Trapezium Bangle - Black - Jewellery - Indian Goods Co - 3
Trapezium Bangle - Black - Jewellery - Indian Goods Co - 3
Trapezium Bangle - Black - Jewellery - Indian Goods Co - 4
VARNAM

Trapezium Bangle - Black

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  • Bold, chunky and an interesting play of form and volume, this statement piece adds drama to an outfit. Handcrafted from wood that is extremely light and known for its medicinal properties and coloured with natural dyes that are non-toxic, its is utilitarian and beautiful. Wear high on the arm as a cuff and combine with a variety of outfits, from boho to a minimal glam.

  • Diameter 6.6 cm, Width 4 cm
    Handcrafted from wood and natural, non-toxic dyes
    Avoid exposure to water
    Clean with a damp cloth and wipe dry immediately

Varnam
MEET THE DESIGNER: VARNAM

Varnam means colours, and it is an ode to the vibrancy of India. I attempt to bring my aesthetic sensibilities and design philosophy to traditional crafts, to re-orient them to the modern context through utilitarianism and functionality.

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Karthik Vaidyanathan, the founder of Varnam, comes from the Chettinad region of South India. Born and brought up in Mumbai, he currently resides in Bangalore. An Engineer-MBA by qualification, Karthik has spent over 15 years in the media industry. A trip to Mysore enroute Channapatna in 2011 left him fascinated with the craft form the region is famous for, and created an urge to know more about it. Being in a full-time job, he travelled to Channapatna over weekends and holidays, and a few visits later, the first few designs of Varnam saw the light of day. The brand has moved from product to product and hasn’t looked back since.

Karthik shared his inspiration behind starting Varnam and the relevance of craft in a contemporary context.

Your story is so inspiring - could you share it with us?
Varnam started its work over two years ago in an attempt has been to reorient Channapatna lac turnery – an age-old craft that was dying a slow death - to the modern context by focusing on products that have utilitarian value and a modern aesthetic. The result is a series of products in the home and lifestyle space that has showcased the adaptability of this traditional toy-craft and widened its appeal.

 

Most crafts in India continue to remain fragmented and have little focus on building a strong brand or consistent imaging. We believe that strong communication and product design in the crafts sector have a very significant role to play, in that they enable these traditional-crafted products to be showcased on par with design products in lifestyle stores, not limiting them to craft-fairs alone.

 

How do you develop your products and what is your inspiration behind them?
I do not follow an organized process like most trained designers do. I usually start with something around me that sparks off a product idea and if it excites me, I work on it at the factory. I do an initial sketch, sit with my artisans to get the prototype done and once this is tweaked and finalized, they are given a final drawing with measurements for future production. My inspiration comes from everywhere - looking around when I’m stuck at a traffic signal or seeing a film or video online.

How do the artisans you work with perceive your philosophy?
My artisans realize that I'm committed to the craft as they have seen me coming there in person, week after week, for years now. It's a mutual admiration club. They also tweak and adapt my ideas and that is the best part of this collaboration. I do not, however, feel that they think too much about the social consciousness part of it. For them it's a job and as long its sustainable, they are ok to continue doing it. They have, however, begun to realize the potential of doing things differently and have more belief in their skill sets today than, perhaps, when they started.

Thank you for your time Karthik! We wish you much success!
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