Sunday, February 7, 2010

Crafts Bazaar: A visual feast for the eyes

Colourful Lambani mirror and beadwork, embroidered patchwork outfit in earthy colours, graceful bamboo swings, jewellery, clay and terracotta murals..... these and much more are on display in ‘Crafts Bazaar’ at the JSS Urban Haat on Ring Road in Hebbal.
This unique Crafts Bazar will conclude tomorrow (Feb.7) and is open from 10 am to 9 pm.
With more than a 150 master craftspersons demonstrating live the uniqueness of traditional handicrafts, this crafts bazar will make the visitor a time-traveller who crosses cultures and crafts with ease.
Star of Mysore had a tete-a-tete with some of these master craftsmen: Here are a few excerpts:
The diversity of the people, the influences of many cultures from the time of Rig Vedic people to the extraordinary multiculturalism that existed during the reigns of the great kings have produced an equally bewildering diversity of arts and crafts.
Harveer Singh from Ghaziabad, Delhi, gives demonstration of the versatility of his bamboo swing. Says Harveer: "These swings are made from the high-quality bamboo woods. The frame of the swing is constructed of bamboo. The handles are also made of bamboo without knots and as wide as a person's palm. The swing's platform is constructed close enough to the ground so that players can climb on with ease. While choosing bamboo swings customers must choose the right kind of bamboo. For example young bamboo will be weak, while old bamboo is less elastic and tends to break”.
“I have been doing this work from the past seven years and I take three days to prepare one bamboo swing and the range starts from Rs. 8,000,” says Harveer, who is on his first visit to the city.

Physically challenged C.A. Chidambaram from Chennai and a recipient of a gold medal is exhibiting his Silk Cocoon handicrafts. He has displayed more than 175 types of garlands of different sizes and designs that are as varied like silk gifts, bud gift cones, bouquets, silk flower pots and vase decorators, silk hair bands and many more.
"I create fashionable handicrafts using waste silk cocoons. These last longer and I use vegetable dyes to colour them. Being handicapped I took this profession as a challenge and I have trained more than 30,000 women all over India in the past 16 years. I am also a guest faculty tutor for CSR&TI-Mysore and SERIFED-Kerala”, says Chidambaram who is imparting free training for mentally retarded and physically handicapped persons with a concept ‘Wealth from Waste’. He may be contacted over Mob: 90087-18403.
Eye-catching earrings made out of sparkling pieces of mirror, cowries shells, attractive anklets, necklaces, plastic strip bangles invites the viewer at Ratnanu Behan stalls. Ratnanu Behan from Gujarat shows off her Rabari embroidery handicrafts which Lambani women use. Mirrors of various shapes and sizes are used and are sewn in intricate patterns. Ratnanu Behan is an expert in inserting the tiniest of mirrors in the embroidery. She says the Lambanis have a distinctive way of using these brightly coloured clothes and this heritage should not be lost.
Clay artifacts are Kantharaju's specialty. Kantharaju from Chan-narayapatna has displayed beautiful models and murals at his stall. The murals are in a variety of sizes and prices start from Rs. 250.
"Using two-three types of mud (different colours) I have created these designs, no colour is added. To add balck colour to murals, I add smoke to the mud. The mixture is heated in a kiln at 1,210 degree Celsius to give the sheen and hardness,” says Kantharaju who has designed and created attractive murals.
Then checkout Jayaprakash's stall. Jayaprakash is from Puttur and is exhibiting ceramic lamps, mud pots to store vegetables; bed sheets; picture frames; lamp shades and wall hangings which will jazz up the d├ęcor of your house.
“Ceramic lamps are fast replacing the traditional mud lamps as they are easy for maintenance and oil consumption is less. The lamps come in various designs, including multi-layered ones”, says Jayaprakash. Mysore and Bangalore are the main centers for rose wood carving. Most of the carvers use temple and palace motifs that are ornate and aesthetic.
Adil and Faisal are Mysoreans and have been rosewood carvers for many years and have themselves learnt the art from master carvers. Rosewood furniture and rosewood elephants are always in demand both in India and in the international market.

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