Saturday, August 21, 2010


Rajasthan is a land of glorious historical traditions and culture and it is also one among the richest States in the country as far as in the field of arts and crafts are concerned. Stone, clay, leather, wood, ivory, lac, glass, brass, silver, gold and textiles are given the most brilliant forms here.

The hides of dead animals have never been put to better use than in Rajasthan whether as juthees, the embroidered footwear the people wear, or as saddles, bags and pouches. It is even used as backs for chairs after it has been embroidered with woollen motifs. Jaipur and Jodhpur are the traditional centres for juthees. The exotic spectrum of Rajasthan's handicraft heritage is a dazzling kaleidoscope of colours and textures.

SOM caught up with some artisans who are showcasing their talent at Sahara Art and Craft Bazar on Scout and Guides Ground, behind DC Office. The expo will conclude on Aug. 22 at 9.30 pm. Excerpts:

Rajasthani Wall Hanging

"This wall hanging has been made of concentrically placed fine jute ropes, stuck on cloth. This is a handcrafted traditional Rajasthani work on wall hangings. These can be used at homes to enliven its beauty. We stitch in various attractive and bright designs and colours. The traditional patchwork is coupled with zaridar thread work and mirrors. Green, turquoise and blue harmonise in the elaborately detailed embroidery of this cotton wall hanging. Traditional Rajasthani designs include tiny mirrors woven into the fabric. We offer various designs in a great variety of colors. These designs are inspired from the traditional Rajasthani designs and add to the beauty of the product thereon," says Asha R. Lohia, who is engaged in this work for the past 23 years.

Silver filigree

Silver filigree is the most unique and finest handicrafts of Orissa which is locally called as tarakasi. This is an ancient art of metal work practiced in the traditional way. The artifacts are made of alloy which contains over 90% of silver and to compete with the changing times new methods are being used.

"The silver is extracted through a series of consecutive smaller holes to produce fine strings of silver threads. The string is the speciality in the filigree jewellery. Brooches, ladies bags, pendants, earrings and hairpins and other utility items like trays, plates, cups, candle stands bowls, ashtrays, incense containers, animals, birds, flowers, peacock and many more are crafted," says Sambhu Dutta.

Bead work

Bead work is a Gujarati speciality from Khambhat and Sauras-htra. Motifs and patterns are dictated by the technique of putting two and three beads together. Beadwork objects are used in wall decorations, potholders, etc. The best beadwork is produced by the 'kathis' (tribals). Worked mostly on a white background, they use colours that are vibrant with very distinct patterns. Beadwork 'torans' are usually placed across the doorways. Satya Narayan has exhibited this artistic work.

Gesso work

It is one of the finest crafts to emerge from Bikaner where the inner hide of the camel is used for the purpose. The hide is scraped till it is paper thin and translucent. It is then moulded into various forms of lamp shades, hip flasks, perfume phials or vases. It is then painted over with fine gesso work using gold to lend richness to the otherwise bright reds and greens used in the work. Vijay Solanki has exhibited this talent.

Pottery and Terracotta

As the driest region of India, the pottery works of Rajasthan are very famous especially the small mouths of the water pots which are made in such a way that helps to circulate the air and keep the water cool.

The most famous pottery of Rajasthan is the water bottle among others like Pokran and painted pottery of Bikaner. They are exhibited at the bazar by Pinto, hailing from Kolkata.

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