Agency for Promotion of Indigenous Crafts (APIC) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) is conducting an intensive training of skilled artisans on babzo (masks), patra, and souvenir making in Kawajangsa, Thimphu at the Zorig Chhusum Institute for 10 days, which began yesterday.
Participants include some 30 skilled artisans, all graduates of the Zorig Chhusum Institutes of Thimphu, Tashiyangtse, and Choki Traditional Art School who are still engaged in zorig related business enterprises.
“The training is targeted mainly for the graduates of Trashiyangtse Zorig Chhusum Institute, Thimphu Institute of Zorig Chhusum, and Choki Traditional Art School who are still involved in the above related zorig areas, either as self-employed worker or as entrepreneurs employing people,” states the press release from APIC.
It further states, “The training is expected to improve the quality of the Babzo, Patra designs and to implement new designs in souvenir items with Bhutanese symbols and motifs. The commitment on quality production and pricing strategies will also be motivated besides the trainings”.
The program is expected to improve quality of products of the artisans, knowledge sharing with non-participants by the participants, gradual general improvement of quality of the products in the areas covered during the training and also expected outcome of approximately 60 babs (masks), 120 patra items, and 120 souvenir items.
For babzo and patra, APIC intends to provide training in the field of producing better quality products and refine existing ones.
In souvenir making, APIC aims to produce new products such as sets of Bhutanese zodiac signs, eight lucky signs, Gyalsay Na-duen, different traditional motifs, etc.
The master craftsmen and resource persons for the trainings are patra specialist Lopen Samten Lhendup, patra expert Jigmi Dorji and Sangay Penjor.
Lopen Samten Lhendup said, “The main objective behind such program is to improve the quality and design unlike past.”
“Though we are using the same kind of wood for babzo, there is difference when it comes to carving, with different wood carving tools which were not seen in the past, whereby we could see the old babs with rough quality, and thereby rough finishing,” he added.
The training scheduled till July 31 is funded by the United Nations under Project 62290-UN that supports the development of small and medium enterprises and employment generations.