Living Crafts

“A project that brings to the fore and celebrates crafts and the people who continue to practice and evolve it everyday all around us through making, reusing, repurposing, recycling and repairing.

We imagine this as a slowly evolving repository of crafts, craftspersons and communities that are perhaps hidden in plain sight yet continue to have a deep and positive impact on our society and culture. We hope this work can make readers curious and provide inspiration for reviving, revitalising and imagining the future of crafts. This repository documents craft stories from Bangalore, Delhi and Calcutta in India. It also includes a small set of nine stories of craft postcards from the near future.”

Hunched over a glass table, Dayanand Ji is checking the AI-generated cutting patterns for hand bags when the first of his student-collaborators appears behind him. The table is connected to a motion sensor and recorder that maps his hand movements of the cutting process, and the cameras around him visually capture the process in coordination with the trackers on the scissors.
Unbelievingly Dayanand Ji says, “This machine is learning so fast. But I see that some things it does not understand might be because it lacks intuition.”
A year ago, Dayanand Ji, had been approached by the students of Jagannath Shastri Vocational Training Institute (JSVTI) to share his experience and insights. One thing led to another and soon enough he was collaborating with a group of computer science students on developing an open source AI that would be able to cut and stitch designs by referencing small sets of images.
Our mission is to create a community of learners, and creators that make our world sustainable. In this, our school adopts a collaborative approach to craft, recognising the traditional knowledge aspect of crafts, in addition to skills.

To provide locally relevant yet globally impactful education we think it is necessary to
Put crafts and making at the heart of education
Build more routes into crafts careers
Bring craft enterprise into education
Invest in collaborative and co-design skills in education.
Promote the traditional knowledge aspect of crafts.
Promote higher education and research in crafts
“When I was younger my father would bribe me to sit at the shop after school. I used to be so restless, it was a task I have to tell you. I just wanted to go around and play. But what I remember very clearly is the craftsmanship of all the collaborators. Papa and his friends would painstakingly carve the smallest part of a mould or a cupboard or whatever job they had at hand. They sat for hours meditating on the wood. It was always fascinating for me mostly because I could not do it myself back then. *Laughing* 
Now the times have changed, it's almost impossible to find anyone with those skills. I seem to be one of the very few people. It is considered time consuming and not worth it.
But after my father’s death, I missed the craftsmanship. Everybody wants to get done with what they started before they started it. That is why I started the Livestream. To keep my skills intact, so that I do not forget the teachings of my father. He had been my teacher just as now I am to other people through the stream.
When I started it was just me sitting on the table with a camera and chiseling away small artefacts, but now the community has grown. I spend some days only answering questions from the chat. I feel that this is my way of giving back. To bring back the nuances of carving and save the craft from vanishing in our new world. And also in turn inspire someone along the way.”
I teach repair methodologies and research at JSVTI (Jaganath Shastri Vocational Training Institute). 
What that really means is that I help students come up with simple solutions for complicated problems using research and local knowledge through what we call Solve My Problem sessions. We believe that most problems can be solved locally, and in that, our motto is that knowledge should travel and tangible things should stay local.
One of the most fascinating changes that I have seen in the last 7-8 years is the introduction of lo-fi hi-tech in our education models. Take for example, virtual reality, where before our students would never have thought of opening up a jet engine to understand how it could be repaired, it has now become a norm. It has completely changed the way diverse yet localised education works. You can endlessly keep breaking objects inside a simulator until you get it right. It magical.
Thanks to these advancements many of my students have gone on to successfully create their own repair or crafts businesses.
Welcome to India’s leading summit on the Craft of Repair.
Join us for our 10th anniversary event from Friday, December 19 to Wednesday, December 21, 2036.
Every year, we bring together crafts people, business leaders, policy makers, advocates, technologists, academics, government representatives, and journalists from around the country to tackle the most pressing issues at the intersection of repair, education, crafts, culture and technology.
The Re:Fair program is built by, and for, the community. Sessions are sourced from an open Call for Proposals, reviewed by the experts on our Program Committee, and curated based on urgent and emerging priorities.
This year we present a deep dive into Repair as a Movement, with sessions on digital activism and education; innovation and sustainable; environmental monitoring tools; green governance; benchmarking the footprint of the living crafts sector; and more.
With the community continuing to grow every year, we were thrilled to welcome 4,954 first-time participants for a total of 15,625 participants tuning in from across the world.

“I’m glad for having decided to attend the #Re:Fair2036. It has been the greatest experience for me. Thanks to the entire team at #Re:Fair2036 for a job well done.”

“The concept of waste is obsolete!”

“This event is celebrating the heroes of Repair like no one else and I am very proud to be here.”

“Shopping with small businesses who manufacture locally generates at least 50% more economic activity for the local economy and community.”

How did you start using bamboo?
We have been here in New Market for three generations now. My grandfather came and settled here after partition. This was a place a little outside the city then.

Was it difficult to source bamboo?
Earlier bamboo didn't grow in these parts, we had to import it from Assam, Guwahati, Tripura, the Andamans. The cost to bring it is quite high when you account for the shipping, labour cost and other overheads. But my father had to idea of creating a bamboo nursery and so now we live here, and grow and sell bamboo products made from our own nursery.

How does the water filter work?
Since my son came back we had been talking about making new products. And then one day our filter broke and it just clicked. We started making these filters out of things that were around us, and with testing, we found that it really worked.
First we make a two tier frame. The top part is the filter and is shaped like a funnel and the bottom one is a container in which the water comes and settles. The upper section has alternating layers of charcoal, grass, sand and gravel., is a cooperatively owned, democratically governed platform built on the trust and clarity of purpose among its members. We are an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common needs through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. 
And along with our customers we have created a kind of ecosystem with appropriate forms of finance, services, policy, and trade rules to support the development of democratic online enterprises where any person or business associated with the development of this ecosystem can be considered a proponent of and are a part of the cooperativism movement insofar as they attempt to encourage, develop, and sustain its development.
It's not by fluke that we have been heralded as the infrastructure on which new alliances between cities, citizens and public utilities working together on localised resources, water supply, waste disposal, and energy provision.
Principles we uphold
Democratic governance, in which all stakeholders who own the platform collectively govern the platform through decision-making tools that enable democratic governance among a large number of users.
Co-design of the platform, in which all stakeholders are included in the design and creation of the platform ensuring that software grows out of their needs, capacities, and aspirations
An aspiration to open source development and open data, in which new platform co-ops can lay the algorithmic foundations for other co-ops.
Broad-based ownership of the platform, in which workers control the technological features, production processes, algorithms, data, and job structures of the online platform.
Lendingcraft offers customised credit scoring and management services for urban crafts persons and enterprises. We offer flexible and accessible models of credit and finance and special schemes to assist artisans in acquiring fixed and working capital to shift productivity and growth into small and medium enterprises. Our services and schemes cater to the different requirements, production cycles, seasonality factors, rate and pace of returns that are particular to different crafts.

Our process enables commercial banks to develop relationships with artisans and provide them loans. We also enable credit guarantees to promote lending by banks to crafts enterprises and producer organisations.

Our services are free form red tape and often accompany bank loans and have a very straight forward application, approval and disbursal process. We have designed a fast and efficient digital interface that minimises human interaction and thus helps in speeding up the process.
How did the DIY Kit come to be?
I like to keep learning new things, and about 3 years back I got heavily into digital learning. Basically I wanted to get into a new skill, something other than leather work, and for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to get into pottery. It sounded tactile enough for me to not get bored, but the more I got into it, it became a challenge to practice digitally. And that is where the idea of the DIY gloves came from.
I just wanted to make something to help with lo-fi practice before I got myself a pottery wheel, but everything online was either expensive or made from products that needed to be parcelled from different parts of the world and had a larger carbon footprint then I was happy with. I was discussing this with a friend of mine who teaches at the institute nearby and he suggested that maybe he could help, but on the condition that it be open source if we did come up with something.
And that is exactly what we did once we had the product mapped; published the making process online so that anyone could make it move forward with their learning journey.
The gloves are basically made from material found locally anywhere, and the system software can be downloaded from our website.