Crafts

It's not just about the glitter with these traditional vessels

Sheela Rani Chunkath, CMD, Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation, and Santha Sheela Nair, Vice Chairperson, State Planning Commission (left), take a look at a traditional utensil at an exhibition in Poompuhar, Anna Salai, on Wednesday. Photo: R. Shivaji Rao  

Some of the traditional metal utensils that have vanished from kitchen shelves over the years have been brought back to life at an exhibition that opened at the Anna Salai showroom of Poompuhar on Wednesday.

Pointing to a heavy bell metal (a mix of copper and tin) plate, K.Swaminathan, Superintendent of Poompuhar's production unit in Nachiarkoil, near Kumbakonam, said: “The bell metal utensils are generally heavy. Some of the items displayed here weigh as much as 4 kgs. The speciality of these utensils is that the heat spreads on them evenly and in olden times they were preferred for health reasons.”

Many visitors enquired about the benefits of using the long-forgotten vessels, including the jugs, spoons, cooking pans and tumblers on display.

Utensils made of copper and lead from Kumbakonam are also showcased at the expo, which will be open till November 12.

Exceptional wares

For those on the look out for exceptional wares, there are vessels and small grindstones made of granite and marble. Besides those from various parts of the State, glassware with German silver engravings and wooden utensils from Rajasthan and Kashmir are also available at the exhibition.

MMTC Limited, a Government of India enterprise, has exhibited a collection of silver jewellery and gold and silver plated articles.

Spreading awareness

Inaugurating the exhibition of traditional kitchenware and silverware, Sheela Rani Chunkath, Chairperson and Managing Director of Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation, said Poompuhar has launched the collection of bell metal kitchenware to spread the speciality of traditional utensils. The only casting unit manufacturing such utensils belonged to the Corporation.

Customers could also order utensils of their choice of weight and design. There are plans to have a permanent collection of bell metal and copper kitchenware in the Poompuhar showroom, she said.

Santha Sheela Nair, Vice Chairperson, State Planning Commission, said that copper vessels were preferred to store drinking water as they were natural purifiers. C.Muthukumaraswamy, Handlooms, Handicrafts and Textiles Secretary was also present.

A discount of 10 per cent is being offered at the exhibition, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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Printable version | Jan 13, 2021 4:01:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/arts/crafts/its-not-just-about-the-glitter-with-these-traditional-vessels/article2593799.ece

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