In a move to enhance preservation of traditional handicrafts and help national artisans in the industry sharpen their skills, a five day training for local artisans, organized by Agency for Promotion of Indigenous Crafts (APIC) is underway here in the capital.
The training has also been intentionally scheduled at this time to help artisans and handicraft vendors make better use of their free hours during the lean tourist season.
“It’s good because they wouldn’t sit idle during the lean season,” APIC’s craft bazaar development officer, Pratima Thapa said.
“It is very useful and a great opportunity to learn different crafts,” said Depika Chhetri, a participant at the training.
Over 85 artisans, majority of whom are members of the craft bazaar, will receive special training free of cost. The training entails enhancing basic skills to craft a product, packaging, presentation and making good use of the waste fabrics or materials by recycling them.
Trainer at the programme, Mrs. Nongyao said the training also focuses on encouraging innovation of handicraft products at minimum cost but yield maximum returns. “We have started from the basics as the participants have no basics at all for now,” she said.
“Although it’s a very good way to learn how to be enterprising and earn profit, it is difficult for people like us who are not used to such craft from childhood,” another participant, Deki, who is a vendor at the craft bazaar, said.
APIC officials said, three outstanding artisans from among the participants will be awarded certificates of excellence and selected to provide trainings to aspiring artisans in the future.
The current training has prime focus on creating souvenirs with Christmas theme such as greeting cards and ornaments among others. “That is why you see fabrics and materials with red, green and white colors,” trainer Nongyao said.
Meanwhile APIC is also conducting a 14-day workshop at the rural development training centre (RDTC) in Zhemgang on ‘cane and bamboo product diversification’.
APIC’s product innovation and design unit manager Sangay Om said “we are coming up with new cane and bamboo products that will expand the product range at minimum cost of production.”
The workshop is being attended by a total of 17 artisans from Bjokha in Zhemgang, Choki Traditional Art School in Thimphu, Mongar and Bumthang. The budget of almost Nu 1mn is co-funded by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Royal Government of Bhutan.
Resource people have been hired from the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmadabad, India. APIC has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NID earlier in May this year.