About

Anu Parthasarathy and Rupa Vijendran, the founders of RedBug, had a dream to bring safe, educational, and traditional Indian crafts inspired ideas to children. With hard work, and a lot a time spent researching Indian crafts, along with the support of their family and friends, today their vision has taken shape as RedBug, a unique craft kits company.

RedBug offers a variety of premium craft kits that combine traditional craft and toy making techniques with modern purpose. Each kit is inspired by one or more traditional Indian craft and contains handmade products made by traditional artisans.

We look forward to add the richness of traditional crafts to the modern lives of children everywhere. Through our products, we stimulate creativity in children while letting them appreciate the simplicity and charm of traditional Indian crafts.

Our mission statement

Our mission is to provide children with safe, educative, and fun filled creative experiences through craft activities that draw inspiration from traditional Indian crafts.

Children can benefit from traditional crafts
We constantly draw inspiration from traditional Indian crafts that are time tested to entertain and educate children. We try to encourage children’s special ability to enjoy and appreciate the simplicity of old world charm.

Children are very important to us
We strive to keep all our products safe for children and the environment. Our products are mostly made using traditional methods and natural materials like wood, fabric, and vegetable dyes.

Traditional Indian crafts are our inspiration
Traditional Indian crafts are part of our heritage. To keep them from disappearing in today’s modern world, we include various handmade items among our products. By doing so, we also support artisan communities.

 

Who are these kits for?


Kids:
: When it comes to kids, it is so much fun to watch their excitement as they put their creativity to work. So whether you are looking for easy crafts for kids or something that is more of a collectible toy, you are sure to find all of our craft kits a perfect fit.
Our kits require activities that children of all ages enjoy; such as joining, gluing, stringing, tying knots etc.

Families: Our kits are perfect for family nights. Parents will
enjoy helping or watching their children put these kits together and make something
fun and unique. While spending quality time together, they can also learn and appreciate
traditional crafts.RedBug kits are perfect for family nights. Parents will enjoy helping or watching their children put these kits together and make something fun and unique. While spending quality time together, they can also learn and appreciate traditional crafts.

Party hosts:RedBug kits will provide great activity for kids at a birthday or other party. Just give the children RedBug kits and watch them stay entertained. RedBug kits will make fabulous return gifts for any occasion.

Teachers and care givers: Either added to regular curriculum or used as an activity for a rainy day, our kits can be educational and fun for children. A RedBug kit will make an excellent prize for any school event.


Why should I get RedBug craft kits?

1. RedBug kits help children discover and appreciate traditional Indian crafts
2. RedBug kits are made of natural, eco-friendly and safe materials.
3. RedBug kits are fun, educative, creative, unique and simple.
4. RedBug kits make fabulous gifts.
5. RedBug kits provide lots of fun and keep kids creatively busy and self entertained.
6. RedBug kits make for great party activity.
7. RedBug kits promote skill development through constructive play.
8. RedBug kits are durable, quirky and fun!

 

A view on the Indian traditional crafts featured in RedBug products

One of the primary goals of RedBug is to educate the younger generation and create a passion in them for Indian crafts. By doing so, we achieve several goals – help promote traditional crafts to the younger kids, help the artisan communities continue their work, allow kids and adults alike to enjoy these great treasures for generations to come, and last but not the least – Indian traditional crafts are thousands of years old that they are absolutely earth friendly and do not use anything harmful.

As part of this, we try to provide information about the various crafts that have been used in RedBug kits. We strive to add as many to this list as possible.

Channapatna wooden toys – Karnataka

Channapatna wooden toys are a unique style of making small brightly coloured wooden toys. Channapatna is a small town about an hour from Bangalore, India, where the artisans have been making these toys for over 200 years. The tradition can be traced back to its Moghul origins.

The toys are made from a locally grown tree called Ale Mara. The branches are cut and the trees grow back quickly. The wood is then seasoned for a few days to several weeks before they are used to make these handmade toys. The artisans use motorized wood turning lathes. The turned wooden pieces are shaped and sanded smooth. The next step is the colouring – A vegetable dyed based lacquer is pressed on the piece while turning. The lacquer is then polished with a leaf of a local aloe like plant which gives it the brilliant shine.

The craft form is now protected by the state government and the World trade organization. The Karnataka government and NGOs help market these and support the communities.

Indian textiles and fabrics – Andhra Pradesh, Gujarath & Rajasthan

India has one of the widest range of fabric colouring traditions using several methods like hand dyeing, tie and dye, painting,block printing etc. Traditional fabrics are predominantly cotton based fabrics and often made using manual hand looms. Hand dyed, painted and block printed fabrics has been a symbol of Indian culture for thousands of years.

The traditional methods of fabric treatments are still used today. Blocked printed fabrics using vegetable dyes and traditional wooden blocks, hand tied and dyed fabrics called Bhandini, wax based dyeing called Bhatik, hand painting on cotton fabrics called Kalamkari – all these are wonderful forms of fabric colouring are done in various states across India.

Terracotta / Earthenware – West Bengal, Orissa & Other states

The art of terracotta has been traced to back to the earliest civilizations in the Indian-subcontinent. Indian culture has used terracotta for making Idols, pots, and several other products. The art of turning clay to a hard durable material is the very essence of this art form. The traditional art form has taken many forms in the modern world.

Artists today in India use the same old methods of making terracotta. But, the modern artists are creative and make various articles like pots, planters, jewellery and wall panels. RedBug kits features local artists made terracotta pendants and other articles in our kits.

Sanjhi Paper cutting art – Uttarpradesh

Sanjhi is an art of cutting paper or non metallic surfaces with the help of plied
scissors and sharp blades that originated from the times of Lord Krishna and flourished
in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh ( Vrindavan to be precise). It was used by
the Vaishnava community at Mathura, Vrindavan, Bengal and Orissa, where they lived
and is found in the Vaishnava temples of the 15 th and 16 th century. Mythology
says Radha used this art on the walls of her home to attract Krishna’s attention
which was subsequently copied by other gopis to attract Lord Krishna. Interestingly
this form was also practiced by Muslim artists.

The unique part of these cuttings is that, traditionally Sanjhi works were made
without any tracing or drawings. While cutting, the paper is rotated so that the
intricate design can be cut. The number of paper cuts that are used for any design
depend on the intricacy of the pattern. The artisans could produce the works in
very less time, but for this had to put in years of diligence and practice so as
to attain the skill of cutting out fine sanjhis. The Sanjhi stencils are put down
on the ground and coloured powders are filled in to produce fascinating designs.
This art is much more superior to the ordinary paper cutting that we or our kids
indulge in and needs years of training.

Currently, Sanjhi painting is practiced by only a few artists and remains a dying
tradition that too in few temples of India. Vijay Kumar Soni , who has won the State
Award for Craft Excellence in paper cutting/ rangoli making is a Sanjhi cutter from
Mathura belongs to the family whose seven generations have been engaged in this
paper cutting art , making sanjhis for temples and houses as an offering to lord.
Today Sanjhi stencils are used to make rangoli stencils, decorative bindis , sari
borders, greeting cards, coasters and trays. When you all buy those intricately
carved bindis or see stylish designs on the sari borders spare a thought for the
Sanjhi artists who made all this possible.

Wood Block Printing – Gujarat

Block Printing in Gujarat dates back to the 12th century. This form of hand printing
has been practiced and perpetuated by the Paithapur families. The wooden blocks
are used for printing. They are of different shapes and have designs carved at the
bottom of the block. Teak wood is used for making them on which designs are made
by skilled craftsman. These blocks are known as ‘Bunta’. Every block consists of
a wooden handle and 2-3 holes which are made for the purpose of free movement of
air. The blocks before taken into use are kept in oil for 10-15 days, which provide
the them the softness required. They print their textiles using the mud resist-printing
method.

The resist form of Block Printing is achieved by covering up the areas of the fabric
that are not to be colored, with clay and raisin. The rest of the fabric is filled
with vibrant colors which earlier used to be prepared mostly out of extracts of
leaves, flowers and plant parts but as time passed, chemical dyes have replaced
them. After the coloring of the entire fabric, the cloth is washed which creates
fine cracks in the mud smeared areas. The dye then seeps into these areas thereby
giving the fabric a cracking effect. They are popularly known as Sodagiri prints.

Dhamadka village in Gujarat is known for a block printed fabric called Ajrakh. The
popular designs of block printing in this village are geometric. The artisans use
natural colors such as red from the madder root, black from a rusty iron solution
and blue from indigo. In Kutch, the popular patterns are black and red designs of
birds, animals, and dancing girls. The saris of Ahmedabad and Baroda have large
mango patterns against a red or blue background. Block printing in India spread
to other states like Rajastan , Punjab , West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.

Check back to see many more such craft inspirations in our kits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *