Channapatna – India’s response to mid century design lovers

Crafts from India are carried on through generations and usually with very little modification, which is the beauty of it. One such is the Channapatna .. growing up in India most of us would have owned some Channapatna toy.. made only from natural materials, no sharp lines and rich hues these made for best toys. Over the years the craft has evolved and now there is more focus to expand the use for this technique to make lifestyle products . My personal favorite was the atta (wheat flour mill)grinder ☺️ and the giant wheel.

Why I chose to write about it today is different reason, I was moving around one of Channapatna pieces which was originally my sons stacking toy, which is now serving as a bangle holder for me 😀 I couldn’t quiet help noticing how much this age old tradition has so much in common with a modernist movement. They each are known for 1. Function before form, 2. Uncluttered sleek lines / less adornment. 3. Both organic and geometric shapes 4. Rich hues 5. Modern finishes

I was trying to see how the Channapatna faired against the above – 1.Most of the toys that are made are miniatures of real life objects .. some of them you can put together or rearrange, 2. Geometric lines , no rough edges , symmetry 3. Only wood with no wastage apparently 4. Earth tones of black, burnt orange, maroon red, mustard yellow and the likes 5. Lacquered wood … this made me kind of excited and so here I am blabbing about it hoping the part of the world that is hung on mid century designs could take advantage of this beautiful traditional craft. Looks some European brands have picked up this collection for their toys. I just hope they don’t get China to imitate it 🧐

An article in THE BETTER INDIA covers this topic on Kartik Vaidyanathans Varnam store which I’d restoring this tradition and bringing in product beyond toys, keep sakes or jewelry.

In my upcoming trip to India this one is surely on my list of stores to visit 😄 I have pasted pics of my collection and a few more from the article and store .. enjoy and shop eco friendly

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