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Monday, Oct 20, 2003

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Designer DIYAS

Beautifully crafted diyas beckon attention at some of the outlets in the city this season


THE EARTHEN diya reflects an ancient design sense that is simple and stunning in concept and universal in appeal. The Diwali season sees a proliferation of clay creativity ranging from roadside agals to designer diyas displayed in art and craft boutiques. The newly opened Pothole (10, Greenways Road, RA Puram) showcases some brilliant diyas crafted by ceramic designers from all over the country. While Aarti Vir's salt glazed white and black diyas in crumpled shapes are objets d'art, Sharada Gopalan's traditional terracotta lamps are eye-catching.

There are also diyas with zari and mirror in exuberant colours. Seventh Sense (4th Main Road, Gandhi Nagar, Adyar) has on its shelves delightfully imaginative diyas with sharply cut edges embellished with cut work covers and filled with bright coloured wax. Artistic are `fragrant' wax and `pot' diyas for the garden.

Mirror work and zari embellished diyas are also available at Poompuhar (Anna Salai) while Crafts and Weaves (CIT Colony) and Contemporary Arts and Crafts (C. P. Ramaswamy Road, Alwarpet) specialise in traditional diyas as well as those embellished with fragrant dried flowers of Pondicherry.

At Craft O' Mania (Buckhingam Gardens, 61/19 Mc Nicholls Road, Chetpet), Ganesha and Lakshmi diyas with 21 or 11 spouts, diyas shaped like China leaves and shaded roses, tiny Parvati Ganesha lamps and much else vie for attention.

Made out of clay from West Bengal, the diyas in vivid shades of yellow, blue, pink, gold and silver are well crafted.

Then there are diyas created by the special children of the Spastics Society of Tamil Nadu, Taramani, under a special vocational training scheme. Huge, colourful and lacquered, the children have created diyas with a burning time of nearly 20 hours! And they are special not just because they light up Diwali but also the future of many of these gifted, challenged children.

PUSHPA CHARI

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