Tuesday, 11 April 2017

5 Best Ways to Use Copper Urlis/Floaters

Derived from the Tamil word Urulai which means ‘round bowl,’ Urlis were traditionally used to prepare ayurvedic medicines and cook food for festive occasions in India. The humble Urli or Floater has now evolved into a chic piece of modern décor and tableware.

 Try our pure copper floaters that come in varying shapes and sizes. It is a great handcrafted accent piece for your home or office and can be used in multiple ways – as a serveware, organizer, floater, tray and more. These handcrafted, utilitarian accents add the element of newness and panache! Copper’s resplendent colour shines through the hand-beaten surface of our Floaters.

 1. Float Flowers and Tealights - Create a relaxing and meditative ambience when the sun goes down by floating fresh flowers and tealight candles in the Royal Floater. You can use jasmine, frangipani, marigold, lilies or any other flowers you like. The flowers can be floated as a whole or sprinkle their petals in water. Place it in the foyer, nook or as a centerpiece on a table.

2. Serve Rotis and Breads - Give your regular serveware a miss! The copper Meditation Urli can be used for special occasions when you are entertaining guests. Line it with a cloth, butter paper or banana leaf and use it to serve, handmade rotis, bhakris, thalipeeth and various other breads made from healthy millets, wheat or rice flours. Wet food should not be put in copperware unless it is tinned or has a stainless steel lining.

3. Serve Sweets and Nuts - Add a gorgeous royal touch of silver to your tableware with our Silvered Resonance Floater. Silver is non-toxic, rich in antibacterial properties and believed to boost immunity. You can not only enjoy sweets and nuts but a wide range of other food items.

4. Serve Tidbits - The Resonance Floater can also be used to serve tidbits and munchies when you have family and friends over. A great conversation starter, lay out your snacks in style and have a great time together with your loved ones!

5. Stock your Chocolates - Lastly, if you are a chocoholic then the Meditation Urli can also double up to serve and stock your favorite chocolates.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Coppre at Jaipur Lit Fest

We loved the aura in Jaipur - the mélange of heritage, culture and literature at The Zee Jaipur Literature Festival 2017. It was hosted in the 150-year-old Diggi Palace spread over 18 lush acres creating a lovely ambiance for the literati, book lovers and story tellers that thronged the venue between 19th – 23rd January.  

Aavaran, Rangsutra , Urmul, were some of the organisations that exhibited at the event. Many came to say hello and see our gleaming handcrafted metal ware. We took with us pure copper bookmarks – especially handcrafted for JLF. We reckon being book aficionados ourselves, book lovers love good bookmarks. Bookmarks that can be used for a lifetime, and then, passed on. No prizes for guessing, they were absolutely cherished and nearly sold out! We’re gearing up to launch them soon on our web boutique.

A trip to Jaipur is incomplete without going on a few arts and crafts jaunts. We had to go to Thateron ka Rasta, where metal craftsmen reside and still work with traditional hand tools and create beautiful heritage wares. The precincts themselves have a recorded history of over 200 years. We couldn’t get enough of the beautiful pieces and workmanship thriving here!

The Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing near Amer Fort, in the charming restored haveli, the Museum displays a wide selection of block printed textiles, images, craftsmen thus, giving an insight into the heritage craft of block printing. A jaunt we highly recommend to anybody visiting Jaipur. This place offers a befitting tribute to the legacy of block printing – something we wish will eventually happen for most if not all heritage crafts.

Last but not the least, a mention of the delectable local delicacies that the Pink City had to offer! From Chaats, Diggipuri ki Kulhad masala chai, Anokhi Café to Steam at Rambagh Palace, we loved it all! Five days in the city and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and look forward to visiting Jaipur next year. 

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Must-have Handicrafts to Give your Home the Indian Touch

Have you moved into a new home? Or looking to revamp and revitalize corners of your home? Here are some of our handcrafted, utilitarian accents to add that element of newness and panache.

A floater with flowers and tealights brings in a meditative and somber ambience. Try our Floaters that come in varying shapes and sizes – from the large royal floater as a centerpiece or the resonance floater for a nook. Most of our floaters can also double up for use as tableware to serve up an assortment of cookies or nuts.

Our hand-etched copper boxes are unique and great for utility. Tuck away precious treasures for the little things that matter. Or store and serve knick-knacks like dry fruits or chocolates. You could use it to house your favourite jewellery, cosmetics or for storing stationery at your office desk.

The little things matter. And when it comes to Indian home décor and tealights, it definitely matters! Tealights are the new-age rendition of the age-old practice of lighting diyas each evening.  Our tealights and votives light up and highlight the ambience and the skilfully rendered work of the artisans. Our copper tealights add a subtle richness and auspiciousness and is sure to fill any corner of your home with warmth and majesty.

We try to bring together old-world wisdom and new-age design in our Wellness series of Water Carafes and Tumblers. Highly recommended by Ayurveda, drinking copper-charged water is beneficial in more ways than one and in more ways than one. Our Wellness Water series is crafted in pure copper and will add the most authentic touch on Indianness with the goodness of Ayurveda. 

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Nilesh Sharad Kadu

Nilesh Kadu has been a Tambat craftsman for the last 15 to 16 years. The reticent and modest 40 year old craftsman has an eye for detail and perfection and a good sense for finishing. He knows copper as a metal- up-close and personal. 

He is skilled at cutting, embossing and finishing- skill sets that are traditionally considered 'non-essential' in the Tambat craft community where mathaarkaam, or beaten work, is at the top of the pyramid of skills. But these skill sets are essential in creating world-class handcrafted wares as people have become more discerning about the quality and finesse of the products they buy. 

Nilesh is happy about making Coppre wares as he gets to know more people and people get to know of him. Most importantly he benefits a great deal from learning new techniques that enhance his skills, such as lacquering, he says.   

When asked about the future unfolding for Tambat craft, Nilesh says the craft has a 'bright future'.  He feels that the next generation of Tambat craftsmen like the craft, but are not keen on working with their hands. They only fancy upmarket products which accrue a good remuneration. Nilesh's insight can be considered as a cue to encourage the younger generation to take on their ancestral vocation for not only Tambat craft but many others as well. 

Nilesh says he loves his work and would like to eventually have his own workshop and make a name for himself. As for his work with Coppre, he has already made his mark. And even though he doesn't do the mathaarkaam or 'beaten work' on each of the Coppre wares, his indelible impressions of cut and finish are on each its wares. 

Monday, 10 June 2013

Ganesh Wadke

At 39, Ganesh Wadke is one of the younger craftspeople in the Tambat craft community fold. He took up the mantle of the craft after completing his 10th grade of schooling while a lot of his peers went to work in factories and pursued other professions. At the behest of his father, Ganesh says, he took on the 'paaramparik' or ancestral work.

Very actively involved in community activities and enthusiastic about nouveau designs, it isn't surprising when Ganesh says he enjoys making 'new designs' the most. He crafts one of the trickiest and most skilful Coppre wares, the Nature-Inspired Floater.  He also makes traditional wares with brass and copper; silver and gold-plated adornments for temples and deities. 

Ganesh feels the current group of young craftsmen (referring to his group) would be the last set of craftspeople as youngsters today have no interest in the craft; everyone prefers a higher paying, white-collar job. He says it is hard to imagine that this craft should exist at all in the next 30-40 years. 

In a craft that can be called an all-male craft, it is heartening to hear Ganesh say that  he will teach both his daughters, currently age 8 and 10 respectively, the Tambat craft. Irrespective of whether or not they would pursue it in the future, he considers it his onus to pass on what he inherited. If both or either one of them decides to pursue, they would probably be the first of Tambat 'craftswomen'. 

Ganesh with the Nature-Inspired Floater

Ganesh crafting the Nature-Inspired Floater at his workshop

A sheet of the Nature-Inspired ready to be crafted 

Ganesh's daughters at the top and bottom of the ladder

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Kishore Karde

Every craft group needs a versatile, well-read, passionate community mobiliser, one of their own, who can get everybody under one roof. Someone who understands that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

63 year old, Kishore Karde, commonly addressed as 'Dada' is that kind of person for the Tambat community.  

Dada worked in the manufacturing industry in Pune for nearly forty years. He would come back home after work, go to his father's workshop, and lend a hand to his elderly father with all the laborious stages of making a copper object. The Kardes specialised in the making of handas and tapeles (water bearers)

It is interesting to remark here that every Tambat family specialised in 'a' particular kind of object. This came about from the traditional system of handing down hereditary tools and know-how to the next generation in the family. And it just so happens that it was also a way to ensure equal distribution of work load and wealth creation. A norm that still exists in some form even today. 

In parallel to his professional life, Dada has been committed to the betterment of the Tambat people in many ways. He was the head of the Twashta Kansar Sanstha (Tambat Cooperative) for about 10 years. He was instrumental in setting up the Trust 'Tambat Handicrafts and is also part of the Management Committee of a Credit Cooperative Society.  It isn't surprising that he is a great orator and his speeches inspire craftspeople. 

An avid reader and lover of books, Dada revived the 100-year-old community library that had been shut for over 50 years. He took charge of it, revived it, sought funding and has been tending to it since 1977. Today, it has about 2,000 members and over 40,000 books.  

Over the last five years after his retirement, he has been partnering with INTACH Pune and architect & designer Rashmi Ranade's efforts in community mobilisation, craft documentation, design and market interventions for Tambat craft. His understanding of the mindset of the craftspeople and the community's requirements have rendered valuable insights. 

In the past year, since Coppre launched, Dada does some craft-related work himself, like polishing and finishing, but his main forte is in managing the flow in the production lifecycle at the craftspeople's end. The craftspeople are willing, but yet to grasp the market dynamics, discerning eye for quality and finesse, and on-time delivery of orders.

Dada believes that the younger generation will take up the reins of the craft if it is lucrative and interesting enough. He says, with the Coppre project, people are getting more interested. He has plans of bringing about an apprenticeship program to equip young people with the knowledge of the craft. 

He hopes to bring back the capital that has gone into the traders' hands, back to the craftspeople. 

Dada addressing the gathering at the Coppre inaugural event

Dada speaking at the Beautiful Copper exhibition at Fabindia Mumbai

Friday, 4 January 2013

Bhalchandra Kadu

It is heartening to see the pride in Bhalchandra Kadu's eyes : a pride for his art, craft heritage and lineage. It is the kind of pride that's amiss, rare even, amongst craftspeople today.  

'Kadusaab' (as the Coppre team calls him) is a dynamic, energetic and enterprising individual. He is the seventh generation in his family to follow the craft of Tambat. Like his ancestors, he was crafting traditional Tambat vessels until 1985. Since then he set up his own workshop with the intention of deriving creative satisfaction but more importantly to break away from the loop of 'daily wages'. 

Until today, Tambat craftspeople earn a daily wage of Rs. 200 for eight hours of work. Coppre in its work along with INTACH Pune Chapter has been involved in sensitising and encouraging the community to sell their wares as individual pieces of art, rather than for daily wages or material weightage. 

A visitor book sits on his table where he also keeps newspaper clippings of celebrity visits. He particularly takes immense pleasure in sharing the news clippins and views of internationally renowned designer, Ollie Anderson who visited his workshop in 2003. 

Coppre has had a long association with Kadusaab over the years in developing a range of contemporary copper wares and in the recent since we launched in early 2012. He has an astute understanding of copper as a metal, is keen to explore, take risks, evolve.

He aspires to found a training school for continuing the legacy of his beloved craft. Apart from being a successful craft entrepreneur, Kadusaab would also make an excellent mentor for the young generation of Tambat craftspeople. 

Outside his workshop in Tambat Ali 

One of Coppre's most loved and admired wares, the meditation urali...

... in its first stages of creation in Kadusaab's workshop

Kadusaab at the kiln overlooking his workshop