The Crafts Council of India’s relationship with Pattamadai is a long and enduring one. CCI in the early 90s had encouraged this cluster to submit well woven mats for the National Awards selections. Ibrahim Beevi was the first to receive this prestigious award in 1993. This was the ‘awakening’ of the public to the wonders of this […]
The Crafts Council of India works relentlessly to revitalize craft communities, to help them pass on the traditional knowledge and skills to the next generation. The ‘Educate to Sustain’ (EtoS) program is a testimony to that. Classes in mat weaving over the weekend have been well attended at Pattamadai. In a recent skill assessment for […]
A roadblock for the Vinayaka makers For the better part of their lives, the potters and clay workers of Villupuram used to makeplaster of Paris Ganesha idols. Hundreds of them each year. Big, tall ones, small squat ones, standing ones and dancing ones, in dazzling festive colours. Most of them, men and women, were born into families of clay craft artisans and it was the only […]
The Crafts Council of India responded with urgency and deep commitment to India’s craft artisans hit by the devastation wreaked by the Covid 19 pandemic. As reports of artisans facing hunger, loss of work and markets, desperate poverty and even death came in, along with desperate cries for help. CCI set into motion its multi-pronged […]
Varanasi’s toymakers carve ingenious, brightly coloured animals out of panels of fine grained Kahema wood The flatness probably inspired the craftsperson to create a jigsaw puzzle. Watch the elephant come apart and be put together — the challenge could be more than child’s play.
Traditional metalcraft artisans fashion these from clay models. Nonetheless, probably because they live near a metropolis, these craftsmen are ever responsive to changing times and tastes. The light slanting off the gleaming diyas, salvers and whimsical flowers might well illuminate a corner, without your ever lighting a lamp.
Cutwork or ‘khatwa’, traditionally done by women, has reverse appliqué in which a layer of cloth is applied to a second cloth below. The top layer has tiny incisions where the cloth is folded very fine and stitched down, revealing the pattern in the base cloth. Formerly depicting figurative and geometric motifs, today ‘khatwa’ explores forms, stories and themes centred on social issues.
The ‘patuas’ or scroll makers of West Bengal are professional painters. Drawn from both Muslim and Hindu communities they create patachitras with storytelling themes. The artists double as itinerant singers whose narratives accompany the unfolding of the ‘pats’, as they travel in the countryside.
This smart rooster has been carved by slicing a piece of fine grained Kahema wood, by a Varanasi woodcraft artisan. The painting, in all likelihood, was then outsourced to the wife of a potter friend: a good example of community partnership.The handsome bird can also ingeniously walk that ramp, step by elegant step.