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A homemaker & an artist

Laban resident Rita Chakraborty's DIY creations are worth exploring

The garden outside Rita Chakraborty’s house in Laban is dotted with floral-shaped flower pots made of cement and cloth. In the living room, a large canvas sits on a table behind the television set. At first sight, one might mistake it to be a painting of a forest. The dark forest has been created on wood with stone chips and thread.

“I made this canvas long back. It took me a long time as the thread work was intricate,” said 50-year-old Chakraborty, a homemaker.

The home décor mostly consists of her handicrafts — flower vases, globe, wall hangings and many more.

Chakraborty was hesitant to talk about her handicrafts in the beginning and skirted questions about her works. She finally opened up after being assured that her photograph would not be published.

Chakraborty always had an artistic bent of mind and would make handicrafts in school which were always appreciated. Her sewing assignments in school were so impressive that “the teacher would always take those for display”. She works with fabric colour and spray paint and uses various media, like wood, paper and card board.

Besides, Chakraborty also makes home decoration items with cement, sand, clothes and wool. “When I see something new or if I like the design of an article, I try to think how it can be made at home using regular items. I don’t know how but I always find a way to make those,” she said.

Once initiated, Chakraborty can talk about art and DIY for hours. She explained the various methods she uses to make the cement and cloth vases. She pointed at the globe atop a vase and asked quizzically, “Can you tell me how I made this?”

She waited for an answer for a few seconds and then said that she used wool and a balloon to create the globe. “It was simple,” she added.

Chakraborty then took a break from talking and went inside to bring out more of her handicrafts. The small Assam-type house does not have enough space to display all of her DIY articles, she said.

The flower vases and storage boxes are stacked inside the house. Even the dark forest on wooden canvas hides behind the television. “There is no space to hang the canvas as it is too heavy and the house is too old. So, I have to keep most of the stuff packed,” she said and added that she makes the articles not for commercial purpose but as a hobby.

A collage of photographs of her daughter hangs on one of the walls in the living room. Chakraborty said that too was made by her. “I have made several photo frames with daily objects. However, I barely get time these days for handicrafts. Besides household chores, I have to tend to the garden also,” she said.

When asked why she does not organise an exhibition, Chakraborty smiled. “Creating these handicrafts makes me happy and I don’t do this for appreciation or fame or money. Hence, I do not want any photograph to be published,” she reiterated.

~ Team Sunday Monitor

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