Turning a new page
Handloom revivalist and designer Madhu Jain, who has been trying to resuscitate craftsmanship for the last 25 years, has turned writer. She is set to launch her first book, inspired by the arts and craftsmanship of Jammu and Kashmir. Titled "The living journey of the art and crafts of J&K", the book captures the journey of strong craftsmanship present in the state. It will hit the shelves in August this year. "Jammu and Kashmir is famous for its unique and splendid work of art and crafts but somehow the people are not giving the state its due recognition. And it inspired me to launch the book which will present the strong and rich craftsmanship of the area," Jain told IANS. "The book not only covers small details about the rich heritage of the place, but it will also share the basic guideline of the making of furniture, apparel and accessory by using the art and crafts of J&K. The book will educate people about the place," she added.
The designer, who started compiling the book in 2003, also says that it will have some exclusive pictures of erstwhile Karan Singh's personal collection. "I started compiling this book when I was working under Wajahat Habibullah. The exceptional part of the book is that it has images from Karan Singh's personal collection," said the designer who is a friend of Singh. However, this is not the first time that she has worked so closely on the rich heritage of Jammu and Kashmir. Jain collaborated with model-turned-actor Milind Soman to work on innovating trends for Indian textiles, including Kashmiri embroidery, in 2008.
Jain-Milind did a project called "The Tree of Knowledge" at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, where she has used the Chinar tree from Kashmir as the theme for her embroidery. "I started working on Kashmir project in 2003...I met lot of interesting people. What makes the Kashmiris very proud is their unique identity and this is what I am trying to show in the book," she said.
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