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Featured Art Description of the Month


Kalamkari derives its name from “Kalam” which is pen and “Kari” which is craftsmanship. This is one of the most ancient forms of work in India, originating 3000 years ago. The artisans use a Kalam or a bamboo brush stick to paint the prints. Kalamkari work is seen on many of the clothing’s, purses, clutches, wallets, wall hangings and the process is elaborate. The clothing is first stiffened using starch, then dyed under the sun. The dyes for the cloth are naturally obtained from roots, leaves, mineral salts, crushed flowers, plants etc. The artisans then cover parts of the cloth where the drawing is there and dip the uncovered parts in indigo dye. The remaining portions are then painted by hand using bamboo, date palm stick or tamarind twigs. The essence of this work is the use of natural products and earthy colors like mustard, rust, green, indigo. Other colors are obtained by mixing some of these colors. For example, artisans use rusted iron and jaggery to bring in the perfect black color. The depictions are usually derived from Indian mythologies and epics and the recent trends also depict the Buddhist art forms.


Our Online Journal – A prismatic view of arts and crafts in the East and the West

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Behind The Scenes Virtuoso!

Noah's Ark - Decora India

Tara projects was set up in early seventies with the objective of helping disadvantaged artisans and craftsmen in the Northern part of India. Since then, it has been engaging in production and marketing of handmade crafts on fair trade principles. At present, the group works with more than 1000 craft artisan families. A critical part of this effort is the training provided to enhance the skill of the artisans, provide self-sustenance to women, and support livelihood activities to benefit the artisan families. The beautiful Floral Small Jewelry Box and the Tree of Life Paperweight were created by expert artisans from this group. Photo Courtesy – Our Partner Servv

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Floral Jewelry Box

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Tree of Life Paperweight

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