Coimbatore

Art out of wood, cotton and banana fibre

Wooden products on display at handicrafts expo at Poompuhar in the city.

Wooden products on display at handicrafts expo at Poompuhar in the city.  

Handicraft expo on at Poompuhar outlet till February 8

Multi-chambered teak jewel box with secret locks, neem wood water bottles and jars, and baskets and purses woven out of banana fibre steal the show at Poompuhar.

The retail arm of Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation, Poompuhar, has organised a handicraft expo at its outlet on Big Bazaar Street till February 8.

As many as 15 artisans, almost all of them from Tamil Nadu, have displayed their products. The exhibits include cotton sarees and garments, metal works, wooden toys, wooden bowls, spoons and trays, and marble figurines. Apart from these are two sets of products that stand out: jewel boxes, tumblers, jars, water bottles, and the traditional padi made out of teak or need wood, and purses, bags, baskets and cushions made out of banana fibre.

For 26-year-old S. Sathish Kumar from Chennai, working with wood is not new as he is from a family of carpenters. Following an accident, he wanted to be self-reliant but did not want to get into the regular carpentry work. Hence, two years ago, he started working on different kinds of products, basically out of neem wood and teak. Today he has a range priced between ₹200 and ₹10,000. “I want the common man to use wooden products. If the right kind of wood is selected and processed properly, it has healing properties and the products can be used to store food items,” he says. Mr. Kumar has worked on some of the jewel boxes for nearly two months, designing multiple chambers and secret locks so that the boxes occupy a place of pride at home.

The other set of products made out of banana fibre are woven by artisans trained at Melakal, Madurai. The first set completed the training, conducted by the Handicrafts Development Corporation, just before Pongal. They have made hand bags, purses, hats, cushions, fruit and flower baskets - all out of banana fibre. “The plan is to display the products that these artisans make after the training at all the Poompuhar outlets,” says R. Narendra Bose, manager of the Poompuhar showroom here. These are all utility products, he points out.

Mr. Bose is hopeful of a total of ₹10 lakh sale during the 16-day expo here.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 6:51:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/art-out-of-wood-cotton-and-banana-fibre/article30637231.ece

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