A decoupaged world

Last Updated : 23 November 2015, 18:22 IST

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Growing up, we all learnt origami from books that came with slides of colourful paper in them and gave thorough instructions. But most of us never pursued the art after we passed out from school. But Anuja Thavamani’s story is different — her crafting journey began when she was in fifth standard and learnt origami. Now, it has been over 20 years and she still can’t get enough of the creativity.

Having travelled the world, she has moved past origami and towards other crafting methods. Currently, she is fascinated by decoupage and does it on a daily basis. “What started at a young age is now a way for me to get creative. Since the time I got married, my husband and I have changed homes every year so we have been to many cities. And everywhere I go, I pick up a different craft that is localised to that region,” she explains.

When she first moved to the US, she took up card-making, but the family shifted to the UK immediately after so she had a chance to take the art further. “Card-making was more popular in the UK at the time so when we shifted base I got to learn a lot about it. Even television channels would broadcast details about it. I also picked up parchment art when I was there,” she says.

She has experimented with numerous crafting methods but found home in  decoupage. “Initially, my priority when it came to crafting was the time it takes to make the item. I had a newborn child at the time so I wanted something that I could make quickly, maybe in half or an hour. Now it’s different because my kids go to school and I have more time. To make a simple decoupage item, it takes around three hours, which isn’t too long.”  Anuja is someone who looks for instant satisfaction and results, which is why she isn’t drawn to crafts that consume a lot of time.

“I’ve even tried stitching, baking, making scrap books and more, but I’m not passionate about any of them. So I work mainly with mixed media art and decoupage,” she says. Whether it is trays and boxes or furniture like side tables and turn tables, she likes to experiment. “Furniture takes more time to make — about 24 hours — because each layer takes time to dry, but that’s something I’m still experimenting with”.

Although she does take orders, she prefers to make these as gifting options. “Crafting gives a personalised touch to a gift and there can never be two of the same thing. Whether it is for a festival or wedding, I make the gifts,” she says.

Published 23 November 2015, 17:04 IST

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