Shristi has successfully implemented a multi-craft Common Facility Centre (CFC) for Artisans in Barasat, West Bengal with the grant-in-aid of Development Commission (Handicraft), Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India.
The CFC has an initial support of 20 SHGs. The artisans of the different SHGs basically belong to the lower socio-economic strata of that area and are in need of appropriate skill enhancement through design and technology intervention. The craftsmen can access modern advanced firing facilities and other equipment at the CFC. The CFC involves multi-crafts for comprehensive coverage and extends required benefits to artisans engaged in various crafts such as terracotta, cane and bamboo, metal and natural fibres.
Artisans from the CFC have worked on terracotta murals at Jorasanko Thakurbadi, Kolkata, Kalighat VIP Crematorium (projects of KMC) and at Kali Mandir, Chittaranjan Park, New Delhi. Production of terracotta items at the CFC started full scale since June, 2006. Production of cane and bamboo and natural fibre products are also in full swing and these products are in high demand in the market. The cluster has shown positive growth thereby ensuring well being of its artisan members and their families with augmented income from sale of products.
The objective of the CFC is to assist craft clusters to take advantage of modern facilities and move at par with the changing industrial and market scenario, which will help them, achieve greater profitability along with necessary skill enhancement. Craftsmen are guided in the process of developing, designing, costing and then marketing the product, and suggesting proper usages and investment of the income generated ensuring that end products so produced are competitive in cost, better in utility services and aesthetic in nature.
The artisans of the different SHGs basically belong to the lower socio-economic strata of that area and are in need of appropriate skill enhancement through design and technology intervention. This is imperative so as to make the product more cost effective, marketable and sustainable in the future independently.
Training is given on a regular basis to the artisans from the clusters mainly in Terracotta and ceramic crafts and natural fibres in the form of workshops and seminars. The craftsmen are apprised of the latest technologies in the relevant crafts and new designs are introduced to them.
As a direct result of the workshops, the earnings of the craftsmen have significantly increased as they have been able to introduce new designs and explore new possibilities in their craft. At present at the CFC, artisans belonging to the clusters are involved on a regular basis and are directly benefited and their earnings have been significantly augmented.
Artisans from the CFC have worked on terracotta murals at Jorasanko Thakurbadi, Kolkata, Kalighat VIP Crematorium (projects of KMC) and at Kali Mandir, Chittaranjan Park, New Delhi. They have also participated in various fairs and exhibitions throughout the country to showcase their products and gain a wider exposure.
- Training facility of CFC Barasat fully equipped with modern tools like Gas and Electric kilns, mechanized potters’ wheels, ball mill, pot mill, filter press, pug mill, glaze spaying device etc. would be utilized for the benefit of the artisans.
- A well stocked library with books and crafts & design publications. There would be a comprehensive collection of books on crafts, design, art, management, technology, economics, social sciences, international trends and other subjects relevant to the craft and design sector.