Aranmula Kannadi, a Malayalam term, refers to the Aranmula metal alloy mirror made by hand in Aranmula, a small settlement in the state of Kerala. Unlike the common silvered glass mirrors, this is a metal alloy mirror or front plane reflection mirror, which does away with any secondary reflections or irregularities typical of back surface mirrors.
The expression Chamba rumal entails a distinctive visual art form that symbolizes inimitable, and charming embroidery done on a hand spun textile with untwisted silk threads, greatly inspired by pahari paintings.
This craft form refers to the mordant painted and dyeing traditions done with a kalam (pen). An inimitable form of resist painting, Kalamkari is a part of a tradition of figurative, and narrative paintings used in temples for centuries.
Sandalwood carving dates back by many centuries, and a succession of ruling dynasties have conferred on it a royal status. Under such patronage, the craft flourished and entire families took to this trade.
Craftsmen from the Jangid community craft sandalwood into profusely patterned and highly decorative artefacts that are usually targeted at the export market.
The Ganjifa or Ganjappa cards have a history dating back to the seventh century A.D. Produced majorly by two neighboring states Karnataka (Mysore) and Orissa, these circular or rectangular cards have been traditionally handcrafted and painted by artisans.
Mellifluous in its name and form, Madhubani paintings are a product of the Mithila region where marshy swamps have bamboos and lotus buds blooming abound. The art heavily depicts the local flora and fauna of the expanse.
Thangka are paintings on cloth that depict the sku rten, the bodily forms of enlightened beings; or the diagrammatic mandala, the ‘sacred circle’ symbolizing the spiritual embodiment of the Buddha and the stages of spiritual realization.
Bagh block printing is a specific kind of block printing technique from the Bagh area in Madhya Pradesh. Bagh block printing is closely linked with the garment traditions of the Bhil and Bhilala tribes of Jhabua and Dhar.
Following the rules laid down by Shilpa Shastra, an ancient treatise on idol making and its specifications, the traditional art of Bell Metal work and idol making is deftly practiced by the Moosari community, which is a part of the larger Vishwakarma, or craftsmen community from Kerala. The material used is a super alloy bell metal and is made of copper and tin in 4:1 proportions.
Batik is an ancient art which uses wax and dyes to create a visual magic on fabrics. It is believed that the term is a derivation from the word Ambatik, which when translated literally stands for a piece of cloth with small dots or writing with wax, or drawing in broken lines.
Every bronze sculpture made is unique. Each one is created using the lost wax casting process for making metal statues in which a wax sculpture of an image is covered in clay, which is then baked. As the clay is heated, the wax melts away leaving a negative image of the sculpture inside the hardened clay.
Throughout Punjab, in the Hindu, Muslim and Sikh communities alike, women embroider odhni (veils) or chaddar (wraps) ornamented with phulkari, literally ‘flower work’ and bagh or garden, a variation where the embroidery completely covers the support material.
If one has ever visited the shrines of Noor-ud-din-Wali at Charar-e-Sharif, the Naqshbandi Mosque, or the shrine of Nund Rishi in Kashmir, one can start to fathom the sheer beauty of Walnut Wood Carving.
Moradabad is a principal cluster for art brassware in India. Brass, appreciated for its golden lustre, is sandcast, following which the various stages of production are handled by specialized craftsmen.
In Nagaland, wood carving as an art form relates mainly to architecture, and ceremonial dining utensils. It has been the forte of most of the 17 chief Naga communities in both eastern and western portions of the state.
Traditionally meant to adorn the walls of temples behind the idol of Shrinathji at Nathdwara, Picchwai paintings can be identified by the characteristic features of large eyes, broad nose, and a heavy body, similar to the features on the idol of Shrinath ji.
Gond fine art is a type of folk, and ethnic art that is practised by one of the largest tribes in the country – the Gonds – who are chiefly from Madhya Pradesh, but also based in pockets of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, and Orissa.
In the state of Rajasthan, Jaipur is where the main cluster for silver-coated art brass ware exists. Brass, known for its brilliant gloss, is first sandcast, and the different dimensions of production are taken care of by specific craftsmen in the region.
Intricate motifs and vivid colour schemes carefully worked over the fabric to create a bouquet on textile define a signature Parsi Gara sari. Parsi Gara saris are known for their exquisite, intricate work.
The tale of the Kanjeevaram silk sari traces back to Hindu folklore. Mythology has it that the Kanchi silk weavers are offsprings of Sage Markanda, who was known to be the master weaver for the celestial beings themselves.
The craftsmen of Manipur make baskets by cutting up whole bamboo poles into several pieces, usually about a metre long, as per the necessary requirements. The cut pieces are then split vertically into two.
Mekhela Chador is the indigenous customary Assamese dress, fundamentally the same as other conventional dresses of Southeast Asia (worn as a sarong) worn by ladies of any age with the exception of kids.
These sculptures have a unique style in the form ofnarrative plaques, tiles and murals made from the mud dug out of the banks of the river Banas. The craftsmen refrain from using any material that is not organic.
The Jaipuri quilt is unique for both its artistic looks as well as its functionality. These quilts are handmade and it involves skills related to textile-making, cotton carding, quilting and voile making.
The Jangids in Rajasthan region have extended their wood cutting skills to silver work as well, adjusting their prowess to demonstrate three-dimensional items on the lines of a vast number of silver items.
Patan Patola, one of the most celebrated textile traditions from Gujarat, is traditionally distinguished by the weaving of individually dyed warp and weft strands to generate surface patterns as per the design.
Kani means wooden bobbins or small sticks in Kashmiri. Shawls are woven into intricate patterns, with the weft thrown across before coloured threads are woven in on a meticulous, coded pattern drawn by a master craftsman.
Papier-mache; French for “chewed paper”, is a composite material consisting of paper pieces or pulp, sometimes reinforced with textiles, bound with an adhesive, such as glue, starch, or wallpaper paste.
India has three main centres of Ikat weaving – Telangana , Orissa and Gujarat. Pochampally (Telangana) ikat uses double ikat technique and boasts of transferring the intricate design onto the fabric with nothing short of perfection.
Glass came to India with the invaders from the Islamic world. It was Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh that became the centre of excellence and met the royal demand for jhad and fanus (types of chandeliers), and produced vials for perfumes.
Traditionally stitched by village women in Gujarat’s Kachch region for themselves, their families, festive occasions, to honour deities or to generate wealth, the beautifully patterned Kachchi Embroidery on tie-dyed black wool epitomises the celebration of life.
The illustrative Pahari painting (literally translating to ‘a painting from the mountainous area’; pahar is ‘mountain’ in Hindi) is a wider term used to denote a form of Indian paintings, fashioned mostly in miniature shapes.