Interventions

Eclectic mix of arty options at Surajkund

The 30th Surajkund International Crafts Mela-2016 embodies various arts and crafts not only of India but also of other nations with matching crafts and traditions
Eclectic mix of arty options at Surajkund

Rich culture, immense art forms, foot tapping music and vibrant colours reflect the fascinating display of culture. Every Work Hut specializes in some or the other art and craft.

A Ravi Varma painting, Michael Angelo masterpiece, favourite photograph imprinted on the inimitable surface of a genuine terracotta artifact through the exotic French decorative art of decoupage. One can discover it all at Stall no. 544 set up by Integrated Rural Technology Centre, Kerala. There is an interesting collection of vases with photographs of great leaders like Vivekananda, APJ Abdul Kalam, Gods and Goddesses. Pradosh EK, artisan at this stall, explains, “This is an art of decorating an object by gluing a photograph onto the surface of a clay pot and combining it with special paint effects, gold leaf and so on.”

Each layer is sealed with varnishes (often multiple coats) until the "stuck on" appearance disappears and the result looks like painting or inlay work. It takes about 3-4 days to make one piece and involvement of number of artists to prepare one vase. These vases are priced from Rs 600 onwards.

A glance at Abi Handicrafts stall no. 548 showcasing atypical style centre tables, dressing tables, corners and artifacts leaves everybody spellbound. A Rahman, the creator of this unique furniture tells that his furniture is made from naturally destroyed wood or from the roots of the decomposed tree. There is an elaborate process of two to three months to refurbish the wood, which is moved through fires flames, masked with mud and immersed in water, naturally dried and then turned into a piece of furniture in its natural form.

Adds Rahman, “The original shape and finish of the wood is restored in each piece of my furniture, which is made from antique teak wood. This is what makes my furniture stand out.” He has also brought handcrafted wooden animal figurines like deer and rhino and roots of trees in unique shapes as décor items.

The finely sculpted wooden replicas of the India Gate and Bahai House of Worship and scenes from Hindu epics like Mahabharata have come to the Mela at stall number 1002. Person manning the stall – Mahesh Chand Sharma – sits unassumingly, letting the visitors do the talking as they enquire about the pieces carved by him. On little prodding, the 69-year-old master craftsman, from old Delhi, tells that he is a Shilp Guru awardee in ivory and wood carving. “I am also training the inmates of Tihar jail (Delhi) to making different forms by carving wood. They are also taught carpentry so that they can become self-reliant and are able to fend for themselves once they get out of the prison,” he says.

Jute can be crafted into varied forms is something that one can discover at the stall no. 504 of the Mela. Sovarani Podder, a national award winner from West Bengal has brought to the Mela a host of jute-made items which include different types of dolls, idols of Gods, snake charmer, drummer, village belle and so on.  

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BK Jha is the Special Correspondent of Rural & Marketing. Prior to this he has been associated with The Hindustan Times, Political and Business Daily along with many other media organisations.
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