Everyone wants to give their loved ones a present they would remember for lifetime. And what can be a better gift than a handcrafted product which finds a permanent place in the living room of your loved ones? We might be living in a materialistic world but every object we pursue should have some emotional value attached to it, something which brings back memories and remind us of our roots. These décor items serve a dual purpose of giving something back to the community while also providing an authentic and raw appeal to one’s lifestyle. Whenever we encounter these artifacts, it also gives us a sense of pride about our diverse culture and rich heritage.
Horn Beer Mug
Bone and Horn carving has its roots in ivory carving and since the ban on commercial trading of ivory started in India, a shift of favor towards bone-crafted products has increased. While different types of bones and horns are chosen as per the desired carving – usually the bones and horns from buffalo or bullock carcasses are preferred. Detail-oriented skills are required for the minute and intricate carvings. These products range from accessories to home decor to fashion such as cutlery, bowls, boxes, belts, drinking glasses, walking sticks etc.
Cane as a craft type is found across the northern, eastern, north-eastern and southern parts of the country. But it is predominantly found and practiced in north-east India, especially in Assam. The variety of cane used determines the quality of the product made. For example, a kind of muli bamboo locally known as ‘mulibazail’ is used for making umbrella handles. Two other varieties of bamboo locally known as ‘Mrithinga’ and ‘Bethua’ and different varieties of canes locally known as ‘sundi’, ‘barjali’, ‘harua’ and ‘golla’ are required for specific designs in making furniture and baskets.
Coconut Fibre Lamp
Oil, water and fruit, we all enjoy these aspects of coconut on a daily basis. However, coconut is one the few gifts nature has bestowed upon us which serves us even with leftover parts like the fibrous filament on its exterior shell. The fibrous filaments prove to be the perfect ingredients for handcrafting unique decorative items and weaving beautiful lampshades for a handful of artisans in Coastal Karnataka. Found primarily in the coastal areas of the country, coconut is one of the most important sources of livelihood for the people living there.
Papier Mache Box
Jammu and Kashmir
The craft known by the French term “papier-mache’” which literally means “paper pulp”, is locally known as “kar-e-kalamkari” or “pen-case work”, after its traditional Iranian name. Papier-mache’ was practiced as a form of decoration on the wooden wall panels and wooden furniture, and was eventually adapted to paper moulds as well. Trays, jewellery boxes, and book covers were made for royal patrons and members of their courts. The two major processes involved in the craft are “sakthsazi” or “mould making” and naqqashi or “mould painting”. The naqqash renders the surface in intricate floral patterns or highly stylized scenes of hunts and battles. The Mughal period saw the art extending to palanquins, ceilings, bedsteads, doors and windows.
Sanjhi is a very intricate and detailed art-form of making stencils of paper for various ceremonial and ritualistic purposes such as drawing rangoli or floor decor on auspicious occasions. Having originated from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, this art-form has been around for a very long time. And quite recently, both religious and secular designs are found in the paintings with delicate designs and motifs such as silhouettes of palaces, creepers and flora.
Soapstone Tea Light Holder
Soapstone is produced in several parts of the country which primarily includes UP, Rajasthan, Mysore and Tamil Nadu, but the sheer volume in which products are handcrafted out of soapstone in Agra makes it a class apart from anywhere else in the country. Majorly used to make religious idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, the soapstone gets a large crowd for replicas of Taj Mahal, one of the biggest tourist attractions in India and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Besides the monument, small boxes, plates, coasters, paperweights and photo frames made from soapstone are also very popular throughout the country and outside India.
Walnut Wood Bowl
Jammu and Kashmir
Walnut wood carving is an ornamental craft process that is virtually unique to Kashmir due to the exclusive availability of walnut trees (Junglas regia), locally known as dun or akhrot. The naqqash or the master carver first etches the basic pattern onto the wood and then removes the unwanted areas with the help of chisels and a wooden mallet. As a result, the design emerges from the lustrous walnut wood as an embossed surface.