We at Marketstreat are very excited to start the series which aim to feature artisans across India to highlight their journey and success. What paths do they take to become entrepreneurs, and what challenges and opportunities do they face. To begin this series, I am glad that I had the opportunity to interview someone whose work I really admired personally. The craftsmen in focus today are awesome creative talents, Preeti Gupta and Dr. Vivek Gupta: creators of Aranya Earthcraft. The main motto of their brand is to promote eco-friendly art with an emphasis on new designs and the creative use of material. All the material used is bio-degradable and papier-mâché (traditional material) is a prominent medium for their contemporary designs.

I came across Aranya Earthcraft a couple of years ago in a Delhi craft mela and developed an instant admiration for their creations. I love Preeti for all kinds of reasons, including her love for Sarees and her pragmatism (and of course her adorable dog, Bunny). I am sure you will also notice here Vivek and Preeti’s humility and open heartedness as they reflect on their journey and discuss all things creative. I hope you’ll enjoy this interview with them!

How did the U turn from Inorganic Chemistry to art and craft happen?

Vivek: I have always had a passion for art and craft. But nevertheless I wanted to finish my academic education. I always knew I had to do this after I finish my studies. In 2001 I started working as a designer but that venture did not work well. So, in 2003 we started our own venture that is Aranya Earthcrafts. We started with only jewelry and then we expanded our product line.

What is Aranya Earthcraft’s range of product line?

We have a varied range of product line starting from upcycled products to Fridge Magnets, Wall arts, Lamps, Walnut shell turtles, Clocks, Posters, Miniatures etc.

Aranya Earthcraft
Leaf Inspired Earstuds

You could have been any designer since you have that creative bent of mind, but why have you chosen to do eco-friendly products?

Being conscious about the environment, we always had the urge to convert waste material into something substantial. We started supplying to small retail stores; we also approached People’s Tree and got a good response there. We knew that it is a niche product and then started supplying to Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore Etc. Moreover, we could foresee that there is a future for these kinds of products

What is unique about the products?

It is the uniqueness. Every design is unique and different and you will not find this kind of product anywhere in the market. We do not have any competition.

Aranya Earthcraft
Reader — Miniature Artefact

What material apart from papier-mâché do you use?

We also use Wood and Leather

Is maintaining the balance between creativity and marketability difficult? How do you eliminate the risk of compromising one for the sake of another?

We don’t compromise on the design because of market’s expectations. There are 2 types of work we primarily do. One is our own design for retail/exhibitions for which we don’t compromise. For customized designs, we share with clients ideas over discussions and we agree on a final design(s). Usually a brief/theme is being given to us and we work according to the theme. When we started in 2003, people started giving ideas and inputs. We followed what they said and it failed. Now we don’t compromise on any designs and follow our instincts completely. Hence creativity and marketability balanced is maintained.

What are your plans for the future? What kind of products you want to bring out?

We want to create bigger sized products — Sculptures, Wall-Arts etc. We want to give a complete package to clients — Interiors/Exterior/for the parks all made of recycled material. We usually ask corporate clients if they have any waste material which can be converted to an art form. Our first intention is to use their existing waste material and try to create something unique out of it.

What is your most popular product line? Could you also share the price range of your products?

Jewellery is the most popular product line followed by small sculptures. Price Range for Jewellery is Rs. 350- Rs. 3000. Others — Rs. 250-Rs.10,000

What is the most interesting up-cycled product you have created till now?

An Old computer has been converted into various products. The monitor has been converted into a coffee table. Screen has been converted into book rack and the Electronic part has been converted into mural. We also convert Wine bottles into interesting lamps.

Aranya Earthcraft
Up-cycled Old Computer

Lastly, How is this Papier-mâché Process being done?

This is different form of Papier-mâché. We use raisins, as raisins are bio-degradable and eco-friendly. Raisins will give stickiness and strength to our products.

I hope you found the interaction interesting as well as inspiring. If you have any questions for Preeti and Dr. Vivek please post below and they will answer them! You can start following them on Facebook here.

Look out for our next interview with another creative mind.

The post In Conversation with craftsmen from Aranya Earthcraft appeared first on [ The Square ].

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