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OUR STORY

Background:

 

Most organizations sell the Arts by marketing the phrases like 'Please support artists'. We, the founders of Auth'n, believe that artists don't need any mercy - their Art has a high enough quality to create the market. However, we discovered the miserable condition of the traditional Indian Artists. By traveling over 500 miles every week all over India, we, simultaneously, figured out the reasons behind the condition of these artists:

  • Sticking to 100-year old product designs

  • Sky-high market prices of hand-crafted products due to multiple middle-men and non-regulation for pricing in the Handicraft industry

  • Market reachability of the artists

 

After conducting thorough research, we finally established the organization named Biswas Cultural Innovation Ventures Pvt. Ltd. with Auth’n as its brand. Auth'n aims to be a leading brand of India in Handicrafts and Eco-friendly products, with standard, utility, and premium segments. With both in-house and trained artists, and a first-of-its-kind distributed manufacturing model, Auth'n has taken the mission of developing the lost glory and market of Authentic Indian handicrafts - by bringing up the traditional original products, blended with the modern usability, directly from the artists. More than 85% of the revenue of Auth'n goes to the artists!

Although the Indian handicrafts industry is a $100 billion industry worldwide, domestic sales play a minor role here. Auth’n targets NOT to penetrate the market but to build the domestic market – by optimizing usability and affordability as per Asian standards. Auth'n believes the handicraft and the ecofriendly sector will only touch the mass only when they fulfill the regular utility (not only luxury) needs of the mass. Auth'n is developing products which would be a form of art, along with usability in regular lives. By exploring Auth'n, one should be able to discover the ‘original’ India. Practically, Auth'n is India's first Fair Price Art Shop, where users just pay the actual (reasonable) price of the product. All products can be scientifically seen as Folk Art and Handicrafts.

Folk Art:

Folk art covers all forms of visual art made in the context of folk culture. Definitions vary, but generally, the objects have a practical utility of some kind, rather than being exclusively decorative. The makers of folk art are typically trained within a popular tradition, rather than in the fine art tradition of the culture. There is often overlap, or contested ground with 'naive art'. "Folk art" is not used in regards to traditional societies where ethnographic art continues to be made.

The types of objects covered by the term "folk art" vary. Folk arts reflect the cultural life of a community. The art form encompasses the expressive culture associated with the fields of folklore and cultural heritage. Tangible folk art can include objects which historically are crafted and used within a traditional community. Intangible folk arts can include such forms as music, dance, and narrative structures. These art forms, both tangible and intangible, were typically developed to address a practical purpose. Once the purpose has been lost or forgotten, there usually is no reason for a further transmission unless the object or action has been imbued with meaning beyond its initial practicality. These artistic traditions are shaped by values and standards that are passed from generation to generation, most often within family and community, through demonstration, conversation, and practice.

Typical for material culture in art, these tangible objects can be handled, repeatedly re-experienced, and sometimes broken. They are considered works of art because of the technical execution of an existing form and design; the skill might be seen in the precision of the form, the surface decoration, or the finished product's beauty. As folk art, these objects share several characteristics that distinguish them from other artifacts of material culture.

The object is created by a single artisan or team of artisans. The craft-person works within an established cultural framework. Folk art has a recognizable style and method in crafting its pieces, which allows products to be recognized and attributed to a single individual or workshop. This was originally articulated by Alois Riegl in his study of Volkskunst, Hausfleiss, und Hausindustrie, published in 1894. "Riegl ... stressed that the individual hand and intentions of the artist were significant, even in folk creativity. To be sure, the artist may have been obliged by group expectations to work within the norms of transmitted forms and conventions, but individual creativity – which implied personal aesthetic choices and technical virtuosity – saved received or inherited traditions from stagnating and permitted them to be renewed in each generation." Individual innovation in the production process plays an important role in the continuance of these traditional forms. Many folk art traditions like quilting, ornamental picture framing, and decoy carving continue to be practiced, and new forms continue to emerge.

 

Handicrafts:

A handicraft, sometimes more precisely expressed as artisanal handicraft or handmade, is any of a wide variety of types of work where useful and decorative objects are made completely by one’s hand or by using only simple, non-automated related tools like scissors, carving implements, or hooks. It is a traditional main sector of craft making and applies to a wide range of creative and design activities that are related to making things with one's hands and skill, including work with textiles, moldable and rigid materials, paper, plant fibers, clay, etc. One of the oldest handicrafts is Dokra; this is a sort of metal casting that has been used in India for over 4,000 years and is still used. In Iranian Baluchistan, women still make redware hand-made pottery with dotted ornaments much similar to the 5000-year-old pottery tradition of Kalpurgan, an archaeological site near the village. Usually, the term is applied to traditional techniques of creating items (whether for personal use or as products) that are both practical and aesthetic. Handicraft industries are those that produce things with hands to meet the needs of the people in their locality without using machines

Precisely, all folk art may be (but not necessarily) handicrafts and vice versa.

Want to discuss more about  Auth'n or social enterprises in general? Reach out to Auth'n at 

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