The concept and art of making dolls has been a part of our civilisation for as long as we can remember, hasn't it? Made out of a variety of materials, including (but not limited to) wood, fabric, plastic, and even metal, these structures are a source of joy for children and for doll collectors alike, all over the world. The making of these dolls in large numbers, however, uses a large number of both natural and man-made resources, resulting in a lot of waste.
This is where Vijitha Retheesh's creative vision steps in. A native of Palluruthy in Kochi, Kerala, Vijitha ensures that every piece of paper - no matter what the source - ends up, not in the trash can; but, being crafted into beautiful dolls!
Even though she started making dolls only recently, her love for crafts began at a very young age, and even back then she chose waste paper as raw material for her work that won her prizes in several competitions.
According to reports, Vijitha’s creative talent got national accreditation in 2016 when she secured a place in the Limca Book of Records for her handcrafted jewellery set. It took her almost a month to make the 50 feet necklace out of waste cardboard boxes, and the 2.5 feet ‘jimikki kammal,’ which used the quilling technique.
"What appears as waste for many, is indeed a ready-made material for me. There has never been a need to purchase paper-based materials from craft stores as the number of wedding cards or colourful ads would always fit into my creative space,” said Vijitha in an interview with The Better India.
It was her spectacular achievement of making 1,350 dolls from waste materials in a span of five months that earned her a space in the Guinness Book of World Records last year, for the largest display of handmade dolls. The unique aspect of this was that every single doll was distinct.
“It was the constant support and encouragement of my husband and family that helped me achieve this target. It was indeed a heartening accomplishment,” Vijitha proudly adds.
Every little gesture counts and, as global citizens, we could all stand to be aspired by Vijitha's exemplary work towards a society that prides itself in recycling as much as possible.
Images: The Better India