Monday, 28 February 2011

upcycling craft heroes

Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Ludhiana

Made by Muktesh in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Ludhiana

Manek Chowk, Ahmedabad

Shaheed Bhagad Singh Nagar, Ludhiana

Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Ludhiana

Ludhiana-Jalandhar highway, near Phillaur

Jandiala, near Phagwara

Made by Muktesh in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar

First spotted while trotting around Manek Chowk in Ahmedabad with Meanest Indian, I have come to discover that women across the country are making these beautiful woven charpoys (manja in Punjabi) or beds for their homes. These are often made from remnants or old sarees and dupattas, although some women also use new fabric. They braid the fabric into rope, which is eventually woven around a wooden (traditionally) or metal frame.

Unconventional material like shiny crisp packets or plastic bags are also used, as seen here. I came across some shiny charpoys in Delhi on a recent visit but unfortunately couldn't take any photos at the time. I will have to go back and find them again!

 The rope can be bought for Indian Rupee ₹50/kg and used to make charpoys or as fancy rope to hang laundry.

They are woven in many different weaves, details of some can be seen below.

23/03/2011: I found some unconventional manjas on my way to Mussoorie last weekend. The one below was spotted in Herbertpur in Dehradun district (Uttrakhand). It is made of plastic bags and sachets.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Army tank in Jandiala, Punjab. This water tank stores 3000 litres of water.

Tractor in Bada Pind, near Phillaur
(*this also features on Sonu's office wall. See below)

All this research led me to Ram Lobhaya's office in Jandiala (near Phagwara) This is from where he and his son, Sonu have run an enterprising business for 15 years. They have built made-to-order tanks for people all over Punjab, and have fulfilled orders as far as Haryana and UP. Having taken over all of Punjab, they are hoping to take their business overseas to Canada, the US and the UK where wealthy Punjabi NRIs have settled. 

The tyres you see in front of the office belonged to an aeroplane, an unfortunate bus accident destroyed the plane leaving the tyres on both plinths.

Despite the high number of aeroplanes I have seen in these past few days, Ram assures me that the aeroplane is an outdated design. Nowadays people want something more unusual. This could be a 'kabaddi' team of 3 or 4 players or a game of 'tug of war' played by 10 participants, complete with a referee.

A father who is very proud of his athlete son had this one especially made as a gift. It was worked upon from several photos that were provided. 

Ram Lobhaya and his son, Sonu in their workshop.

Dr. Ambedkar with local village lady

If you would like to get a water tank built or a sculpture, get  in touch with them on 98150-35719 or 01826-274380

There are several competitors in the area and although, Sonu Arts remains the oldest and is highly recommended, they only make water tanks to order and one cannot go and buy one off the shelf.
Parsoram, down the road stocks a aeroplanes, eagles and athletes and also makes customized tanks but not quite as elaborate as Sonu's.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Farmers ploughing the field near Goraya

Happy elephant neighbours for the lady in green at Happy Home, Phagwara

 Aeroplanes are very popular. These ones are near Mansoorwal and Khandoor.

As are other modes of transport -Buses, Cars. I'd love to find a motor bike or a train engine.


Car with steering wheel, pipes and number plate, without headlights!

There are also many Pehlwans (wrestlers). This one wearing the India vest is a favourite! 


Guru Gobind Singhji, the 10th guru of the Sikhs was always accompanied by his eagle and his horse, the eagle perched on one hand and the horses' reins in the other.  

I found an interesting article about these tanks on The Sikh Foundation website