For 36-year-old Avila Juliet, the lockdown has been busier than ever. She is the founding father of Thengu Kalaikoodam, a agency that manufactures handicrafts out of coconut shells in Kalikkanaikenpalayam, Coimbatore. “I simply completed making a batch of earrings and I nonetheless have just a few extra pending orders to complete. I often work for eight hours on daily basis,” she says.
Avila began the enterprise three and a half years in the past. “I labored as an assistant professor at DKT Faculty of Schooling, Tiruppur the place I took lessons on upcycling. I taught my college students to make easy show-pieces by portray coconut shells.” Avila liked working with it and began to experiment with the shells after work. “First I checked on-line tutorials, however couldn’t discover one which defined the method of making ready, slicing and sprucing intimately. So I developed a technique by trial and error. I later give up my job to concentrate on the craft,” she says.
She buys coconuts in bulk from farmers on the native market and soaks them in water for 2 weeks. “This makes the shells more durable and reduces the probabilities of them growing cracks whereas design,” she explains. Then the coconut is de-husked and damaged. “We promote the coconut meat inside to make oil. The shells are later immersed in coconut oil for 2 days earlier than they’re polished and reduce into desired shapes. The therapy with oil provides them the shine.”
Avila makes use of each tender and mature coconuts to make pendants, earrings, bangles, key chains and show-pieces. “The tender shells give a white end and the mature ones give a darker shade,” she says. Her household helps her within the course of. “They reduce the items. It’s a staff effort now,” she says. One of many hardest challenges she had was designing an idol of Nataraja. “It was intricate and solely at my third try did it come out proper. It took me nearly two weeks to finish the six-inch piece,” she recollects.
The lockdown has not affected her enterprise a lot, she says. “I’ve a inventory of uncooked supplies. I proceed to take up new orders.” Her merchandise are priced between ₹50 and ₹3000 based mostly on the design. Avila ships throughout the nation. “I’ve additionally tied up with exporters who ship my creations to Japan and the US. I’ll resume the exports as soon as the scenario is beneficial,” she says.
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