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The ?arti-zen?

india Updated: Jun 23, 2006 00:15 IST

He’s ‘created’ a special kind of clay that can be moulded into petal-thin flowers. Now, he’s all set to market them as ‘flower cards’ that can last almost ‘forever’. 

He’s 63 and was in the USA for 20 years. As a building designer, he gave the Big Apple some very unique structures. But, now, he’s back home to Lucknow to be with his 30-year-old son, a ‘special-ability child’ rather, a special adult. And, while he’s here, Diwan Trilok Nath, has taken up a very special hooby with childlike fascination. He’s making flowers—in clay. His ‘clay flowers’ are breathtakingly beautiful and fascinating and look real with all the details put into them.

Nath is now going to file a patent for his ‘clay’ that he has himself developed.
“The clay can be moulded into petal-thin artificial flowers. Years after the clay has been moulded into the shape of a flower, it remains flexible. So it cannot break. In fact, it is so malleable that if, on pressing, it changes shapes, the moment you leave it, the model returns to its original flower-shape almost like a rubber,” he explains.

Nath uses these handmade flowers to make unique 3-D cards. They don’t come tucked in an envelope like conventional greeting cards but are encased in boxes.
“I have made these cards as ‘last-forever greetings’. The flexible clay and the colour that I use too, have been developed by me and the colours won’t fade for decades. I am soon going to launch these cards internationally. I am stocking these cards in Los Angeles and from there, they will will go all over the world as people can order them through the internet,” he says.

Each card costs about Rs 250. He has branded them as ‘Arti-Zen: The hand crafted greeting cards’.

There are more things that are special about the cards. “No two cards can be similar.”

“Each card comes in a lightweight shippable box. Our cards are accompanied with Certificate of Authenticity, which mentions the serial number of the corresponding card and the limited edition quantity of that design,” says Nath with pride, adding that “I wanted to do something creative and also generate income as I returned home at this age.”

For larger production, Nath first employed some students from the Art College, Lucknow but they could not do a good job with flowers. “So, I called some boys, girls and women from nearby villages and trained them. They had absolutely no art background but they are doing a perfect job now,” he says. This way he has also created employment opportunities for villagers.

The cards can be kept in the box and kept ‘forever’ or, one can frame them and hang them on walls or keep them on the desk.

If you enter Nath’s workshop at Picnic Spot Road, and see how the production takes place, then you can easily notice an American work culture and wonderful facilities for his artisans. Creativity and ideas are in abundance in this man. He is always busy in creating something. It could be making an eagle out of paper-cuttings or, making a painting… or, designing a home for the elderly. “I have more ideas which I will sell later,” he tells you mater-of-factly even as you notice that he has also developed a unique kind of cushion and wine bottle holders for the global market.

Hats off to this creative artist!