embellishment. Her deft fingers can add zing to even the simplest ribbon, fabric, cloth or bead.
Born in Patna, raised in Asansol and currently living in Bangalore, Geeta has a degree in Commerce. Inspired by her mother’s embroidery and crochet skills, she began experimenting with stuff lying around the house. Her signature creation is the thorana made from crystals, beads and broom sticks!
Her patience and dedication in creating complex designs from scrap is commendable. The art of etching on glass currently keeps her busy. Her mornings are dedicated to painting and sewing, and evenings are spent tutoring young children at home. Geeta works with special children who have undergone cochlear implants and with children with autism.
She uses art and craft to teach them basic concepts of grammar, maths and science.
Geeta’s first job was at a Montessori school. She then joined an international school, where she taught craft and needle work. She teaches kids coordination skills by helping them make mini lamp shades with toothpicks, paintings using ice cream sticks, artificial flowers with paper, 3-D origami and more. She works her magic on the most ordinary things. Broom sticks are painted and transformed into sturdy stems for flowers studded with crystals, waste thread from the local tailor becomes an octopus-shaped lamp shade and coconut shells become cheerful masks!
Geeta’s thorana collection is awesome. She has made thoranas from old CDs and embellished them with bindis and beads. “I am not tech-savvy, but for this kind of craft work — greeting card designing, mehendi designs, glass etching — patterns are available on the Internet. It is the hand-embroidery that needs intricate detailing, tons of patience and orginality,” she says. “Today’s children have no patience. Everything has to happen with the click of a button. Craft teaches them patience while honing their coordination skills,” she explains.