“At one time, I worked in an aluminium factory that closed down and later I started carving on seashells, then I translated my art onto bone and stone, which is much more paying,” says a national awardee craftsperson Husain, who has displayed an 8.5 feet long train made from camel bone priced at Rs 4 lakhs at the Mela.
Jute can be crafted into varied forms is something that you discover at the stall no. 656 of the Mela. Sovarani Podder, a national award winner from West Bengal has brought to the Mela a host of jute-made items which include different types and dolls and idols of Gods. “I am a self-learnt artist and now I have a taught this art to my team that assists me in making jute products. Luckily, jute is available in abundance in our state.”
The craftspersons are enthusiastic to display their art and crafts and the visitors are more than happy to buy them. At stall no. 863, Bharti N. Bhutia, a metal artist from Mumbai has displayed some beautiful decoration pieces in copper adorned with beautiful meenakari work; these include idols of Ganesha, table clocks and wall hangings.
Warli art on terracotta is what Bijender Singh from Palwal, Haryana, specialises in. Singh, a second generation artisan has brought a good range of terracotta pots and lamp shades in different sizes to the Mela at stall no. 561.
“This craft is a legacy passed on to me and my father is a national awardee, we both are taking part in the Mela. We paint the geometric shapes like circles, triangles and lines to adorn our terracotta items. This art needs concentration and precision.”
Shola pith is a milky-white sponge-wood, which is carved into delicate and beautiful objects of art. The finest examples of craftsmanship are however seen on images of Gods and Goddesses; these can be spotted at Surajkund International Crafts Mela at stall no. 658.
“We spend months working on each piece and every detail is meticulously worked out. We have brought a range of shola crafts to the Mela that include flowery designs, exquisite figurines like faces of gods and goddesses, palanquins and so on,” narrates Ashis Malakar, a national awardee master craftsperson.
On Tuesday (11th February) folk dancers of will perform at Natyashala at Surajkund International Crafts Mela.