Digging Dastkar – Design Fair 2017

Besides drooling over beautiful handicrafts, I head to Dastkar every now and then for the uplifting haat vibe and inspiring conversation. I spent a good part of the first day at the annual Dastkar Design Fair engaging in an inspiration exchange with some wonderful artists. Sharing some highlights of my day here..

Gautam Swarup’s Woodwork

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Gautam Swarup’s stunning wooden products made me think of foraging expeditions through a forest. Everything seems to have retained its character, with a thoughtfully placed stitch or twig for some added charm. He started out collecting branches and twigs to conjure up little gifts for his family, and has been at it for twenty years now! He’s got utility products in different kinds of wood (he assures me it’s all from trees found dead). I loved the platters with the rare burr (seen above) and the ones with stitches, the trays with twig handles, the wine bottle caddy, and the colorful bark lights!

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My favorite thing here was this little easel (seen above) made of bottlebrush and Turkish neem which now rests on my table, and will have me beaming for a long, long time! A photo print would sit so beautifully on those knots! See more of Gautam ji’s woodwork here.

Megha Rawat’s Pottery

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I’ve been a huge fan of Megha’s pottery since my first cup of tea from one of her beautiful teapots. I got to see her entire range of products for the first time today, and each one is more stunning than the other! They’re all super functional, and her color palette is full of colors you’d find if you were to go digging through the earth or flying through the galaxy. The Warli figures on her serveware add a lovely tribal touch. Megha also loves sound and has been experimenting with ceramic amplifiers. I can’t wait to see how this beauty unfolds! See more of Megha’s earthen beauties here.

P.S. – I’d definitely recommend digging through her collection of trippy cat magnets!

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Shabnam Geetanjali’s Nosepins

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I found Shabnam’s collection of big, bold silver nose pins absolutely stunning. The display on bark was as pretty as the pins themselves! Check out her line of handcrafted jewelry here.

Tanveen Ratti’s Organic Connect

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Walking past the Organic Connect stall, a wooden box with a jharokha carved on it caught my eye. Tanveen explained that it was from the Hauz Khas monument, a sight they saw everyday for a long time from their workplace. I particularly love the use of fabric on the sweet little drawers! Check out their line of wooden products here.

By the time I was done with my happy banter at these stalls, it was time for Day 1 to come to a close. But there’s tons of stunning handicrafts to buy and many wonderful artists eager to exchange inspiration! I definitely recommend a visit (or two, if your haat strategy is anything like mine)!

The Dastkar Design Fair is on from 12th-23rd January 2017 (11am to 7pm) at Nature Bazaar, Andheria Modh, Delhi. 

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