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Indian handicraft

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India

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The land of mystics

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Cradle of Civilization

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Which has left its impression on… Sands of time

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I Anushka Shah

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Proudly presents… Handicrafts of INDIA

which is the cornerstone of:

which is the cornerstone of Our history, culture, tradition & art

Introduction:

Introduction There are references to 64 arts in ancient Indian literature. Since time immemorial, India has been considered to be a land with rich cultural heritage having traces of different cultures in music, dance, architecture, skills, handicrafts, paintings and literally arts.

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Art of Clay Work Clay crafts in India is an ancient art form dating back to more than 1000 years. Highly skilled potters who were present in ancient India were of the time of Indus Valley Civilization. Jhuker pottery a famous clay art in India has its roots deeply associated with Harappan civilization. Some other clay art famous in India are:- 1) Red Ware 2) Painted Grey Ware 3) Northern Black Polished Ware 4) Black Pottery 5) Terracotta

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Kubas Terracotta Varities

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There are a wide variety of clay crafts in India. For instance the Bengali Surai, the kagzi or paper pottery of Alwar,,the painted pottery of Bikaner, the colourful Khurja pottery of Uttar Pradesh, etc. Some other potteries of India are Blue Pottery of Jaipur, Pokran Pottery and a lot more. Clay figures painted and dressed up in muslins, silks and sequins are modeled at Kolkata, Lucknow and Pune. Centers of clay crafts in India

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Weaving Embroidery Knitting

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PATOLA BANDHANI

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LEATHER Leather had a particular place in India in ancient time (golden, silver thread work). Leather was prominently used for making “Mashak” (a leather bag for fetching water), the bellows used by blacksmiths, shoes, purses, and leather strips to pets were used widely. Leather was tanned traditionally in those days. Later on, things were produced according to daily needs. leather industry had a prominent and specific place of its own in India. Well knitted ‘Mojadi’ of Rajasthan, shoes, leather knitted purses, belts and other things made out of the leather for horse and camel like saaj, palan, lagaam were very much in use.

BEAD WORK OF INDIA:

BEAD WORK OF INDIA

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Beadwork Beadwork is the art or craft of attaching beads to one another or to cloth, usually by the use of a needle and thread or soft, flexible wire. Most beadwork takes the form of jewelry or other personal adornment, but beads are also used in wall hangings and sculpture . Beadwork techniques are broadly divided into loom and off-loom weaving, stringing , bead embroidery , bead crochet , and bead knitting . Most cultures have employed beads for personal adornment. Archaeological records show that people made and used beads as long as 5,000 years ago. Beads have also been used for religious purposes, as good luck talismans , and as curative agents. 3D beading is less common than 2D beading, largely because free 3D beading patterns are not well distributed on the internet.Resources are scarce and difficult to find. It is mainly an oriental art form. There are different techniques of enamelling and one of them is when a vitreous coating is fused on to a metallic surface. Transparent colourless glass is used for the first layer. A molten coloured material is made into cakes. These are ground to powder and applied on the object to be enamelled . This is fired in a furnace until the enamel fuses on to the base. The earliest samples of enamel using glass can be traced to before 2,500 B.C. to the Sumerian and Egyptian civilisations . (" Enamelling not only enhances the value and beauty of jewellery , but also serves as a parameter to test the purity of precious metals".) Akbar, who was one of the chief patrons of art and craft, encouraged the production of meenakari in his imperial karkhanas . The art flourished and peaked during the reign of Emperor Shah Jehan . Jaipur is a big centre for enamelling , and craftsmen here reached the heights of excellence in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Lucknow and Rampur are important regions for enamelling using silver. Other areas of enamelling are Kutch in Gujarat, Multan, Sindh , Bahawalpur, Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir and Delhi. Enamelwork In India

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India has long been known for its gold thread, zari. Even in the Vedic age, zari is thought to have adorned the attire of gods, and has held therefore a distinguished place among Indian crafts. Historically, zari consisted of pure silver wires whose surface was fused with real gold leaves. This was known as kalabattu.The enduring story of zari has been a result of the traditional skill of Indian craftsmen who have for centuries practiced the craft regardless of its material returns. To keep pace with current demand, zari craftsmen have successfully made the transition from traditional techniques to modern ones, while continuing to emphasize their self-reliance. Even today, all equipment used in zari manufacture, from start to finish, is locally fabricated and conditioned. This self-sufficiency makes the zari industry a unique one. Zari is usually of three types. 1. Real Zari 2. Imitation Zari 3. Plastic Zari The principal Indian markets for zari products are Chennai, Mysore, Bangalore, Salem, Madurai, Kanchipuram, and Kumbakonam in the south; Jaipur, Delhi, Amritsar and Varanasi in the north; Kolkata in the east; and Mumbai and Nagpur in the west. Zari-embroidered cushion covers, table mats, sofa spreads, bedspreads, chair covers, wall hangings and bags are also exported to many countries in the Middle East. Most of the embroidery work is done in Jhansi, Jaipur, Bareilly, Farrukhabad and Kutch. Zari work

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The art of metal work is known to Indians for almost 5000 years from now. The beautiful image of the dancing girl from Mohanjodaro bears testimony. This indicates the high level of workmanship attained by ancient craftsmen. Traditionally, Indian craftsmen have been using different metals like iron, copper, silver and alloys like bronze, bell metal, white metal etc to produce items such as pots, pans, utensils, photo frames, sculptures of deities, mythological figures and animals. The iron pillar at Mehrauli (Delhi), belonging to the Mauryan is a fine example of Indian craftsmen's excellence. During the Chola period also the art of metalworking reached great heights. The Chola craftsmen were past masters at making bronze sculptures. Sculptures are usually made with the lost wax technique. In this process a wax model of the sculpture or any item is created. This model is then covered with clay and holes are made into the clay. Finally molten metal is poured through the hole at the top, causing the wax to melt. The cavity created within is automatically replaced by the hot metal. The metal is allowed to cool and the final product is freed from clay and polished. Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh is renowned for its brass items like pots, trays, bowls and ornamental pieces are made and are decorated with intricate etching. Banaras is well known for cast sculptures of deities and household utensils. Rajasthan , Jaipur is the main center for brass engraving and lacquering. The main items that are produced here are photo frames, bowls, plates, boxes etc. Jaipur is also known for its bronze sculptures. At Alwar the art of Koftagari or damascening work is practiced. In many other states also the art of metal work flourishes. They are Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Tamil Nadu. Metal Work

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Wood was chosen by craftsmen because of the durability and for its potential as a carving medium. The culture of wood art of India was initiated in 19 th C and due to their flexibility to adopt the environment and for their constancy. As a contemporary artistic medium, wood is used in traditional and modern styles, and is an excellent medium for new art . Wood is used in forms of sculpture , craft, and decoration including chip carving , wood burning , and marquetry . Wood offers a fascination, beauty, and complexity in the grain, that often shows even when the medium is painted. Wood is used by carpenters to create many useful items such as cabinets, furniture and musical instruments. Artists use wood for sculpture because it is plentiful and inexpensive when compared to other media like stone or bronze. It is in some ways easier to shape than harder substances, but an artist must develop specific skills to carve it properly. Working with wood pertains mainly to "cutting away the material that doesn't look like the object in mind." Saws , rasps , chisels , gouges and knives are all useful, and must be well sharpened to work effectively and safely. Dull tools are actually more dangerous than sharp ones; excessive force used on a dull edge can lead to slips and injury. Wood art

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Wood art of Nepal Lac work Bajoth

INLAY WORK:

INLAY WORK One cannot help but admire the intricacy of marble inlay work on various architectural marvels constructed by Mughals like Taj Mahal or buildings within Red Fort of Agra. Mosaic inlay work was however prevalent in India even before the arrival of the Mughals . Colored or partly colored patterns on ceilings, walls and floors could often be seen in temples. Cups and vases with inlay work of different colors were also made. Walls were covered with large pieces of red, yellow and black stone, to make a pattern-usually geometrical. *HISTORY Inlay work on delicate shives of precious stone began in the workshops of Florence in Italy around the end of the 16th century. This was known as pietra dura . The Italians had created a classic artistic form and held a monopoly over it. From 1630 onwards pietra dura appeared on moveable, small objects as decorative panels, with bird and flower motifs, suitable for cabinet fronts and table tops. Some of these soon reached the Mughals in the form of presents. Of all the Mughal Emperors, Shah Jahan was the greatest patron of architecture in India. It is in his buildings that one feels most compelled to make the connection between Mughal art and pietra dura . Unlike the pietra dura of Italy and particularly the Florentine tradition, Indian inlay work is not three-dimensional but more flat. The Mughal adaptations have ensured that the European birds have been replaced by the Indian kingfisher, myna, and red-breasted parakeet. With the exit of the Mughals , the art of marble inlay work also started to decline. The number of craftsmen engaged in this art began to dwindle. So much so that in the mid-19th century there were only 100 craftsmen specializing in this work.

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REVIVAL The art saw its revival in around 1950s with the setting up of organizations like the Development Commission and the Handicrafts Board. Today, apart from Florence in Italy, Agra is the only place in the world where any kind of marble inlay work is being done. There are around 3000-4000 marble inlay craftsmen in Agra. The marble inlay work can be found on large and small boxes, pill boxes, plates, table tops and small hangings inlaid with colored stones. The more the pieces of precious and semiprecious stone, the more expensive the product. MAKING THE PRODUCT For the craftsmen in this trade the actual tools used remain much the same as those used in the Mughal period. A design, be it a floral or geometrical motif is cut out on a brass sheet. This is then placed on marble, drawn and then the marble is carved out. Slices of precious and semi-precious stones, which have in the meantime been shaped and polished, are then laid into the marble with adhesive. (The adhesive is a mixture of oil, lead oxide and wax made into white putty). After it has dried, the surface and edges are polished to give a shiny finish. For slicing pieces of stone to be inlaid, a bow saw strung with copper wire of upto five strands was used during the Mughal time. Separation between strands set the thickness of the shives of stone and this very same method is used even today. Sharp eyes and dexterous hands are a must for this work.

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The marvel of agate stone reveals natural formations which appear like portrayed images of forests, rivers, serpents and the like. Akik is the vernacular name used for the stone, which in Sanskrit denotes riverbed. Certain river banks in Gujarat are bejeweled by this semiprecious stone and are extracted to develop vast array of products. The stone belonging to the Carnelian family is formed of chalcedonic silica found either underground in mines, beds of rivers or hill slopes. Wide-ranging collection of agate stone is found in fleshy, cloudy tones of yellow, white, gray, brown and sap green. The beauty and uniqueness of agate or akik products lie in the fact that no two products look alike or are similar in appearance. Agate stone enchants any woman by the enthralling range of jewelry fashioned of this natural material while any household can be adorned by the beautifying texture of agate sculptures or floorings, utensils and other varied range of goods. By the 20th century, with the changing needs and taste of the consumer agate industry went through a set back. Nevertheless at present with the variety of new designs and patterns introduced by the Agate artists, the art form is again being revived and esteemed for its magnificence. Akik work

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The various types of Indian paintings are a reflection of rich culture and affluent past of India. The books of history are a proof to the lively trade of various styles of paintings of India. The major focus of Indian paintings is most of the times seen to be revolving around mythological themes as well as indigenous traditions. The types of Indian paintings were many but the themes were not very different yet the final product had its own peculiarities and specialties. Some of the popular types of Indian paintings are listed below for your information. 1.Madhubani Painting 2. Tanjore Paintings 3. Rajput Paintings 4. Mysore paintings 5. Gupta Period Paintings Apart from the given form of paintings, other popular types of Indian paintings are Indian Miniature, Mughal Paintings, Modern Paintings, Pithora Paintings, Ragamala Paintings, Nirmal Paintings, Indian Batic Paintings, etc. In a nutshell, there are various types of Indian paintings which cannot be summated in words. The legacy of Indian art is vast and rich which is difficult to end up few words. After the British Raj came to India the art gradually started acquiring a global and modern character. Further, after globalization touched Indian economy and Indian artists started interacting with their foreign counterparts, the art in India underwent a sudden transformation from concrete to abstract and modern. Each and every artist of India has contributed towards bringing the artistic practices to a stature where it is close to the best and enjoys fame and appreciation worldwide. As a result Indian Art has acquired a new character and a thing of passion for the art collectors worldwide.

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Famous Master Painters of India Well known master painters in India are celebrated all over the planet. A few master painters from the whole constellation are mentioned below. M.F. Hussain : He was born on 17th September, 1915 in Pandharpur, Maharashtra. His name doesn’t need any introduction. He is globally popular. Legacy of his artworks are kept in collections at various reputed places. S.H. Raza (Syed Haider Raza) : Born in 1922 in Madhya Pradesh, this artist is one of the most illustrious artists of the India. Since 1950, S. H. Raza has been settled in France and is working there. However, he has not untied his bonds with his motherland. Raja Ravi Varma : This 19th century artist was born on 29th April 1848 in Kilimanoor, Kerala. His amazing paintings mainly revolve around the great epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. He is largely celebrated for such paintings. Abanindranath Tagore : He was the nephew of Rabindranath Tagore. He was born on 7thAugust 1871. Amongst the most protuberant artists of the Bengal school of painting, this artist stands prominently. He was the first group of artists who backed Swadeshi values in the Indian art. Amrita Shergill : She was an artist who had a mix of Hungarian and Indian parentage. She was born on 30th January, 1913 in Budapest, Hungary. She was renowned for her most unique subjects of paintings and presentation in bold styles. Died at a very young age, she carved a niche for herself in Indian art sphere in just a very short span of time. M.V. Dhurandhar : Born in 1867 in Kolhapur, Maharashtra; this artist depicted women in their daily life at their best. Rini Dhumal : This artist was born in Bengal in 1948. She depicts the polish and charisma of prints in painting. The artist is really extremely careful regarding the expression of her paintings. Justin Ponmany : Born in Kerala in 1974; creations of this artist are inspired by a city or landscape which is being constructed and not coming to an end with the construction. Seema Ghurayya : This painter was born in 1964. She employs the ingenuousness of the canvas and the effortlessness of paint so that her works can voice for themselves. Her minimalist pictorial language is also very abstract.

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PRSENTING YOU THE ART GALLERY

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Music has always occupied a highly important stature in Indian culture. The music of India includes several varieties of music including folk, classical, pop and film. It is believed that the Indian music came into being with the chanting of Vedic hymns. There are references to various string and wind instruments, several kinds of drums and cymbals in the Vedas. Bharata composed the Natyasastra (Treatise on the Dramatic Arts) between the 2nd and 5th century AD. Since then, the treatise has influenced the development of Indian music, dance and the performing arts. The term ‘Raga’, the base of the Indian music, was first discussed in the Brihaddesi, the 10th century work attributed to Matanga. Sarngadeva, the author of Sangitaratnakara listed 264 ragas in the 13th century. The credit of introducing the system of classical music goes to Amir Khusro. Traditionally, the songs were composed in Sanskrit. But by the 16th century, they were being composed in the various Hindi dialects such as Braj Bhasa and Bhojpuri as well as Persian and Urdu. The poet-saints like Surdas, Tulsidas, Kabir and Mirabai made devotional songs (Bhajans) highly popular. Indian folk music is as diverse as its vast cultural diversity. It has many forms including Bhavageeta, Bhangra, Lavani, Dandiya, Rajasthani and Bauls. Folk music has its influences on classical music as well. Instruments and styles of folk music have left their impact on classical ragas. Most of the folk music of India is dance- oriented. Rabindranath Tagore has contributed immensely to Indian music. He created a collection of over 2,000 songs in Bengali now famous as Rabindra Sangeet. It is primarily influenced by Hindustani thumri style of music.

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The word ‘ Nritiya ’ has been derived from the original Sanskrit word ‘ Nrit ’. Dance is a one of the mediums of realizing beauty, with ‘ Taal ’ and ‘ Laya ’ (rhythm and harmony) for the realization of aesthetic joy. Shiva, the originator of dance is the lord of dance. Shiva is, therefore said to be ‘ Natraj ’. He was the first to bring down music from the heaven to the earth to teach this art to the people. India has a wide variety of traditional classical dances- Bharatnatyam , Kuchipuddi , Kathakali, Manipuri, Kathak and Odissi etc.

Kathakali:

Kathakali

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The rhythm, Bhangis and Mudras used in Odissi dance have a distinct style of its own. The dance is performed mainly with the theme of Infinite love of Lord Krishna and Radha . Odissi includes both Tandava and Lasya elements. It has Navatala system. But the element that distinguishes Odissi form other dance forms is the grace. In Odissi, the torso movement is considered very important which is soft, lyrical and graceful

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Sanskrit drama is part of Sanskrit literature, the classical literature of India, which flourished from about 1500 B.C. to about A.D. 1100. The earliest extant critical work on Sanskrit drama is attributed to Bharata , the legendary formulator of the dramatic art in India. That work, the Na ya-sastra (c.2d cent. A.D.) is relatively late but could be a reworking of a much earlier version. References to the drama and to dramatic criticism in the work of the grammarian Panini constitute a more certain indication of an early date for Sanskrit drama. The earliest-known Sanskrit playwright was Bhasa (c.3d cent. A.D.) while among the most renowned were Kalidasa , Bhavabhuti (c.8th cent. A.D.), and King Harsha . Few Sanskrit plays survive, perhaps due to the limited size of their exclusively aristocratic audience as well as to their antiquity. The Sanskrit plays were performed in palaces and, as in all Asian drama, the performances were highly stylized in terms of gesture and costume, and music and dance played a significant part in them. To the Westerner, Sanskrit plays would probably seem overladen with religious and supernatural elements. However, they are also firmly grounded in the real world, which often forms a positive contrast to the negative aspects of the supernatural; the plays of Kalidasa convey a sense of the natural world with a fine simplicity, whereas those of Bhavabhuti depict a more grandiose nature.

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dramas of bhasa Karnabhar Urubhanga

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Famous plays of kalidas M alvikagnimitram Vikramovarshiyam Abhigam Shakuntalam

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