Exhibitions

Unique Indian Crafts Re-imagined at Dastkar: Festival of Lights

Lost in the weft and warp of the enchantingly beautiful and hand-dyed Shibori, with J Star’s ‘Mai Tera Boyfriend, Tu Meri Girlfriend‘ (yes, that’s actually a song!) refusing to leave my mind, I happily sauntered along the vibrant lanes of the Galli-e-Khas; and it was in that moment, I realised that I had always wanted to visit the Dastkar fair. Well, what better time than the ongoing festive season when you get to admire the breathtaking creations of our immensely talented craftsmen from all over India! I discovered some really beautiful stalls at the Festival of Lights extravaganza this time around.

DSC_1753Pottery, Madhubani, beautifully sculpted brass and copper beauties, vivid planters, stunning embroidered and woven yardage…Let me take you on a visual ride…

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Vibrant Khurja pottery from U.P. – loved their Moroccan and geometric designs and use of bright colours.

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DSC_1768I couldn’t stop marveling at these absolutely gorgeous and painstakingly handcrafted Dhokra art and neck-pieces by the tribals in West Bengal and Orissa; ultimately bought yet another beautiful piece for my home along with a tip from the guy managing the stall – The Owl, Goddess Laxmi’s vahana (ride) is apparently auspicious for the house and signifies health and prosperity. Point taken!

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DSC_1754 DSC_1756Lovely bamboo and copper wind chimes that just took my breath away clinking melodiously on a breezy day as did the carved gourd lanterns and planters from Devangan Brothers from Chhattisgarh!

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These soapstone platters and floral tea-lights transported me to the grandeur of the Mughal era and they might just be the perfect addition to your Diwali celebrations this year. Beautifully handcrafted and easy on your pocket too.

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I was blown away by the timeless, sparkling, and stunning designs in copper ware at this stall by Coppre, a social initiative aimed at reviving the centuries-old craft of hammered copper. Truly inspiring!

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Enchanting, brightly hued blue pottery vases, platters, tiles, key holders and other amazing home accents from Rajasthan. Can I just take the entire assortment home?

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DSC_1818Beehive’s uniquely crafted wooden pieces were any home decor enthusiast’s dream come true – from platters, coasters, and trays to candle holders, lamps, and even furniture, these guys had all the right ingredients to make any home shine with their masterpieces.

DSC_1790 DSC_1789DSC_1788Ramachandran Nair’s unique endeavour ‘Some Fine Handicrafts‘ had me wondering that if given the right opportunities, there’s nothing our craftsmen can’t accomplish. Artisans specialising in Mithila art, kundan-zardozi, marble inlay, and applique are currently creating sensational pieces such as lamps (floor and table), furniture (nesting tables, cabinets, end table), and other home accessories such as magazine racks, mirrors, chest of drawers etc. A beautiful potpourri of stunning masterpieces marrying traditional art forms for the contemporary home connoisseur.

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Bangalore, Pune, or Delhi, or for that matter any other Indian city, these brass sculpted beauties take me to a different world altogether!

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India’s vibrant colours come alive in these Kutch embroidered jackets and accessories. As do they in this intricate aari-embroidered Pashmina shawl. Did you know it took 2 years to complete this masterpiece? Incredible, isn’t it?

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Lovely, colourful garden accessories for a green corner in your home.

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We just can’t get enough of the bling in our lives, can we? Loved the enigmatic bohemian neck-pieces as well as the ethnic peacock earrings and chand balis!

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There certainly was no dearth of colour at Dastkar. From the absolutely eclectic brocade clutches, handbags, and hair accessories from Pure Ghee Designs to the vibrant reed fibre baskets from Manipur and from those ethereal tusser, cotton, and chanderi home furnishings from Aboli to the dreamy Shibori and ethnic Bandhini yardage, it was an out and out colour therapy for me!

And as dramatic as it might sound, I am thankful to the Almighty that I made it with my life out there – a few anxious moments when the earth beneath my feet started shaking violently (yes, it was an earthquake!) Jokes apart, it was a spectacular display of the immense amount of latent talent that India holds and I am really glad that I could be a part of it. Did you like this piece on Dastkar? Would love to see your comments in the section below:

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