Indian Art and Craft Blog

Advancing Times, Dying Art

 Art is poetry in colours. It transports you to a place far away, multi-hued, full of bliss and thoughtfulness. Art, since time immemorial has preserved and evolved cultures. The current picture, however, is a grim reality that hits you hard in the face. Our age old traditions are breathing a laboured life in today’s fast paced world of technological advancements. The art and craft which originates from the roots of rural India, is losing its essence and fast eroding.

Artisans are emerging as the real sufferers. Their immense talent and capabilities, the sheer beauty of their skills, their diligent hard labour seems to carry a marginal value in comparison to what their collective ability should fetch. They are the original flag bearers of preserving India’s rich cultural heritage. Going with the current scenario and the pace with which it is progressing, their future is bleak. Ask yourself, how many exhibitions, mahotsavs or local markets do you attend to invest in traditional craft?

The India Craft House originated precisely to help assist this cause in its own small way, that is in crying need of support. It seeks to spread an awareness, while helping to bring about a change with its initiative to provide a platform for the artisans. A platform wherein their precious craft is viewed and valued. India is a land enriched with a history and wealth of the most beautiful kind of handcrafting that has originated and evolved here over millennia. In celebration of an unparalleled heritage, The India Craft House takes a humble pride in being able to contribute in its own way, to promoting our country’s rich cultural heritage and diversity. It is time for all us to take cognisance and to help save it. 

Bastar Tribal Art: Chattisgarh

The Bastar region of Chattisgarh is one of the richest areas in terms of iron ore deposits. The tribal communities, Gond and Maria started catering to the needs of the tribe by providing them tools for agriculture, jungle cutting tools, arrowheads and knives for hunting. Their skill evolved with time into a unique Craft form through experimentation with material and technique. The raw material used for the craft is predominantly recycled iron scrap. The main tools used are a furnace, hammer, forceps, tongs and chisels. The process starts with scrap iron being beaten repeatedly when hot. The iron is then moulded into desired shapes by carefully beating it at necessary spots. Unnecessary portions are then cut away and filed to remove sharp edges rounding off with applying a final coat of varnish to enhance lustre. The Ironsmiths started by experimenting with the religious art forms and gradually the craft evolved to the levels it is practiced today. 

Buy Bastar Art Work here-

Dhokra Art:

Dhokra is amongst the oldest traditional techniques of metal casting in India, practiced for over 4,000 years. The lost wax technique, cire perdue is the medium of metal workers in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and West Bengal. Evidence of similar casting of copper-based alloys has been found in China, Egypt, Malaysia, Nigeria, and some areas of Central America. The Bell metal or Dhokra is one of the earliest known methods of metal casting. This craft dates back to pre-historic times of the Harrappa and Mohenjodaro Civilizations. Entirely handcrafted, the unique 13 stage process of Dhokra/ Bell metal making is an outcome of the original craft instinct handed down through the centuries. Dhokra/ Bell metal is an alloy of brass, nickel and zinc that gives an antique effect to the castings.Dhokra Damar tribes are the traditional metal-smiths of West Bengal. Their technique of lost wax casting is named after their tribe, hence Dhokra metal casting. The tribe extends from Jharkhand to West Bengal and Orissa.

Buy the Dhokra Art work here-

Santhal Tribal Art:

Santhal paintings are made by a community called Jadu Patua or magic painters in the Santhal district of Bengal/Bihar borders. Santhal tribe dates back to pre-Aryan period but their paintings are interestingly contemporary in their designs and formatting. Dramatic yet realistic paintings are a rarity when it comes with no formal training.

Buy Santhal Art here-

Lambani Tribal Art:

Lambani women practice a uniquely beautiful mirror and embroidery art form which they mostly used for making their own clothing. The Lambani embroidery is vibrant mix of of patterns, mirror work, cross and quilting stitches done on loosely woven block colours, mostly red and blue.

Buy Lambani Art here-

Madhubani Art:

One of the most famous art forms of our country, Madhubani/Mithila paintings are being passed down over several generations now. Madhubani paintings are made from the paste of powdered rice and use two dimensional imagery, while colors used are derived from plants. Women of this region have traditionally painted colorful auspicious images on the interior walls of their homes on the occasion of domestic rituals since at least the 14th century. This ancient tradition, especially elaborated for marriages, continues today. Mostly depicting the mythological stories of Ram-Sita, Radha-Krishna, they come in various forms. Bharni, Katchni, Geru and Godna being a few variants of this art. The Paintings are now also done on cloth, handmade paper and canvas. 

Buy Madhubani Art here-

Burdwan Wood Craft:

Burdwan district of West Bengal is famous for its exquisite wood carvings. Carved figures in a traditionally classic style though simple are very expressive. Delicate and fine carvings are a signature of this art form, made from neem, teak and shisham trees.Some of the popular dolls in this range are the owl, bride, king & queen, Radha-krishna to name a few. The attractive wooden owl is a special attraction. Originally used for worshipping Goddess Lakshmi, it is now an artefact of repute. With constant experimentation, the artisan community is now making utility and home décor products as well from this craft form, apart from these dolls.

Buy Burdwan Wood Craft here-

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