"We do not have an emporium anywhere here, so such exhibitions are perfect platforms for us to showcase our products," says Suryanarayan Satpathi, an artisan from Odisha.
An array of craft items, jewellery, pottery, handloom products and the unique metal mirrors from Aranmula are on display at the Crafts and Handloom Bazaar organised by the Artisans’ Welfare Association at the VJT Hall here.
Clothing and jewellery, especially stone-crushed earrings, natural colour-coated bracelets made by the tribal people of Odisha, pearl-studded jewellery and oxidised silver and gold-coated varieties from Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have many takers, says Salimon, secretary of the association.
Besides these, myriad craft items, including palm-leaf paintings from Odisha, are on display. “We do not have an emporium anywhere here, so such exhibitions are perfect platforms for us to showcase our products,” says Suryanarayan Satpathi, an artisan from Odisha.
From large posters depicting Dashavatharam, tales from Mahabharatha and the Bible to vibrant bookmarks, this counter showcases the wealth of the State’s ancient palm-leaf etching tradition.
Natural powders, mostly made from crushed neem leaves, account for the subdued tones that are smeared on the dried palm leaves once the etched figure is in place. Using a blunt iron instrument Mr. Satpathi carefully traced a curve and demonstrated the technique.
In a nearby counter, Aranmula Kannadi, metal mirrors made by a family of artisans from the Aranmula village in Pathanamthitta, are on display. Sudhammal, a member of the family that holds the patent rights for Aranmula Kannadi, says that though most of the visitors examine the mirrors thoroughly only those who are specifically interested in the product buys it.
Salimon says that the fair allows artisans to present items directly to the people avoiding middle-men.
The fair was inaugurated on August 3.