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Pick n' choose

It's variety that's affordable at the Lepakshi Handicrafts and Handlooms Heritage Collection Exhibition, on at the C.P. Art Centre

IF YOU'RE planning to drop in at the Lepakshi Handicrafts and Handlooms Heritage Collection Exhibition on at C.P. Art Centre, set aside at least an hour to go through the three rooms of various forms of art and craft from Andhra Pradesh and the rest of the country.

The first thing that attracts your attention is the masses of mugs, jugs, vases and assorted ceramic ware on the floor outside the centre. The Khurja pottery from Uttar Pradesh is hand-made and hand-painted, and are microwave proof, claims the enthusiastic salesman. They're colourful enough to cheer up the drabbest of kitchens. If you served coffee in the bright blue, green, glossy brown and earthy orange cups, it would perk up the sleepiest of visitors. Prices start from Rs. 20 upwards. A 37-piece dinner set could set you back by Rs. 2,500.

If you're stocking up on dolls for Navrathri, check out the ones from Kondapalli — tigers, parrots, dasavatar sets, ambari elephants and more — and those from Kolkata. There's lots of variety for terracotta addicts too, with prices starting from Rs. 25 and going up to Rs. 550. Gleaming brass utensils, metal castings and figurines are also available. Woodcraft includes panels, door designs and brackets in the traditional Yali, Ganesha and Lakshmi designs.

To revive the dying art of puppetry, the Andhra Pradesh Handicrafts Development Corporation has got the puppeteers to modernise their art. The result is a range of lovely lampshades priced from Rs. 200 onwards made out of parchment leather with perforations and painted over with elaborate designs and characters.

Apart from getting to appreciate India's various craft traditions, the prices are another reason to visit the exhibition.

There's 10 per cent discount on handicrafts and 20 per cent off on handlooms. The handlooms include Mangalagiri, Venkatagiri, ikkat, Pochampally saris and material, Kalamkari kurtas and fabric, chikan worked sets and material, Jodhpur bandhini sets and Phulkari worked material from Punjab. Bangles from Jaipur start from Rs. 25 onwards and though the assorted beads and baubles are a little garish, they're pocket-friendly.

For art lovers, there are framed Madhubani paintings from Bihar for as little as Rs. 130, traditional gem stone paintings from Rajasthan and detailed Nirmal paintings from Andhra Pradesh, based on the 14th Century Mughal art form.

Crochet and lace work from Andhra Pradesh, wooden furniture from Uttar Pradesh, and hand-worked dhurries complete the exhibition, which is on till September 21, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., at the C.P. Art Centre, C.P. Ramaswamy Aiyar Foundation, 1, Eldams Road, Alwarpet.


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