Willow grows locally around Srinagar and has a long history of being used for making household products of everyday use. Traditionally big lids/ dish covers were made to cover meat dishes at ceremonies and functions (wedding etc) baskets to transport vegetables, store meat and vegetables were also made.
Willow is extensively used in gift packaging. Since this is a big market, it should be explored and willow needs to be repositioned at the premium and exclusive end with gift packages with a lot of finesse and in combination with fabric, wood, etc. The subsequent workshops should be more intensive and aim at designing the whole process than just final forms.
Willow Wicker Design Development and Training workshop was held successfully at Craft Development Institute, CDI, Sringar during the period of 26th August 2004 to 11th September 2004 with the support of the office of Development Commissioner of Handicrafts Ministry of Textiles Govt of India.
This workshop can be considered as an initial step towards applying a methodology and market understanding to cater to a new market. The consumer segment was well defined and the product range can be explored even further. There is a need to introduce new finishes and colours and simple yet new ways of construction to attain a cutting edge over willow products from other regions.
The objective was to develop a product range for house-hold usage based on the intrinsic properties of the material with emphasis on details and quality. The range has been designed for 3 basic settings revolving around a home with a special focus on storage.
These 3 settings are:
• outdoor eating
• exterior / patio
The products developed during the workshop were primarily developed for the domestic market and more specifically for NATURE BAZAAR 04 which was organized by DASTAKAAR, an NGO which has worked a lot with artisans and in craft sector. Subsequently the products were also displayed in IGHF Autumn 04.