In school we have learnt – alphabets form words, words form sentences, sentences form paragraphs and from paragraphs we get stories; similarly with Art-Papyrus the sequence reads from mother earth we get trees, from trees we get paper and from paper we get an end product.
Before you start hallucinating about the genre of Art- Papyrus’ expertise let me add that the firm designs exquisite products out of paper.
I am at the Old Delhi Railway Station in Hamilton Road and the heat has weighed me down so much that the only thing on my mind is a cold beer. However, as I step into a cool cab, the journey turns out to be more comfortable than an ordeal.
On the way to my destination I get to see India Gate, Khan Market and a glimpse of Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station and about 25 minutes later I am sheltering myself inside the cosy Art Papyrus office located in the N-Block Market in Delhi, and for company I have Savina Sharan, one of the founders of Art Papyrus.
“Art Papyrus offers a unique blend of functionality and design, bringing forth a special collection of wedding invites, basic boxes, gift packaging boxes, papers for various occasion, photo products, home decor, and jewellery boxes, in short Art Papyrus is a single stop for the best paper artifacts and it’s no wonder that our products adorn a lot of well known lifestyle stores,” shares Savina Sharan.
A textile designer by profession, Savina was the creative head of Artifacts India, her previous venture. In her role as the Creative Head she designed an assorted basket of unique products following which international labels like Louis Vuitton, WH Smith, Barnes and Nobles, Harrods, Asda, Calvin Klein and Target became her clients.
As time went by Savina and her husband Ravi (the astute business sense behind both the enterprises) thought that the time was appropriate to target the Indian market with similar products and that led to the inception of Art Papyrus.
Savina believes paper is the purest form of expression to share moods and feelings via its colours, textures and words. “Paper is probably the most inexpensive, innovative and easiest medium that can be used to express, decorate, innovate, store and cover. At Art Papyrus we offer a very unique mix of invitations, gifts and packaging products at various price pockets”.
At this moment there is a knock on the door and a cup of Cappuccino and Darjeeling Tea lands on the table with a plateful of cookies, as I take my first sip of the aromatic tea, Savina responds to my previous query regarding empowering women in her organization with a trace of feministic fervour, “Art Papyrus and the parent company Artifacts have been promoted by a woman! We firmly believe in their power and the immense strength and talent they have. We have women supervisors and workers in very crucial areas of our work. They are more reliable, stable and focused. Our lady colleagues feel secure, proud and satisfied. From cardboard making to manning a guillotine, from binding to printing, our women workers have breached many a male bastions!”
Art Papyrus employs talented fellow Indians (read karigars) to manufacture their end products. Ravi and Sharan have been involved in the business of design exports for the last 20 years and their cumulative design sensibilities help them stay clear and focused. The duo channelise the design expertise and abilities of traditional craftsmen so that their end products are contemporary and suitable for world markets.
This unique partnership has brought money to the dying arts and practices to the furl. Says Savina, “Our artisans have a lot of freedom, and at the same time we discuss and make plans together. The karigars are talented, but their raw energy needs to be balanced and modulated to achieve functionality with beauty, and of course quality”.
The firm has two workshops in Delhi. The larger workshop where the raw materials like cardboard and paper is processed is in Kundli whereas the workshop where the artisans work is based in Mayapuri.
Art Papyrus has participated in a number of fairs and won numerous accolades. Savina’s designs have also been certified and selected by a German Design Council – Rat Fur Formgebung.
Talking about her German experience Savina adds, “Participating in the German fair was an enriching experience; our products were judged along with the world’s best. The Jury was awe-inspiring but very fair and encouraging. The moment of pride was when they wanted to keep many of our designs in their archives”.
Text By Vikas Bhadra