Crafty Story – 1

Craft is such subject that how much you explore will make you more inquisitive. It opens the vision to look beyond the current lifestyles and takes you to the tradition where it evolved to how it reaches to other cultured areas. India is full of crafts. Just like there are endless traditions to follow, there are lots of crafts to do. That gives customer a wide variety to choose from. And if taking about Indian craft the best place to buy at one place; none other than India’s very own Dilli Haat.

There is a fair ongoing – Savan saras, 2006 with crafts from all states of India. There were awesome toys collection made of wood, paper, coconut & jute etc. But today I am just fascinated with paper.

papier mache pots.

Paper is such a versatile material that how much you appreciate it is less. The history of paper is very old; originated from papyrus and in between somewhere comes the papier-mâché. It’s a french word means chewed paper. Through at times textiles, wood grains or all-purpose floor etc can be use too. This art originated in China, no exact years are defined but patented by Henry Clay of Birmingham, U.K. It was one of the common techniques to make puppets, dolls in 19th century. And till date it is an appealing craft to entertain children.

After all paper is one of first composite material that’s used to make strong structure. I was surprised to know there were paper boats that really floated in river. (Not our childhood days paper boats)Yes, Paper canoe that was hit in 1800 in America. Paper strips are added by using glue or other way is making a papier-mâché paste by using one part water in one part flour. Or at times by adding diluted glue and using different moulds to get a shape. Paint, decorations or varnishing happens when it get dried.

Lamp shades A mask -papier mache.

This way the creation of a papier-mâché object can be divided into two distinct categories 1.Sakhtsazi (making the object) and 2. Naqashi (painting the surface).

So how did this amazing craft reach to India, that too paradise of earth (Kashmir). Sultan Zain-ul-Adidin was the person behind bringing it to the valley in 15th century. Kashmir is famous for papier-mâché intricate painted tiny boxes and huge vases.

The colors used for it are obtained by grinding and soaking various vegetable mineral dyes in pigment or stone form. Evergreen patterns in papier-mâché are sparkling running streams, lotuses blooming in Dal Lake, green fields contrasting with white snow capped mountains, tiny songbirds perch & nest and other colorful floral designs. Gold, silver are also used to make big articles.

Dolls and much more.

This craft is also practice in other part of India, like in Kerala for making huge Kathkali masks, in Odisha to depict the deities so in Gwalior (Mandhya Pradesh) for largely making the toys. A differentiating difference can be seen in products made in tribal parts and the people who use wooden mould to do papier-mâché. It gives fine finishing as compare to products made by giving shape through hands.

Palki- traditional mode (a ritual) for carrying indian bridal after marriage.

And what papier-mâché do offer, a range of souvenir to gift on Christmas, and on other occasion from light weight toys to bright and appealing boxes & vases. And painting style on each object will tell the story from where it is coming. There is so much to cherish with this brilliant craft which has no definitive way to do still anyone can make awesome articles with little bit understanding and unlimited imagination.

Papier mache animals!

* This is series of post on Indian crafts & toys made by using paper, wood, cloths etc.
** All Photos taken by me are from Dili haat’s different stalls.

Flower Power.

Flower, a most subtle thing, created with precision and colors are added to make it appealing, aroma is sprayed to smell nice. I remember when I was a kid I used to go to my big garden everyday (My father used to be very fond of flowers and there were some rare varieties of plants). I used to collect Harsinghar flowers, that bloom at very early morning and than fall down by 6-7am and many more flowers to make garland along with my grandmother. Decorating flowers and putting a bunch of white roses next to my deep in slumber sister. Those were days.

I get fascinated by seeing the forms of the flowers, the way petals opens by silently uncovering the sepals and long stigma pop out and the way tiny pollen remain stick to anther. Even the fashion of flower arrangement on a thin flower stalk along with green leaves. These forms inspire me for lots of ideas when I think of generating concepts and doing brainstorming. The color combinations from vibrant hues to earthy shades conspire huge palette for the whole project branding.

Few days back From Sree I come to know about Flower Fest and decided to make something, as I’m not a painter or doesn’t travel much so clicking photographs was also not possible. I had few pictures of spider lily flowers; clicked by me last year in March month.

Spider lily-Paavani.jpg Amaryllis -Paavani.jpg
Spider lilies. (click to see bigger size image) Amaryllis

Than in another one I used mix media (you can see canvas imprint in leaves) and little bit of Photoshop®.

I have chosen Amaryllis, which is a flower of splendid beauty and represents pride. The lily is a white spider lily (H. caroliniana). It is a member of the amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae). A hardy amaryllis bulb, inhabitant to moist stream banks in the forests or along roadsides.

It’s rightly said by Ralph Emerson, Earth laughs in flowers.

Flower Fest

One more addition.

Few days back I received a mail regarding being a contributor to a quite young blog; maintained by few teenagers and some youngsters. Myself who hardly write on own blog will write what there, than I thought what would be the best place to talk about generation’s issues and much more general topics other than Fonzter.

So here goes my first post for Fonzter that too my first ever written review on a film.

Return of Lord Ganesha.

Ganesh, Son of Shiv & Parvati. Ganesha a Sanskrit language word means Gana (the host/ multitudes/ troops of demigods) and Isha means ruler. So ganpati- the master of the hosts, rulling over the benign as well as the malevolent inner-plane beings. Who controls things by strategy & intelligence.

Bholenath Mitr Mandal ganesh Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati

And Ganesh Chaturthi is an occasion on which Lord Ganesha birthday is celebrated. Ganesh or Vinayaka is elephant headed and worshiped for intelligence, prosperity and happiness. Through he is God of all but specially in Maharastra, Karnataka & Andhra Pradesh this festival is celebrated with grand splendor. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Ananta Chaturdashi (in aug-sep. month) by doing the visarjan (immersion) of the Ganesha idol. So idol is set on a raised platform and after 10 days Murti (idol) is taken in a possession, where devotees singing – Ganpati babba moraya Purchya Varshi Laukariya ( means - O father Ganesha, come next year too). And idol is immersed in river or sea.Some more interesting facts on Ganesha and on going festival can be check from here - Including a link to amazing Ganesha. You can check images of Pune (Maharastra) Ganeshotsav festival too.

Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati-temple.jpeg Direct from Hyderabad- Thanks Gaurang.jpeg
Symbolism Inherent in Lord Ganesha, a graphical representation. ganesha_symbolism.gif

There are 32 forms of Ganpati from Bala-Ganpati to Sankathara Ganpati. You would love to read this page as its not only include pictures but also talks about the favorite sweet of Ganesha.

Artist at making idol Ganesha- Sand art

Ganesha idol or sculpture can be made out of wood, plaster of Paris, fabric or metal but most accepted is made in clay. And to make such huge size clay idol for the festival functions and homes there are craft persons who are into this throughout the year or atleast 2 months before the festival.
Ganeshas at a stall Boy selling Ganesha idols

The making of it involves soft clay generally costs 5 rupees per kg. (But In Tamil Nadu the idols are made from mud and left unpainted.) Small idols can be moulds but bigger one are made in parts and pasted together. It takes one month to make it dry then it is spray painted, special colors are available for it in market specially if you talk about Mumbai’s Lalbag area. There is trained master to paint the eyes of Ganesha, as it demands high precision. It goes to market in 500 Rs or above depending on the size & design of the idol. It requires lots of space to fabricate and store the work for a craft man. And for them it’s not business, it is like a sacred hobby that they keep pursuing years after years.

baby_ganeshaganesh at back- tatoo art

Ganesha is so much famous worldwide so offcourse how to revenue. Things from soothing Ganesha music to funky graphics and ready to wear Ganesha T-shirt and key chains, dolls, coins & stamps etc. When there are too much to look for offcourse there are few crazy collector for them too. Few avid photographer.(Another nice collection on Ganesh’s pictures by Amit Kulkarni.)

Mr. Dattatray Kanekar already a Limca book of records holder for accruing the biggest private collection of Ganesha idols.

Mr. Dattatray Kanekar already a Limca book of records holder for accruing the .With so much to talk about the Lord Ganesha. Ganpati to Crorepati – here is a 50 million rupees value Ganesha idol and there are the idol maker who hardly earns money after round the year hardwork that too in Mumbai’s rain. And what to say about the sea condition; too much of colorful mud and smelling flowers etc going in deep water.

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I just say Ganpati Bappa Moraya. Bring more happiness next time.

Floody Bloody.

Most of people whom I know love rain. For unknown reasons I don’t like. Might be it make me cry as in rain no one can see the tears. Apart from lines of Charlie Chaplin; it’s raining heavily in Delhi and it’s difficult to travel with a heavy bundle and searching here and there for auto rickshaws. (Yeah, I don’t have driving license ) ) I just don’t like paying much to auto rickshaws but I paid more than double money to these people.

When I was traveling today on Delhi roads, roads were badly broken and water was coming out from every corner and vehicles were crawling like snails in rainy days. The scene behind back lane was also not good. As most of industrial area side company’s guards were taking out the water from the hose and not doing the same sign in & sign-out job. Water was storing in basement areas and just think of the situation where Delhi is going through demobilization. People were joking – Flood is coming. I was in Ahmedabad few days back, just when high alert was announced. I could postpone the visit but I knew flood time is not as critical as the after effect is. And this is what happening. My friends in Ahmedabad are falling sick. The epidemic diseases like Chikungunia spreading along with Malaria etc. And the people who live next to Sabarmati River are more prone to these. Now back to that day. It was around 1 am on 20th August when Sabarmati was flowing with high current and silently entering in our campus. By 3 O clocks it crossed our residential buildings and reached to the outside lanes. Well, next day it was again ok. But you know the things did left so…

Check the pictures taken between 1 am to 11 am on 20th August, 2006.

water is leaking? Its here. water is there too! Escaped!!!

Courtesy: campus ‘unsecure’ server.

Updates: Read an excellent post by Kunjel. Where she is talking about the experience she went through at the time of flood in Surat (Gujarat).