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Aesthetic handicrafts

Kalanjali showcases a range of traditional handicrafts



ARTISTIC TRADITION: Spruce up your interiors with artefacts PHOTO: K. ANANTHAN.

Ethnic crafts have always appealed to the urban populace. Amidst modern hues and a contemporary approach towards interiors, urban homes still retain traditional knick-knacks.

If you want to spruce up your interiors with a touch of ethnic art, walk into the `Kalanjali Crafts Bazaar-2005', an exhibition organised by the Uttar Pradesh Handicrafts and Handlooms Artisans Association at Jayams Hall, Race Course.

The idea is to promote traditional handicrafts and provide a platform for artisans from Uttar Pradesh. Artistes from other States also find some display space. And, the exhibition stands as proof of the dexterity, creativity and imaginative skills of these artisans.

Each item, be it the traditional `Camel chair' or the teakwood telephone stand, reflects craftsmanship and aesthetics.

At the entrance, one is greeted by woodcraft, wrought metal items from Ferozabad and handlooms from coastal Andhra Pradesh.

An interesting display is the intricately carved wooden telephone stand, complemented by a brass telephone instrument. It costs Rs. 5,400.

The traditional U.P. sofa set carved out of neem wood comes embellished with `lac' work and in two colours — brown and black. Each set costs Rs.18,000. Artisans from West Bengal have exhibited a collection of earrings and chains made of jute and terracotta priced between Rs. 15 and Rs. 110.

Pochampalli sarees, bedsheets, pillow covers, diwan sets and readymade materials, cotton printed materials and household articles carved out of wood are also available. Walnut woodcarvings from Sarangpur in Uttar Pradesh are appealing. Other items displayed include jewellery and fruit boxes, agarbathi stands, spoons and toys.

Says Narasimaiah from Andhra Pradesh: "We have exhibited cotton materials with kalamkari block prints. We have used eco-friendly colours, extracted from roots, fruits, jaggery and iron to print traditional designs."

Mangalgiri sarees are also available.

Bags made of handloom fabric, denim and jute with embroidery and chamki work, utility items made of jute, terracotta items, leather purses, embroidery from Agra, bags for women, cushion covers and bright wall hangings with fine needlework are also on display.

You can also pick ghaghra cholis from Rajasthan, handmade and embedded with mirror work, besides bandini work and silk sarees.

Palm leaf paintings from Orissa come in the form of wall hangings, bookmarks and greeting cards. The bamboo frame lends them a rich look. For those who love mouth-fresheners and digestives, there are also 40 varieties of supari to choose from.

Among other interesting items on show are lac bangles from Jaipur, white metal works from Rajasthan, stone paintings from Agra and silk cloth paintings from Varanasi. The exhibition is open between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. till May 16. A 10 per cent discount is available on handicraft items and 20 per cent on handlooms.

K. JESHI

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