The ongoing handicrafts exhibition at the VJT Hall has exquisite artefacts and intricately embroidered garments.
CRAFTSMEN FROM different parts of India have gathered at the ongoing handicrafts exhibition at V. J. T. Hall, organised by the Kerala State Handicrafts Apex Co-operative Society. You could always take your pick from a variety of decorative items made of different materials, garments with intricate needlework and even home utensils.
A stall put up by the Kashmiri craftsmen, displays Kashmiri shawls along with traditional Kashmiri costumes. Shawls made of sheer wool are priced at Rs.1,500 upwards. The fine Pashmina shawls that costs Rs. 40,000 are so delicate they can be pulled through a ring. Another type of shawl called the Thosha is also on display. Kashmiri salwars suits embroidered with traditional motifs have many takers it is priced between Rs. 375 and Rs. 750. Kashmiri purses made from fine leather cost Rs. 225.
Kurta and other dress materials for kids are the speciality of the stall put up by craftsmen from Rajasthan. The price kids wears starts from Rs.100. Overcoats with lace work, priced at Rs.100, is another attraction. Sofa covers are available for around Rs.250.
There are about six stalls displaying wooden handicrafts. Bookstands, tea trays, fancy toys, jewel boxes... you name it, they have it. The Bhuwanendran handicrafts present a collection of elephants carved in wood. While a small one that can be used as a paperweight costs Rs. 75, the biggest elephant carved out of a single piece of wood, is priced at Rs. 28,000. A traditional style jewel box in rosewood would cost you a little less than Rs. 900.
The stalls that house the small wooden toys attract children in large numbers. "The toy of `Air India Maharaja' priced at Rs. 40 is fast moving off the shelves," says Nazeer, stall keeper, who hails from Chanpatna, near Bangalore. "Our village is famous for its toy-manufacturing units," he adds.
A few stalls also display curios crafted in white metal and black metal. A palm sized idol of Krishna or Jesus Christ costs less than Rs. 100, while a set comprising a pot and coconut made of white metal would cost above Rs. 500.A new entrant in the interior décor section is the idol of gods that can be hung on walls.
The idols of Lord Nataraja would cost anywhere between Rs. 90 Rs.6,000, depending upon its size.
Intricate paintings of `Rasaleela', done on palm leaves using herbal colours, is one of the major attractions at the exhibition. These are displayed at the Orissa stall and the tallapatra or palm leaf paintings are priced at Rs. 700.
Pottachitra paintings are coloured using paint made from charcoal. The dasavatara painting costs above Rs. 1,500.
Environment friendly `executive files' and straw tablemats are available for around Rs. 100. Handbags made from fibres are priced below Rs. 200.
A Jaipur based company has come up with decorative clay pots named `Harotta'. "These pots are designed in contemporary style," claim the sellers.
Acupressure massagers and crystal balls made according to the Vastu Shastra are other items on display.
The stall from God's Own Country displays curios such as table lamps and pots carved in coconut shell.The famous Mughal surayi made of brass is another attraction. Beautifully painted brass pots, pen stands, lampshades, flower vases, are also on show. A jewel box made of brass costs Rs. 800. The stall is put by craftsmen from Sharangpur.
The craftsmen of Uttar Pradesh have come up with `crackle design' crystal flower vases priced between Rs. 100 and Rs. 400.
Handbags made at the Shanthiniketan Ashram cost Rs.400. `Kolapuri' sandals are available at Rs.160. A Palakkad based company has come up with ayurvedic mosquito repellents and incense sticks. The ayurvedic incense sticks come as a set with a terracotta pot.
`Thulasitharas' made of terracotta are priced at Rs.750 and statues, pots and utensils made of terracotta are priced below Rs.100. The exhibition has 50-odd stalls.
M. S. VIDYANANDAN
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