The second edition of Made in Kolkata was released in July 2019. The 80-page book is an insider’s guide to the makers of India’s most soulful city Kolkata. It is a celebration of the city and the talented people who reside and work here. The highly curated guide profiles the city’s finest artists, artisans, craftspeople, designers, makers and shopkeepers who come together to produce and sell some extraordinary things.
This journey to create the book took author Fiona Caulfield deep into the city, she traversed small lanes and out of the way neighborhoods, headed inside tiny storefronts and up creaking staircases to seek out studios, workshops, on a quest to reveal Kolkata’s most authentic shopping experiences. Every entry has been personally visited and for each entry that made the book, another three or four did not.
These books are not simply about luxury shopping; Fiona is equally as excited by hip urban gender fluid clothing made from ‘gamcchas’ (hand-woven towels) as she is about the elaborate hand embellished couture fashion. She shares her advice about Kolkata’s amazing markets and bazaars, including the famous flower market on the banks of the Hooghly River as well revealing as small textile studios and exquisite jewellery ateliers.
The intention of the book is to take the reader beyond a simple shopping transaction, and at the beginning of the book, there is an extract from Pablo Neruda’s poem, ‘Ode to Things’. Fiona shares the story of the city and her people through its objects and marketplaces. She believes that you are not just buying an object, you are connecting to the maker, recognising their creativity and mastery as well as supporting and encouraging their future.
The book contains a Love Kolkata section detailing the best places to stay, dine and ways in which to explore the city and surrounding areas as well as essential tips on how to get around and even the best books to read.
The Made in Kolkata book comes with a matching travel journal, designed to enable the traveler to record your impressions of the city, be that in a sketch or in notes.
The books are completely hand-made in India, and are the result of design collaboration with Aneeth Arora of the acclaimed clothing brand péro, based in New Delhi. The Made in Kolkata book has an indigo natural dye hand woven cotton Khadi cover, the fabric of India’s independence. The matching Travel journal is covered with Bengali handloom checks. Both books are printed on paper that is made by hand in the age-old method in the small village of Sanganer, on the edge of the pink city Jaipur in Rajasthan. Both books have hand made bookmarks and hand embroidered labels, done by ladies working in the péro atelier.
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