Tuesday, September 27, 2011

SHP Feature: E'thaan

The story for E'thaan starts with Ritu Varuni's architectural thesis. She lived in Nagaland for a year to conduct research for her thesis. It's usage in traditional architecture and craft among the Nagas was an eye opener and inspired her to start a bamboo craft development project in Arunachal Pradesh. It's now been 18 years and Ritu's love slowly took the form of E'thaan. E'thaan is a Lotha Naga word meaning something 'new'.

 Tortoise Coasters

Ritu had also begun to work with Sanjhi and wood craft artisans from North India since 1999. Over the years as her organization gained popularity she was frequently asked if she had a shop. On her move to Delhi, entered Bharati Chadha, Ritu's friend who was a marketing expert. And together they started E'thaan in 2004. Ritu and Bharati's love for traditional craft and their desire to support the artisans is visible in that they pay the craftsmen fully on completion of a product and take the risk of sale on themselves.

L to R: Handcrafted tealight holder in stone, Bookends hadcrafted from stone and Carved tile door knobs

A mix of strong ethics and an innovative use of traditional handcrafted woodwork led to them being awarded the UNESCO Seal of Excellence Award in 2006.  

 Sanjhi teak floor lamp

Apart from the products featured here, E'thaan also makes gorgeous pieces of furniture. They  specialize in wood, stone and bamboo interiors, with a focus on energy conservation. Please visit their website here to take a look at some gorgeous divans, side tables and floor lamps.

 Carved Roti Box

I came out of hibernation to do an SHP Feature to thank Bharati. I bought this absolutely gorgeous Masala Dibba from E'thaan a while ago and Bharati's professionalism left me gasping. She asked for my parents' phone number; called and confirmed that she had mailed it out and then called them a day later to check if it was delivered to their satisfaction. Thank you Bharati! I think a combination of Ritu's passion to work with artisans and Bharati's personal touch will definitely bring more awards E'thaan's way.

 Carved wood masala dibba with ceramic containers

Also, E'thaan will be at the Dastakar Bazaar from 8th to 19th October at Crafts Museum, New Delhi. Please drop in to drool. For all the non-Delhites take the drooling online to their website or Facebook page. 

{Credit for All Images to E'thaan}