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Pottery : The evergreen art

May 4, 2012 | by sneha | category Information
When I hear the word pottery the first picture in my mind is of a panihari walking at the panghat(water resource) and Krishna hitting it with a stone! Ah thats the beauty of mythology #BeingIndian, isn’t it? Well but as we talk about pottery there is a lot more than just the fun at panghat to it. Pottery is an art and it dates back to pre-historic period..well there is no date available and there is no way we can guess.
To make pots one needs the right clay, temperature and pressure and thats it. But to beautify it we need many other resources. Wheels to give shape, colour, decoration such as gold (oh yes gold!!!), silver or other metals and stones and glitter. Now, I am an artee and craftee persona and I don’t wanna sound nerdy but the clay of pottery contains silica and alumina and the properties (porosity, malleability, plasticity) of clay differ according to the cost and the needs. Now just like our life has different stages in mamma’s belly, then childhood, the making of you = adolescence and so on pottery also has to go through some stages to become strong these stages are greenware (raw and breakable), Leather hard (dried but still in making), Bone-dry (0% moisture) and then biscuit (the final product) and when it has to be extra strong there is one more stage called Glost fire.
Now lets try and make a pot! I have few choices here. I can either use my hand, a wheel, granulate pressuring, injection moulding, pressure casting or any of such method. Trust me I am not a potter and none of these methods are going to be easy for me. If I succeed in making a pot the next part is pretty cool. Decoration!! I can do some glazing, can give it some banding..remember the edges of the cups and saucers have a border line thats banding..,I can use some lithography to make prints on the pot or yes yes yes I can use some gold! (only if someone gives me some loan) Glazing is like applying a glossy layer on the pottery which is normally done using salt or ash.
Pottery is either earthenware, porcelain or stoneware. It all differs from region to region as well according to the availability of the clay. This helps the archaeologist to study the culture and to conclude a lot just out of the pottery. ( all I understand is if the pot has gold design someone very rich was its owner :D )
Lastly though I am the Eco-friendly nature ki rakshak (Saviour of nature) I like pottery and I understand that it is not very Eco-friendly : *cries like a baby* . Pottery has harmed nature since the ancient times but now as the methods have changed the harm is growing exponentially.. Hindi film moment *nahhhhhhiiiiiii*!! But in-spite of all the pollution and effects on workers, pottery is beautiful!
Gujarati Bandhani

The Fragrance Of Gujarat

April 4, 2012 | by Mounish | category Indian Handicrafts
“O chela jee re mari maate patan thi patola mongha lavjo!!” If you are a gujju, I am sure you sang this line and not just plainly read it!Gujarat is full of rich handicrafts , you can feel that smell of awesomeness in every nook and corner of the state. Today I will take you to the tour of Gujarat, O nah, I am not promoting Gujarat tourism #KhushbooGujaratKi. I just want you to know that how rich the traditional handicrafts of Gujarat are and how they can enchant you into their beauty.
 
So lets move on!!
 
Ever heard of Bandhani? I am sure many of you have, and many of you proudly wear it. Bandhani in English is called tie and dye. You might have seen many DIY tie and dye projects but no, Bandhani in Gujarat is a serious business. A handicraft! Gujarat produces the best Bandhani in India and it is exported all around the world. It is famous for the designs ,the super good quality of colours and its great combination with zari work. The most famous Bandhani outfit is the Indian wedding dress also known as “GharCholo”. Brides look divine carrying it off like a queen.
 
Lets move on from Bandhni to needle work, again which is world famous for its elegance and accuracy. Embroidery is as if in blood of a Gujarati girl. Now that times have changed not many pursue it further but such talent comes in heredity and Gujarat is proud of its heritage. There are brilliant designs  known as Pachhitpatis (embroidered frieze), Chaklas (embroidered square pieces), Abhala (mirror inset embroidery). All this has become a chic fashion and many modern fashion designers include these works in their garments. You can find girls donning lot of such traditional stuff teaming it up with jeans and capris too! Ah isn’t that quite an breath-taking fusion??
 
Not just needle work there is bead work, again its in the blood you see. It is a speciality from Khambhat and Saurashtra. Bead-works make  beautiful wall hangings and pots. Some experience artists can also make out of the world jewelry by this technique, and mind you it does not cost as much as those fashion biggies claim! ‘Kathis’ a tribe is super famous for their bead work.
 
And now from where I started, ‘mongha patola’ :) ‘Mongha’ means costly and patolas are basically a bit costly because they are handwoven. Think of 5 yards of hardwork! It has to cost something equivalent. Patan is a region most famous for patolas because of its geometrical shapes.
 
When we are talking about Gujarat how can we forget the shine, the bling factor, the dazzle, the Zari work!  Zari industry in Surat is very very very ancient, as ancient as the Mughal era. Zari means golden or sometimes silver embroidery. And believe me or not they use real silver in gold for the original work. Imagine the cost…. Names of various embroideries are Chalak, Tikki, Kangari, katori, Salama (Remember Kajol in K3G says Salma sitara wala suit pehnenge?.. if you don’t don’t stress your mind:))
 
Then there are furnishings, wood work, temple work and textile culture too.. Phew!! Too much to tell about this awesome stateGujarat :) :) We will surely go in details of other things sometime soon.. Till then ciao. Next time we will travel to some other state ,exploring the handicrafts we don’t know much about. Hope you will stay with us.
 
Cheers!!
Orissa Handicrafts

Orissa Handicraft : Land Of Traditional Handicraft Art.

January 31, 2012 | by Mounish | category Indian Handicrafts
Orissa the land of enchanting beauty is well known for its exquisite handicrafts. Its main handicraft consists of stone art, applique art, wooden carvings, dhokra art, lacquer art, wooden paintings and patta paintings. Centuries old, this tradition has survived the ravages of time to preserve some of the best specimen of local crafts. Age has not withered the beauty and dynamic diversity of Orissa’s traditional arts and crafts. Stemming from centuries of exquisite craftsmanship, they are a colorful testimony to the integral life force amongst an ancient people. Cross-cultural influences in religion and utilitarian trades have produced a range of gorgeous crafts that add color and creativity to their lives.Orissa’s religious heritage has played one of the most dynamic roles in fashioning the infinite variety of crafts available in the state. Buddhism, Jainism, Shaivism and Vaishnavism have left their imprints on Orissa’s ancient arts and crafts as have its strong tribal traditions. Its sea-faring history too has brought in influences from Indonesia and China.Check out Our Store for wide range of handmade, handcrafted, handicrafts products.

Stone Art :

Mute stones are transformed into living expressions, the testimony of which is found on the walls of the well known Konark and Puri temples. The craftsmen, who have carried the heritage through generations, continue the age old tradition even today. The stone carvers from Puri, Bhubaneswar, Lalitgiri and Khiching today create imaginative objects for the modern men. The tools the artisans use are few and simple and consist mainly of hammers and chiseled of various shapes and sizes and with the help of these tools they create the life like statues on stone.

Stone Art

Applique Art :

One of the most important cottage industries encouraged by temple rituals was the creation of applique work. Enourmous applique canopies were traditionally held aloft the venerated Lord Jagannath and his siter Goddess Subhadra and elder brother Lord Balabhadra during the Rath Yatra. Applique art thus created now caters to the making of other applique crafts; mainly the beach/garden umbrellas, applique bags and wall hangings etc.

Applique Art

Wooden Carvings :

Wooden carving is another important handicraft of orissa. Usually light varieties of wood are preferred and vegetable and mineral colors are used. The motifs include various stylized animals and birds like horse, bull, elephant, lion, tiger, peacock, nabagunjara etc. Samples of excellence of the wood carvers of Orissa can be found in temple ceilings, carved wooden beams and doors. Some temples noted for the craftsmanship are Biranchinarayan temple in Buguda, Jagannath temple in Dharakot etc.

Wooden Carving Art

Dhokra Art :

The traditional dhokra work is a typical tribal craft in bronze with its mesh like features giving it a distinctive beauty. The tribal families of Sadeibareni a village near Dhenkanal town produce this unusual craft. Metal craft reached perfection in Orissa with a range of indigenous designs being created by its craftsmen, with craftsmen churning out numerous religious and gift items.

Dhokra Art

Lacquer Art :

Lacquer is the refuse of an insect gathered by the tribal’s in the forests. The women folk of Balasore and Nawarangpur districts mix it with colors and apply in on small vane boxes and toys etc made by the tribal’s and terracotta figures, which they make themselves. After several coats of lacquer have sealed the core, the surface is decorated with motifs borrowed from nature, geometric patterns and religious symbols. Although the visual power of color and design combine to make an ornamental effect, the artisans are constantly exploring the area of material, form and technique.

Laquer Art

Wooden Paintings :

Wooden paintings are basically pattachitras done on wooden structures like door frames or window frames etc. and are custom built items. Beautiful and creative these items decorate and enhance of beauty of many household and corporate offices all over the globe.

Wooden Paintings Art

Patta Paintings :

Even the most elementary level Orissan paintings have color and vibrancy that are exemplary. The tradition of wall painting is as old as time in this ancient state. Pattachitras are painted with bright colors and possess a charm peculiarly their own. Their pictorial conceptions, unique painting technique and line formations together with color schemes make them a remarkably original art form that is distinct from any other school of painting either in India or abroad. Palm leaf paintings also belong to this category of Orissa art where in traditional patta paintings are done on palm leaves.

Patta Paintings Art
Mizoram Traditional Art

Mizoram : Land of traditional weaving / bamboo art.

January 28, 2012 | by Mounish | category Indian Handicrafts

Bamboo industry (Bamboo art)

There are at least 20 identifiable species of bamboo indigenous to mizoram. Some 30% of the state is covered with wild bamboo forests, many of which are largely unexploited. Mizoram harvests 40% of India’s 80 million-ton annual bamboo crop. The current state administration wishes to increase revenue streams from bamboo and aside from uses as a substitute for timber, there is research underway to utilise bamboo more widely such as using bamboo chippings for paper mills, bamboo charcoal for fuel, bamboo art, fertiliser and the manufacture of pressed wall panels.

Bamboo Art Mizoram
Check out Our Store for wide range of handmade, handcrafted, handicrafts products.

Handicrafts

Mizo women use hand loom to make clothing and cloth handicrafts.The local products are even fused with other materials to give them a fashionable and stylish designs. Mizos are fond of colourful hand woven wrap-around skirt called puan chei, and a matching beautiful top called Kawr chei. A multi colour Mizo traditional bag called Khiang kawi, which is creatively knitted out of bright coloured wools, is a welcome possession. A typical Mizo blanket known as Pawnpui is also used.

Basket weaving is also common. Baskets known as Em, are used and Thlangra – a plate for cleaning rice etc. are made from bamboos. In fact, a typical Mizo house is crafted out of bamboos, dry grasses, mud and wood. A traditional Mizo village has been reconstructed at Reiek – a few kilometres away from Aizawl. Though modern houses made with bricks, concrete and tin sheets are now the norm.

Bamboo Art Mizoram
Check out Our Store for wide range of handmade, handcrafted, handicraft, minakari, bamboo work, artistic, bharatgoothan work, indian traditional products.

Art And Craft

Sheer abundance of beautiful handicrafts in Mizoram make it a big hit with tourists inclined towards shopping. The artists are highly skilled in transforming simple raw materials into attractive items. The craftsmen of this beautiful North East Indian state are expert in their traditional art of weaving. The weavers use bright colours and traditional designs and patterns on their looms and create wonderful fabrics. A wide variety of cane and bamboo handicrafts are also available in the markets of Mizoram. Simple yet mesmerizing such are the designs of cane and bamboo items. The beautiful handicrafts of Mizoram are also known for their durability.

The bazaars of Mizoram are lined with shops selling a wide variety of handicrafts such as baskets, utensils, hats, flower vases, furniture and other decorative items. There are several Government Emporia in the state where these items are available at reasonable prices. Most of the shopping centres are located in and around Aizawl, the capital city of Mizoram. Bara Bazaar is one of the famous markets located in the capital city of the state. Other known bazaars are the Ritz market, Burma Lane, Bazaar Bungkawn, Thakthing Bazaar, New Market and Solomon cave. Take back home some great handicrafts from Mizoram.

Handloom and handicrafts are the oldest industries of Mizoram. For the development of these industries in the state, Mizoram Handloom and Handicrafts Develoment Corporation Limited was established in the year 1988. In order to acquaint the local craftsmen with the new modern techniques and designs in the field of handicrafts Crafts Development Centres have been opened in the capital city of Mizoram.

Weaving Art Mizoram