Sanjhi Paper Cutwork Craft Skill Course

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DEFENCE COLONY, Delhi

Course ID: 34698

DEFENCE COLONY, Delhi

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Ritu Varuni picture
Ritu Varuni

Architect and Craft Designer

About Ritu Varuni

For many hundred years the very special art of sanjhi or paper cutting of stencils flourished in the Vaishnav Hindu community of north western India. The masters (ustads) used small handmade scissors creating amazing art-work to decorate temples, nat-mandirs and kirtan sabhas at the time of Hindu Vaishnav Festivals such as Rasa, Holi, Janmashtami and Jhulan.

Sanjhi is an extremely fine skill using only a pair of small iron handmade scissors. Paper stencils were used to make rangoli or decorative patterns on walls and floors with coloured powders based on the Hindu Raasleela tradition. Radha-Krishna themes and motifs dominated the earlier traditional patterns which later were enriched by other influences to include a number of Mughal motifs like jali or lattice work, animals and flowers. According to Hindu mythology, Krishna’s consort Radha used to decorate walls and floors with patterns made with natural materials like powdered and dried coloured stones and finely cut flower petals. Other gopis of Vrindavan took up the practice and made these intricate sanjhi patterns in the evening, to attract the attention of Krishna while he was on his way home. Hence the name ‘sanjhi’, derived from the Sanskrit word ‘sanjh’ meaning ‘evening’. Later, people started making stencils of these designs based on the life of Radha-Krishna to express their love, respect and devotion. In this sense sanjhi craft had a ritualistic and sacred backdrop and context which has disappeared in the present context.

Sanjhi as an art finds many takers nowadays and is patronized and used to make varied products and also in interiors by some designers. These pieces of paper that come alive when light finds its way through the paper cut have unending possibilities in design development. The intricacy of this craft and the skill involved make it a perfect craft tradition and one that can never lose its charm.
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About the Course

E’thaan Design Studio organizes and facilitates integrated craft and design workshops for schools, institutions and NGO’s which are on a once a month basis. These workshops will provide basic file kits for each student including reference material for the craft and basic stationery items.  A tool kit will be provided to all students. These may be purchased by them at an extra cost if required. A basic design exercise will be included in the workshop for a more holistic approach to the craft skill learning.


The one and a half day workshop programme will accommodate 6 to 15 trainees and have a craft instructor and craft assistant along with a craft designer as part of the instruction team.  Each craft will have a different cost package and instruction team.


The workshops are geared to a learning approach of the craft technique and will progress to advanced level workshops if and when required. The workshop programme offers 3 different level workshops for block carving and carpentry crafts and a two level workshop course for sanjhi paper cutting craft which will facilitate proper learning of the craft skill. As practice is key to mastering any traditional craft skill, the student may then practice on her/his own at home. A minimum time period


COURSE CONTENT



  • History and information about the craft.

  • Pattern making.

  • Tracing the pattern onto the paper.

  • Basic use of

  • Sanjhi pattern cutting techniques

  • Sanjhi making on water

  • Basic design and quality control


LIST OF TOOLS



  • Handmade sanjhi scissors - Rs.1,000 each.


LIST OF MATERIALS



  • Pencil HB- 1 pc

  • Eraser - 1 pc

  • Sharpener - 1 pc

  • Poster paint (any colour) - 2 pc

  • Flat brush No. 10 - 2 pc

  • Small sponge

  • Traced patterns -3 types per student i.e total 45 nos (prepared by sanjhi instructor)

  • Coloured handmade paper 100gsm - 30 sheets 9” X 9”

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