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Trip through crafts heritage

The CCI exhibition brings the traditional crafts from various parts of the country under one roof


FOR SOME, it could mean just another exhibition, but for the innumerable unsung craftspersons, it's their lifeline. For more than three decades, the Crafts Council of India (CCI) has been on the job — bringing ancient arts and its practitioners from anonymity to limelight.

Through constant search, the CCI spots these traditionally skilled people and its bi-annual exhibition-cum-sale displays the old world crafts and provides the much-needed market for their creators. This year's second such show will be held on September 5 and 6 at Chola Sheraton, Radhakrishnan Salai (from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.).

About 20 craftspersons from all over the country will give Chennai-ites an opportunity to enjoy or own a piece of heritage. There will be saris, jewellery and fabric. Experience the splendour of six yards in Benaras silk, cotton, tussar, crepes, chiffons and georgettes embellished with traditional designs, motifs or embroidery. The designers include Abha Dalmia, Yusuf Khatri and Girija Prasad, known for their handwoven saris.

As for yardage, most of it carries the beauty of both worlds such as traditional designs on denim. In classic colour combinations and weaves in khadi, voile, chikan, vegetable dye etc., these are apparently the fabrics of the future.

Accessories in beads, light weight gold and Rajasthan's Thewa creations, catch the eye.

Can a woman sport a complete look without a dressy bag? Meera Mahadevia's bags are embellished with rich embroidery.

Established in 1964 by Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, with its headquarters in Chennai, the CCI has been helping craftspersons vent their creative energy. It is a voluntary, non-profit NGO, operating with a network of 14 affiliated State councils in craft documentation, design development, training artisans and upgrading technology.

CHITRA SWAMINATHAN

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