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Treasure trove for handicrafts

Sheela's is a popular name for gifting ideas and home decoratives, with an exhaustive art and craft line up.

ARTEFACTS FOR ALL: Visitors from all over visit the store.

NOT MANY years ago objects of art were a luxury unlike today when one picks up a few handicraft knick-knacks for gifting or adorning the house. One store that has been servicing the art lovers in the twin cities is Sheela's Art &Craft. "The store was started by my father late Vasudev Lalchand Daswani 40 years ago with an investment of Rs. 30,000, one of the first handicrafts store in the twin cities in the 60s and 70s when there was not much awareness about handicrafts. Then this vicinity used to be isolated," says Shanker Daswani of Sheela's.

Located in the Lal Bahadur Stadium premises, the peaceful ambience of the store, which in fact is a treasure house of sort, is a popular address with the visitors from Europe and the US and the twin cities folk alike. Reason, one can buy collectibles starting with a key chain priced at Rs.5, shopping at their own pace. "People visit us based on word-of-mouth information and I guess the service, reasonable prices and an exhaustive collection brings us new and repeat customers in spite of the new handicraft stores coming up in town. We have a tie up with master craftsmen from all over India for the products," says Shanker.

And one can choose from the offerings in various mediums available here.

Replicas in brass with antique finish, sleek wrought iron utility range featuring CD racks, tissue paper holders, two-toned aluminium `mandapam', meenakari boxes and more can be found in the metals. Sheela's is also a one-stop shop for mementos such as silver-plated Charminar, lacquer boxes and more. "We offer mementos for any occasion be it retirement, transfers, weddings, cultural events and other functions. We also undertake orders to design the mementos featuring the required logo," says Shanker.

In the woods, rosewood, sandalwood and other seasoned wood present `mandapams', carved figurines, peg tables and chests. Check out the four panel partitions featuring intricate work in seasoned wood (Rs. 4,000- Rs. 16,000). More carving, this time in stone, check out the under cut carving in `gorara' stone from Uttar Pradesh. You could pick up a piece of deft workmanship such as an elephant enclosed within a stone `jaal' for as low as Rs. 185.

HANDICRAFTS GALORE: The outlet is a storehouse. Photos: K.Ramesh Babu.

For contemporary ideas, wine goblets, flower vases, telephones and chess boards in onyx, a collection of Ganesha in semi precious stones such as lapis lazuli, jade and others and pyramids in agate and quartz are some of the vibrant pieces for gifting in peach, lemon yellow and other natural hues displaying a flat finish.

For the paintings one can pick up masterpieces such as those from Ravi Verma. This apart the Rajasthani miniature paintings on old paper, rare gem stone paintings portraying themes such as ragini, landscapes and divinity as also the marble dust paintings in hues of yellow embellished with shells, and silk paintings are popular here apart from the jharokhas, Tanjore paintings and inlay work in wood.

The jewellery section presents jewellery in silver, semiprecious stones, natural pearls, shell and wood apart from the tribal jewellery. With a wide range that holds sandalwood face powder, oil and incense sticks, silk scarves, shawls to Baatik prints and hand embossed leather purses from Shantiniketan, the handicraft corner has much to offer. You can reach Sheela's Arts&Crafts, 17, Lal Bahadur Stadium, on 23236944.


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