Hello there and welcome to the Orangecraft Blog!
We are a company involved in Children's education in India.
Over the past 5 years, we have been publishing our own set of Arts and Crafts textbooks and kits for school.
What sets us apart is that we try to put ourselves in the student's and teacher's shoes- do you remember what Art and Craft class was like in school?
It was probably dull and uninspiring..
There has always been such an emphasis on other subjects that creativity took the back seat.
With only a half hour or 1 hour dedicated to art every week, of course it's going to be difficult to make a worthwhile project. Not to mention the added stress of getting every student to bring the right materials!
Who here remembers that classmate who ALWAYS had to borrow things from someone else? I do, that classmate was me!
And what about the teachers? Now as an adult I can see what their struggles were- in my school there were 50 students per class and a short amount of time to get anything done. Either my teacher would have to buy the material and collect the money from 50 kids (which takes the whole lesson to do!) or she would have to stick to something very basic- like a colouring/sketching sheet or a craft activity using cheap and often, tacky material, producing an end product that did nothing to keep our interest.
Looking back it was such a shame that these activities couldn't be appreciated- the system's inefficiencies put everybody's efforts to waste.
And as a result we tend to grow up thinking that Art is a waste of time and generally reserved for people with natural talent.
I was stuck with these beliefs too, until I turned 17 and it was time to think about further studies- I couldn't draw, and I certainly never thought I was creative. I had board exams to give, who has the time for all this?
But my parents knew me better. Being creative themselves, they believed in me. In fact, they believe in the whole of India- several years before this they had started their own company, Flexmag Crafts, a small family business that was introducing the hobby craft industry to our country. This is before the age of craft blogs, so it took time to grow.
An urban planner and a horticulturist, an architect and a logistics manager- these are the careers my parents followed- and now starting a hobby craft company? It's confusing at first until you see the point- creativity is not just for arts and crafts- its a mindset, something that helps you through every phase of life no matter what you choose to do with it.
So they encouraged me to prepare for design school, that meant learning to be creative. I was so embarrassed by my inability to draw at 17 while younger 'naturally talented' children sat around me in class producing work that far exceeded my skills. But I practiced and eventually I fell in love with the process- taking something as simple as plain white paper, and turning it into something beautiful. Something that can be cherished and appreciated for years. That makes it so worthwhile!
If someone like me can manage this, so can anybody else.
Its about receiving the right instructions, and having appropriate expectations.
My parents then decided to publish a textbook to compliment their hobby craft business and I got the chance to help them too. Together with the small team they built, we've produced 3 editions of books (which come in a kit with all the necessary craft materials btw) and spread across 200 schools in India. Each activity is designed to be done in a short time frame, and they're all pretty cool, if I may say so myself ;)
Our message is clear- creativity is for everybody, and we will hold your hand through the journey.
We now cater to students aged 3 to 13, and we will be moving on to the older ones too!
So we hope you will follow our blog, learn something new and get inspired on the way!
Contact us and tell us what you think, we love feedback!