The history of wedding cards makes interesting reading. Prior to the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in 1447, weddings in England were typically announced by means of a ‘ Town crier’ , a man who would walk through the streets announcing in a loud voice the news of the day. Traditionally, anyone within earshot became part of the celebration. As years went by, invitations emerged among the nobility and they commissioned monks skilled in Calligraphy in kingdoms of India, to hand-craft their notices on silk scrolls. Recent times have seen mass production of invitation cards using letter / offset press . Latest trends in vogue are perhaps ordering cards on line that are digitally printed, or using ‘E cards’.
In midst of all this the most coveted and sought after invitation cards are custom made, hand crafted cards from Pathway. Pathway has been specializing in this art of designing exclusive hand made cards, especially produced by the nimble fingers of special children and adults under the direction of Chandra Prasad. Recently, gold brocaded concentric cards were designed for the wedding of Sivaprakasam and his young bride. The couple were ecstatic to see the outcome. They were a bundle of joy as they received compliments for their highly innovative and colourful invitations.
Besides invitation cards, Pathway also offers a variety of highly affordable gifts that could be used for weddings and other special occasions. Exclusive hand crafted garlands for the bride and the groom, hand made flowers bouquet, exquisite jewellry boxes, designer trays, art objects, and many more are custom made articles are available for such glorious occasions.
Ladies in India love gold and diamond jewelry and they are indeed expensive. Who has heard of making elegant and breathtaking jewelry made up of discarded water bottles? There is absolutely no dearth for raw material. Worldwide 7.5 million tons of PET (Polythylene Terephthalate) was recycled in 2011. Pathway collects discarded PET bottles and converts them into sheets and wires to make these attractive bangles, ear rings, and necklaces designed by Chandra Prasad and crafted by the nimble hands of children with special needs.at Pathway and the Sabin Centre.
Rolling and shaping strips of paper has been around for centuries. Vocational mentally handicap children at Pathway Chennai have taken up the art of quilling with great dedication and patience. Chandra Prasad first observed quilled crafts during a local arts and crafts exhibition and wondered if this would provide the next new challenge to her students.
With some newly sourced slotted and needle tools, she began instructing Maria, Beena, Prabhu, Poongodi, and Bharat on how they could make small spirals from paper strips. These apprentices were particularly enamored with how the spirals could go from small tight circles to large springy strips. Eventually, commercially acquired tools proved flimsy and difficult to use and so Chandra fashioned tools combining modified needles, felt-marker shafts, and putty.
The group first started on basic shapes such as triangles, ovals, tear-drops, squares, etc. using stencil boards and then eventually moved on to more complex and intricate shapes. The first project was to make traditional Indian earrings called jhumkis. As skill and expertise grew, the group began coming up with their own ideas. They started creating complex yet elegant designs. This teacup and saucer were created with hundreds of small quilled spirals being joined together on a mold.
Quilling requires immense amounts of dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and creativity. The vocational children at Pathway Chennai have exceeded expectations in what was asked of them and have taken this opportunity to learn about colors, numbers, shapes, and counting. We have thus far sold quite a few pieces as souvenirs and currently make dolls and birds for sale. The children, upon learning about this lady who has made 1000 dolls have taken it upon themselves to double that number and enter into the Guinness Book of World Records.
This Nativity representation was created with great love by the special children of Pathway, Chennai and the Sabin Center for the Disabled, Agili. Beautiful and attractive dolls were handcrafted by the nimble fingers of these children, using colorful glass beads which were knitted with precision under the watchful direction of Chandra Prasad. It is fascinating to see how these dolls are made, using computer-rendered designs carefully woven on specially engineered weaving looms. It is also delightful to see the joy written on the faces of the children as these sets are purchased by admiring people.