For Maulshree, who loves to sketch new innovative designs while travelling and has successfully given many designs the shape they have in the DBM product range of today in train, ship or flight journeys to beautiful destinations of the world. Exploring new places and taking a dive into their tradition and culture has now become her second nature. Since early teenage years she is passionate about capturing shapes and foams from nature, in her sketches while travelling. And when it comes to choosing between the comfortable sitting job in front of a PC or toiling in sun with a craft tribe in a village interior, one should check out the village side to locate her experimenting with the traditional practices with no second thoughts. This design passout from Indian Institute of Crafts and Design would manage to delve in nature during her several craft expeditions that she definitely plans a few every year. Her urge to discover the designs in natural flora, structures, landscapes and in historical treasures started long back when she was just 13 travelling around India with her father due to his transferable job. Doing a Graduation in Interior design and then specialization in Furniture design was an easy and a natural choice for her.
The debut projects that she got to work on after completing post grad helped her to lay a very strong foundation in her quest to design and develop unique, nature inspired, eco-friendly utility products and furniture. She is thankful to her alma mater for giving her the opportunity to explore dozens of materials and crafts like Pottery Craft of Gujarat, stone craft of Sikandara, wood craft of Barmer to name a few. Today as a professional product and furniture designer, she is based in the shivalik range of Uttarkhand, popularly known as “devbhumi” of India, and is actively involved in making attempts to revive and reinvent various craft styles of India lending a traditional yet modern, spiritual yet stylish meaning to lifestyle products and decor. Her professional journey started in Jan 2011 with a textile craft documentation project in Kumaon & Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, and then there was no looking back but a circular journey that marked a new beginning with the launch of DBM in Dehradun from where it all started. A look at the Maulshree’s design journey so far gives you quite a lot to cherish & relish in terms of designs, activities, utilities, human innate talents and beauty of nature:
Jan - April
With a team of designers, worked on a craft documentation project of textile craft cluster’s diagnostic survey in Kumaon and Garhwal region of Uttarakhand The Project was sponsored by KVIB, Dehradun (Uttrakhand Khadi and Village Industries Board) to study and record broad activities of product development, value chain and status of artisans. The detailed survey carried out as a part of the project aimed to understand the need for design development, skill building, technical training, market linkages and technical up gradation of the equipment specific to textiles process related activities.
Collaborated with Hasth Shilp Vikas Nigam, Mandla, Madhya Pradesh for a Design Development workshop in Bamboo craft. The workshop was organized to involve the tribal community of Nainpur, a small village near the famous tourist destination Kanha Wild Life sanctuary in developing products for the tourists that visit the area using their traditional craft skills, thereby generating options for their employment in the region.
Carried out a Design Development Workshop in Ringal Craft with Studio Alaya, a known design studio in Dehradun. As a step to uplift the Ringal (which is a small hilly bamboo)Basketry craft in the hills being practiced by the SC community of the region, Maulshree helped in strengthening and streamlining the existing handicrafts skills of the Ringal artisans by introducing new designs of higher market potential. The group consisting of both men & women from the kumoan & Garhwal regions of Uttarakhand, practiced the craft since generations to produce products for their own use like baskets,grain storages,supa, fan. After the workshop, they started making beautiful articles and advanced designs for sale in contemporary markets like fruit baskets, boxes, mats,ringal baskets for packaging, jewellery, lanterns along with some hybrid designs using natural fibers such as: Allo (Stinging Nettle) and Bhimal (Grewia optiva) along with Ringal.
Started working with National Trust & ARUNIM (Supported by Ministry of social justice and empowerment) to explore and train the skills and talents of differently abled artisans in Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab and various other regions of India.Was appointed as the chief designer for all design work including design workshops, exhibition designing, graphic designing and many more held under their umbrella for the empowerment of differently abled artisans.
conducted Jewelry (Beads and Macramé) Design Sensitization Workshop where several NGOS from across the country participated and discussed steps for developing advanced design skills and step up for the training that deals with various design aspects like Skill development, Innovative product design and development, Adaptation and mechanization (within present constraints), Quality assurance, Product marketing under one roof, collaboratively. The national level workshop adopted 20-30 model to meet its objectives.(20% focus on importance of design, 20% on skills, 30% on packaging and the rest 30% on other detailed aspects of design). It included physically abled, deaf, blind and mentally challenged artisans as participants.This was a Craft based skill development and Design diversification training programme for all the members who were experts in beads & jewelry work. Along with product design focus was also put on implementation of important support activities like packaging, finishing, blending of material etc.
Conducted Design Awareness workshop in Guwahati, North east where The crafts of 45 differently abled artisans (various disability) from various ngos of Guwahati and from near by villages. were identified and given more specific design based inputs for Bamboo craft, handloom weaving and painting.
Conducted Painting and embellishment Design Sensitization Workshop on terracotta products in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh with the Differently abled artisans from 10 different ngos in M.P. It focused on understanding the importance of colour and latest trends in market regarding color preferences by various buyer groups.They developed trendy colours, cool colours, warm colours gift hampers for the festive season.
Conducted design awareness workshop in Pondicherry with 40 differently abled artisans (various disability) from various ngos of Pondicherry and from near by villages. The awareness programme was aimed to sensitize the participants regarding design aspects of Paper craft and Natural dry flower pasting craft and provide specific design inputs for better understanding the role and benefits of design from many different perspectives.
Conducted advance level design workshop in Rajasthan that focused on improvising the wood cutting and coloring skills of wood Craft artisans in Ajmer region.Using their existing jali cutting techniques many preliminary designs for explorations in the contemporary market were developed (eg: lamps, photo frames, bookends and tea light holder )
Conducted Kantha Embroidery Product Design development workshop in a small Village called Rampur haat of West Bengal,with the traditional artisans of the region who were doing colorful theme based kantha embroidery on a pieces of cloth reflecting their cultural values.The young and disabled girls along with their mothers in the village were introduced to new designs that preserved their style but the end-products were more than just piece of cloths. The range thus developed is quite popular in urban markets of today which included stoles, cushion covers, laptop bags, Ipad Bags, conference folders & diaries.
Conducted Advance Level Product Design Development workshop for a Varanasi based NGO(Kiran) in wood Craft for physically disabled artisans & Mentally Challenged Artisans to improvise their existing skill level and to develop preliminary designs for contemporary market explorations.
Designed UTRIYA (welcoming stole) for the Delhi Chief Minister Mrs. Sheela Dixit. of 13th international conference on Mobility And Transport For Elderly And Disabled Persons.
Gets on design board to develop custom souvenirs and lanyards for the speakers and participants of international conferences. Mementos were designed to honor the panel gathered for designing effective strategy for realizing the rights of people with disabilities, their families and other marginalized people in communities at the CBR International Conference held in Agra.
Was specially asked by the authorities (MSJE, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment) to design gift hamper for the first citizen of India, honorable Pranav Mukher ji, to greet him on his birthday.
Conducted Design Sensitization Workshop on Leather embossing craft in Udaipur, Rajasthan with mentally challenged artisans
Conducted Design Awareness workshop in Vapi, Gujarat for 50 differently abled artisans (various disabilities) from various ngos of Vapi and Surat to provide specific inputs on Bead craft, Crochet craft and Stitching and tailoring.
May 2013 - conducted Design Awareness workshop in Ludhiana, Punjab for 35 differently abled artisans (various disabilities) from various ngos of Ludhiyana.
Conducted Advance Level Paper Craft Product Design Development workshop in Pondicherry under the empowerment initiative of Arunim. It was sponsored by Development Commissioner(Handicrafts)Ministry of Textiles Government of India, New Delhi with the aim to explore and enhance their techniques like Paper Cutting and pasting, dry flower pasting, and tread wrapping used to produce traditional handicraft. While using these techniques a wide range of lamps and stationery products were developed.
Conducted Advance Level Leather Embossing Craft Product Design Development Training in Udaipur under Arunim supported by Ministry of Textiles Government of India, New Delhi.after conducting a Craft based skill development and Design diversification training workshop with differently abled (specially a group of mentally challenged artisans) and other local artisans of the region.In this training their skills were further enhanced along with training them for blending leather with other materials to develop products for modern markets.After this training, the artisans came up with 30 new designs which are now a hot sell in metros.
Conducted Design Awareness workshop in Ranchi to identify the crafts and skills of 40 differently abled artisans (various disabilities) various ngos of Ranchi. They were given more specific design inputs that were required for Cardboard cutting-pasting craft, stitching and tailoring craft. for developing dairies, folders, carry bags.
Design welcome gift for Chief guest [Congress President, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi] for SAMARTH 2014 event, that aimed to showcase the innate talents of the differently abled artisans at a national event organized in the capital.
Paper Craft Design Sensitization workshop for 40 differently abled artisans from delhi and nearby cities to develop a non-traditional craft range of cardboard utility boxes, dairies and folders using their cardboard & paper cutting and pasting skills.
2phase product design development workshop was conducted for differently abled woodcraft artisans of Ajmer, Rajasthan to expand their previously developed product range.
● tea light holders, photo frames, tissue boxes etc
Conducted Bamboo Design Workshop in Kotdwar, Uttarakhand with the sponsorship of Uttarakhand Bamboo & Fiber Development Board, Dehradun.In this workshop more than 20 traditional craftsmen and women from kotdwar, udhamsing nagar & sitarganj were trained to assist the existing bamboo product range and add value to it as per the market need. Along with this New design interventions, products standardization, coasting and catalogue development in bamboo based furniture and handicrafts, the Men craftsmen were trained in bamboo splitting, bending and cutting technique whereas women artisans were told about advanced weaving techniques.
Jan lead a photo shoot and skill assessment workshop for inmates of Central Jail, dehradun working on Punja Durrie weaving, Cemented Gamla Making Stitching/Tailoring,Shoe base making and Wood craft aimed at enhancing their hidden skills and showcasing their skills in use through a professionally developed catalogue.The exercise was done to take the products from prison into the market and help inmates have a life of dignity once they complete their sentence.
April Designed custom souvenirs for international corporate speakers of global Oil&Gas webinar series hosted by Oges G P Ltd.
DBM was launched in an officially
The participants of various workshops held under the guidance of Maulshree have experienced transformations in many sense. From unfinished product making and selling in local markets, they have come a long way in terms of contemporary designer product development,understanding design aspects and grasping the market dynamics.Today they take their much in demand craft masterpieces to national and international fairs,events and exhibitions and form an integral part of DBM’s design culture. The work environment at DBM is clear and deeply rooted to design thinking and doing.One can find Maulshree often quoting few lines from a PACT(Poetry, Art, Culture, Tree) article published online- “ A designed approach for abilities, special abilities and natural capabilities” by Namrata about design thinking process in her workshops and design conferences:
“Each product has a story and a process which it goes through before getting decorated on shelves, the story defines it, empathizes with the artists and the process takes care of ideation, prototyping and quality & market testing.Within these two,there lies several stages, each having its own problems & available solutions, its upto the art and understanding of the craft of the craftsmen/women to ask right questions,generate more ideas,get inspired by the source and select the best answers for execution.”