#CTRLZ: Chettinad to Channapatna – Karthik Vaidyanathan’s fascinating journey from being marketing man to handicraft revivalist

On the latest edition of CTRL Z we bring to you someone who has journeyed from Chettinad to Channapatna- Karthik Vaidyanathan.

Karthik is from Chettinad. Growing up in Mumbai, he was always fascinated by everything that was Indian – classical music, dance, textiles, handicrafts, but it would be only decades later, and after a degree in engineering and management, and a few years of corporate marketing experience, that he would realize how this love would take him on a journey to revive one of the most endangered traditional crafts of Karnataka – Channapatna lac turnery toys.


Karthik Vaidyanathan at his store Varnam

Today Karthik runs Varnam  and works with over 40 artisans from Channapatna. VARNAM, which means ‘colours’ in Tamil, is an ode to colourful India. By giving the traditional art form of toy making a contemporaneity twist, Karthik and his team is making the craft more relevant, appealing and functional for lovers of crafts in India and abroad.

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Karthik Vaidyanatha (L) and RJ Lakshmi Karunakaran(R)

RJ Lakshmi caught up with Karthik to talk to him about his fascinating journey.

Listen in…


Interview and article by Lakshmi Karunakaran

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