Craft fairs and exhibitions are always a treat for the eyes. The splendid display of the legacy crafts of India create an aura of showmanship, worthy to be seen any number of times. One such recurring craft exhibition is the DesiKala exhibition, which presented a wide range of handmade home decor and accents, stylish one-of-a-kind jewelry, cane and bamboo products, wooden toys, handwoven textiles and clothing, complete with accessories like bags, sandals, travel knick-knacks and more.
Artists traveled from states all over India to showcase their artform and the work behind it – prominently from Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Maharastra, and more. They displayed their quaint and colorful wares with demonstrations of workmanship that was quite appealing. Few were old-timers, taking part in the Desikala exhibits from time to time, while new artists also showed their delicately made creations and talked about them with pride. Here are a few glimpses from the exhibition.
Wrought iron handicrafts displayed their hue and color with pride. The intricate handpainted motifs talked of the hard work of the artisan, bringing out the collection in the brightest possible way. The couple artisans at this stall were from Rajasthan, and talked of their familiarity at being at DesiKala, while talking about the way wrought iron products were made. Overall, an impactful curio of decor.
Another seasoned artisan talked about the elegant fusion of Dhokra and Warli artforms, displaying mixed media work in the modern forms of wall hangings.
A colorful eclectic display of Channapatna handmade toys attracted all ages alike.
Accessories like handbags, sling bags and pouches all in handmade fabric and block prints brought in a cheerful view.
Jewelry and home furnishings presented for a dashing display, bringing out the flair in a colorful way.
Pattachitra art and the palm leaf art presented a level of intricacy that was adorable. In Pattachitra, the artist takes small strips of cotton cloth. The canvas is prepared by applying a mix of chalk with gum prepared from tamarind seeds. This mixture gives the cloth a leathery finish. Then the artist draws the picture, and paints it with stone and vegetable colors. A final lacquer coating is given to protect it from natural weather conditions.
Another form of Pattachitra is the palm leaf art, where dried palm leaves are used. This is a complicated form of art, as the artist has to stich up the little bits of palm leaves to make it look like one single piece. Many of the stories are borrowed from the Hindu mythology. The artist then draws using a piece of iron nib to engrave and etch out designs on the palm leaves. The black tones are gathered from tree saps, or kajal (used on the eyes) and sometimes, natural colors are used with brushes to fill in the figurines as per the artist’s imagination.
Brass and Dhokra handicrafts created a golden display, bringing in a mix of tradition and craftsmanship together.
This craft fair is an example of the artisans coming from all over the states of India, eager to present their precious crafts, talk about them and showcase the skills learned through generations. It is motivating to talk to these artisans, get a glimpse of their passion and help preserve these ancient crafts.
Cherish artisan crafts, help preserve them!