Drenched in colour
Bold motifs and bright hues ... so typically Oriyan.
THE GREAT Orissa Arts and Crafts Mela brings superb functional and decorative artefacts from a State where traditional handicrafts are still a vibrant part of life. While whole villages weave Sambhalpuri, Katki and Bomkai saris, many streets in Puri are identified by the handicrafts fashioned there, such as doll making, silver filigree work and stone sculptures, fashioned by traditional craft persons.
The Mela, organised by Utkalika, the Orissa State emporium, presents all the fabled crafts and weaves of the State: sandstone icons, silver filigree jewellery, patachitra paintings, appliqué work, palm leaf engravings, dhokraware, grass crafts and much much more! The sweep of the craft language is immense and embraces the classical, folk and tribal genres.
The choice of craft products offered at the mela is dazzling. Some of the prettiest and most exquisitely fashioned dhokraware icons and artefacts are placed beside sculpted stone icons and apsaras standing under the typical Oriya canopy of leafy trees. The grainy nature of the red sandstone gives a weather-beaten, antique look to the sculpted pieces.
Lifestyle items such as Pipli appliqué worked garden umbrellas, wall hangings and cushion covers, showcased at the mela are a tribute to the intricate and minutely detailed applique work of the State with motifs which celebrate the flora and fauna of Orissa as well as vignettes of daily life. The palm leaf engravings, another unique craft has minutely etched detailed panorama of scenes from the epics and local legends. Muted and mellow, the vegetable dyed engravings can be presented as wall hangings, bookmarks, greeting cards, etc.
Colour drenches the typical Oriya crafts of Patachitra and tussar paintings. Full of boldly delineated forms and figures taken mostly from mythological tales, the Patachitra paintings have a touch of the Bengal tribal school. Fragrant golden grass products are another special craft of Orissa with items ranging from well-crafted boxes to tablemats and coasters.
As ever, Orissa's textiles are a prime attraction. Silk and cotton Sambhalpuri ikats and Bonkai saris and dupattas with their typical motifs and borders unfold a wealth of choice in colours and designs. The vegetable dyed saris are stunning examples of the traditional weaver's sense of colour and harmony. Also available are vegetable dyed cotton and silk dress materials, bedspreads and cushion covers.
The crafts mela, on at Sri Sankara (Mini) Hall, 1st Floor, 267, TTK Road, Alwarpet, ends on January 16.
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