It is a one-stop expo for all handicraft items
PUDUCHERRY: Be it hard leather, terracotta, sea-shells, wood or korai grass, artisans of Puducherry have infused innovation into traditional handicrafts, showcasing their skills and unique craftsmanship at a 10-day exhibition here.
Around 100 artisans of Puducherry have displayed their works at the “Handicraft Exhibition” sponsored by the Development Commissioner of Handicrafts, Ministry of Textiles and organised by Pudumai Handicrafts Artisans Co-operative Society. The exhibition, which was opened on September 15, will go on till September 24.
“The Development Commissioner of Handicrafts has provided a 75 per cent subsidy for the exhibition and the rest has been taken up by Pudumai. The exhibition gives an opportunity to artisans in Puducherry to display their works,” said V.K. Munusamy, president of Pudumai.
Bags and purses made of soft leather, variety of imitation jewellery, iron candle stands, eco-friendly products such as earrings and bangles made of coconut shells, wooden decoratives for houses such as birds, perfume candles and jute bags are some of the items exhibited.
“The fast-moving ones at the exhibition include knitted shoes. Several foreign tourists like these shoes, which are made only by artisans in Puducherry. Hand-made paper products such as photo frames, pocket diaries, albums, trays, bookmarks, wall hangers are also popular,” he said. For onlookers, different kinds of statues made of soap stones, Agra stones and serpentine stones come as an attraction. “The serpentine stones are available only in Andhra Pradesh. They cannot be carved but our artisans have come up with various kinds of forms such as Ganesh idols, agarbathi stands using the stones,” Mr. Munusamy said. Hard leather that shines with engravings and intricate patterns, come in different handbags, purses and cell phone covers. Masks made of papier-mâché, batik wall hangings, paper lamp shades, woollen wall hangings, ornaments and decoratives made of sea-shells and hammocks are among other exhibits.
Apart from different kinds of terracotta artefacts, hand-made bags and table cloths of natural korai grass, which till now was used only for making mats, exhibits the innovative skills of the artisans.
“Educational toys made of wood such as numbers, alphabets and puzzles are also popular among visitors,” he said.
“Puducherry has several creative craftsmen. The government should encourage artisans and make handicrafts an industry by providing opportunities. Work sheds could be set up for them. Courses in handicrafts should be started at schools and children should be encouraged to learn making them,” he stressed.