KOCHI: There is beauty in everything, even things that have outlived their usefulness and are considered scrap. And these ‘scrap’ items get reborn as beautiful pieces of home decor once they get touched by 50-year-old Bindu Joy’s magical hands. The magic is none other than the art of decoupage, derived from the French word ‘decouper’ meaning to cDecoupageut out or cut from something.
“It is a very long and time-consuming form of art,” said Bindu. But for someone for whom it is a passion, the time and effort spent in creating the art fade away in the brilliance of the end product, she added.Bindu, who is an entrepreneur and runs a latex business, began dabbling in decoupage two and half years ago. “The beauty of each piece attracted me and I wanted to learn to make some. However, it was tough to find a teacher. Finally, I was able to locate a teacher in Bengaluru. Actually, she had just arrived from the US where she is based,” said Bindu.
After learning the art, Bindu got really hooked. She began making and gifting various decoupages to friends and family. “Seeing these pieces, people began approaching me and today I am getting an overwhelming number of orders,” she said. “I am finding it difficult to keep up the pace because I have to look after my other business too.”
According to Bindu, each piece requires at least five days to complete. “Various layers of primer and paint have to be applied before the cut-outs are affixed. Each layer of paint has to dry properly, otherwise, the entire work will come undone,” she said.
Already she has done over 200 pieces. “It is an expensive hobby,” she said. “The glue used in creating a decoupage is very costly and is made by an American company. I get all the raw materials, except the item from Amazon.”
“The pans, bottles, iron boxes, kettles and other items needed for the art are either brought to me by the customers or I source them,” she said. “The pricing of the finished product is based upon the size of the object. In the case of bottles and other similar items, the price is around C750. The larger items command prices that go up to C1,950.”
Bindu also does decoupage work on furniture. “The piece of furniture can be anything. It can be of any material wood, metal or glass. The decoupage works on everything,” she said. Today, besides engaging in her hobby while taking care of her business, Bindu conducts workshops. “I receive orders for the decoupage pieces and also request for conducting workshops on my Facebook page ‘Ebony ‘n’ Ivory by Bindu Joy’,” she said.
Decoupage has multiple aims, she said. “Besides creating beautiful art, decoupage helps with the waste problem. Instead of throwing away broken iron boxes, leaking kettles or pails, one can prime them up into art or decor pieces,” she said. So, Bindu said, the art actually helps the environment also.