Mridulika - Block-print silk shawls
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"In this high tech digital world, the true beauty and appeal of handcrafts is losing its place, but with the support of craft lovers, we would be able to revive the art."
"Hi, I'm Mridulika Menon Madiraju and I was born in Calcutta, now known as Kolkata. Then we moved to Chennai where I grew up and went to school. I am inspired by my mother, Arundhati Menon who designed sarees and readymade apparels, and worked with craftsmen from various parts of India promoting their hand-woven sarees and textiles.
"I went on to Washington DC to do a Masters in Communication, Culture and Technology and for my thesis, I worked on a project funded by the World Bank developing a strategy for women weaving cooperatives in Himachal Pradesh to promote the sale of their shawls. I turned to my initial passion of textiles and designing after moving back to India in May 2008.
"I create garments and textiles that would appeal to a global client, while promoting traditional techniques of production such hand-block printing, which is a dying art in today's world of digital prints.
"The printing is done using wooden blocks carved by hand. We often use four color blocks which means there are four different blocks to color each different segments of the design. I try to combine the best of western styles and Indian designs, and try to infuse elements inspired from all over the world.
"Every day is a learning process for me and I am still learning. I have been learning a lot from craftsmen, artisans and also my mother. Every time we obtain a stunning effect as a result of the combination of various designs and colors, it continues to inspire and motivate me to work on more beautiful things.
"Right now, my greatest inspiration is my little daughter Mahika. She is a delight who keeps us entertained. She seems to appreciate my textiles and loves to play with them. She motivates me to create beautiful things.
"I have done exhibitions all over India including Chennai, Goa, Pune, Bangalore, Delhi and Cochin and every time the response has been great.
"I am glad to be associated with Novica. I first learned about Novica when I was studying in Washington DC at Georgetown University. My graduate school professor had bought several things from Novica. I never considered myself a true artisan and was excited to learn about the opportunities of promoting my designs through Novica.
"I really wish to promote hand-woven textiles and would like to appeal to Novica customers to treasure this craft. In this high tech digital world, the true beauty and appeal of handcrafts is losing its place, but with the support of craft lovers, we would be able to revive the art.
"In days to come I would surely love to see my designs reach international heights and I’m sure, Novica will help me achieve this dream."
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