Inspired by her childhood, a doll artist in the city is making waves with her hand crafted creations. Under her initiative called Bhauli (Marathi for the word — doll), artist Swati Mangesh Rajguru creates dolls inspired by animated characters, pop fiction and even recreates her clients as dolls. “I was a graphic designer by profession but I have had a strong inclination towards this craft. I started Bhauli about 7 months ago, turning my passion into my profession,” says Rajguru.
The 29-year-old, a fine arts alumna of Jamia Millia Islamia Univeristy, has been creating dolls with a small team of women, using wood, thread, fabric and wires. She says, “We’re a small enterprise, but are growing. I plan to rope in more women for our workshop and have big plans for this small brand. The dolls that come in various shapes and sizes are customizable. As of now, we don’t have a physical outlet and mostly function via our Instagram page.”
The artist, who has garnered appreciation for recreating iconic comic and film characters like Wonder Woman, Mastani (from the movie Bajirao Mastani) and Elsa (from Frozen), also dabbles with themes such as nature and Indian mythology. However, her favourite projects are imitations of real life people. “I make these figures because they are popular and relatable, yet completely custom made. Recreating someone real is a bigger challenge and that gives me the most happiness.”