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Tuesday, Apr 01, 2003

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Variety awaits the visitor

The `Crafts Bazaar 2003', which is on till April 6 at Valluvar Kottam, is testimony to the quality work of craftspersons and self-help groups from across the country.

THE `CRAFTS Bazaar' at Valluvar Kottam is indeed a visual treat, for, the cool colonnaded pathways in the kottam are lined with an array of innovative, quality artefacts, crafted by leading self-help artisan groups of the country. A fitting event to celebrate the `Golden Jubilee Celebration of Handicrafts Resurgence of India'. An amazing feature of the work, which is displayed by the craftspersons themselves, is the accent on quality and finish.

Strikingly sculpted neem wood panels, furniture and artefacts, greet visitors right at the entrance. From the giant Dasavatara panel to the beautiful designer jhoola, each of the neem wood pieces, carved by Jagannath Reddy, is remarkable in concept and detailing. One can pick up quite a few well-finished pieces and moderately priced gifts.

A photo frame with a lovely blue hamsa in a corner is particularly attractive. There are elegantly carved neem wood chairs too, elegant `yaali' brackets, painted panels and more...

Directly selling their wares to customers is the Sandur Kushala Kendra, which has put together a display of colourful mirror-encrusted cushion covers, torans, blouses and bags. Embroidered cushion covers, dupattas, wall hangings, spectacle cases, pencil boxes and folders showcase the craftsmanship of the Todas.

For those who have a penchant for Kalamkari work, there are quality items on display, ranging from torans to wall hangings and from cushion covers to table linen.

More innovation awaits visitors in the form of exquisite leather puppetry, wall hangings in avant-garde shapes but featuring traditional motifs, hanging lampshades in geometric forms made out of jute and shell artefacts. There are also some great pottery concepts from the self-help groups of Pondicherry. Charming tea sets, mugs and toys by other potters' groups in Tamil Nadu also vie for attention.

From the Pulicat Women's Self-Help Group comes bright and elegantly woven palmyrah boxes. Skilfully crafted papier-mâché icons and artefacts as well as hand woven textiles from other parts of the country add variety to the dazzling display. Other crafts showcased include hand made candles, terracotta items, handmade leather bags, Tanjore paintings and bamboo mugs.

`Crafts Bazaar 2003' has been organised by the Development Comissioner (Handicrafts) Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, in association with the Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Industrial Cooperative Marketing Federation Ltd. The exhibition is open everyday till April 6 at Valluvar Kottam, Nungambakkam.


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