SRINAGAR: The school of design in Kashmir Valley is utilising the young entrepreneurs’ enthusiasm for preservation of the treasured designs of Kashmiri art and craft.
Established in 1957 as the first of its kind institution in the Valley, the school provides the samples of the age-old designs to entrepreneurs, who use them in their works, eventually helping in the patterns’ preservation by creating their multiple copies.
“We provide them the copies of the preserved designs, which are used in shawls, carpets, chain-stitch embroidery, tapestry, metal ware, woodcarving, paper machie, and sozni embroidery. The entrepreneurs use the designs in relevant crafts, creating, in the process, many replicas of the designs for future use,” Amina Asad, in-charge Chief Designer at the school, told Kashmir Reader.
Sameer Ahmad, a young entrepreneur, said that he was provided copies of the designs he selected from the preserved lot in the school’s museum.
“When I started my Kashmir Art Export business, the school provided me a copy of the designs I had selected. I used the designs in my works, and also produced their copies, which can now be used others,” he said.
“The school also helped me to learn about different arts and crafts,” he added. Nisar Ahmad Bhat, a designer, said they are encouraged to make variations to the traditional designs.
“Keeping in view the demand and the market trends, we recreate the old designs with little variations,” Nisar said.
The school has a repository comprised of about 2000 designs, which any entrepreneur or art lover can use. And to showcase and promote its rich collection, the school participates in events at the all India and the global level.
However, the entrepreneurs and the artisans associated with the school complain that their efforts often go unnoticed.
“A lot of work done by the designers and artisans here remains unnoticed, for there are no efforts made for publicity and advertisement of our work,” an artisan said.