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    This project is About lantana the people behind it and its a culmination of my work with tribal communities in Karnataka India.I worked wit them … Read More
    This project is About lantana the people behind it and its a culmination of my work with tribal communities in Karnataka India.I worked wit them to develop a collection of furniture and products.As part of a rural development program. Read Less
Lantana Furniture and  Products
Lantana is an invasive plant that is spoiling the Indian ecosystem it destroys local flaura and funa tribal communities have been making things from it for about 8 years now . My input came in terms of design and development of technology .I worked with the craftsman for a period of six months and These are the results of that venture. We experimented with the finishes colours etc . I gave inputs interms of design Erganomics and I also played an active role in the workshops with the actual making of the products.  The whole effort has been recieved well and this plays a role at the grass roots where i believe with the intervention of design a craft will succeed in meeting the user and market demands within 24 hours of the furniture being displayed four orders were placed and over 200 people came to see the products being exhibited I hope there are many more orders to come.
 I wanted to do something where the collection represented the craftsman and i wanted it to say, ‘this is who we are this is where come from and this is what we do so using the linolium carving method I created four pictures each depicting or representing certain aspects of life in MM hills. The first picture here is of a small scene taken from the Malemahadeshwara temple this is important because the temple is what brings people to this remote place and generates the economy around. The picture is of a “Shalabah” who is traditionally at the temple entrances “shalabah is an Indian dragon whose tongue is made of fire so he symbolises a guardian or protector, this plays an important role because the Soligas are protectors of the forest . They live in harmony with the forest and depend on the forests for their livelihood.
MM hills is rich in wild life in my multiple visits there I have seen varying number of wildlife the communities here hunt on occasion and like any are the forest dwelling communites interact daily with the wildlife and birds the peacock under a tree represents the wildlife here.
This picture represents the women of the community they support the men be it by cleaning the lantana or by looking after the children or by cooking and looking after the household they work just as hard as the men if not harder. They are always dressed in a saree they have a nose piercing as well as ear piercings and they usually have a red bindi adorning the forehead. In the background I have put leaves to represent that they are part of a forest dwelling community.
This is a sofa the set was not made because it took a very long time to make just this it took about 2 weeks to make and took one day to finish burma teak is used for the armrest. the cushions are hand made with cotton. The cushion covers are made from khaadi cloth because every aspect is hand made hence I thought hand made cloth would be ideal for this . Again wood polish is used because of its matt finish as well as it presereves the natural look.
This is what the bookshelf looks like, its simple to make and aesthetically appealing it has more of wood than lantana this is done in contrast with the sofa where there is more lanta than wood. the bookshelf is made from jackfruit tree wood cheaper woods can be used also I prefered jackfruit tree wood because of the quality and grains.
The coffee table was made by the craftsman, it took the craftsman a week and a half to make it right from the collection of sticks to actually cutting and nailing everything togeather. It took me a two days to sand down and polish the entire table. I used wood polish rather than varnish cause it maintains the natural look of lantana it was also chosen because it gives a matt finish rather than a glossy one . Suction cups are used to hold the glass in place because it makes it easy to dismantle and transport the whole table and glass seperately.
This lamp is a hanging lamp where the stacking pattern creates light and shade I did not want to diffuse light hence I left the bulb as is the wooden box on top is for contrast so that wood and lantana play off eachother during the daytime when the light is off.The box also conceals the bulb holder but not the bulb itself thereby allowing the light through. It took me about 3 hours to make this lamp and finishing took another hour .