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Monthly Archives: September 2017

  • Terracotta Art – Creating Art from Earth

    Terracotta is an art of moulding earth into beautiful art. It is an ancient art dating back to 700 BC. Sculptures of Goddess, Gods, cart frames, and wheels have been unearthed from various sites from Indus Valley, verifying that it was first originated in India. Terracotta items were also largely used in trade deeds at that time, for example, trade seals.

    This art is appreciated around the world and is becoming a hobby for many creative individuals. This art is known to bring your imagination to life and it requires patience and dedication. There are many institutes which teach you how to create this art from a handful of mud.

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    Terracotta art has been an essential part of Indian heritage and it has not lost its significance with time. If anything, terracotta art has been more popular and in high demand as artists have adopted with time and kept innovating. It has been passed along through generations. Today India exports many beautiful terracotta objects such as statues, urns, attractive bells, wall painting, oil lamps, and so on. This art has proved to be a very profitable for artists as it is always in demand with customers. In India, you can find terracotta artists in almost every village and city; however, there are few states which are famous for their distinct form of terracotta art.

    Rural areas of the West Bengal are known for creating beautiful terracotta pots, collectibles like attractive horses, household, and decorative items. Famous towns in West Bengal known for terracotta art are Murshidabad, Jessore, Birbhaum, Digha, and Hooghly. The terracotta art form was introduced in Bengal in the 16th century by Vaishnavite association. Their patterns generally describe the details to the community for which the art is created. In Darbhanga city in Bihar, horses are regular objects of terracotta art. Other animals’ sculptures signify major events or festivals such as elephants statutes are used during marriages. Artists from Gundiyali region in Bhuj, Gujrat create attractive clay pots with geometrical designs. Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Jammu and Kashmir are some Indian state famous for terracotta art. Famous terracotta items which are created by artists are birds, animal figures like horses, elephants, snakes tigers, cow, elephants, buffalos, large statues of Hindu Gods.  In Tamil Nadu, few villagers have shaped enormous hollow horses with intricate decorations which are known to be the world's biggest hollow clay statues.

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    Terracotta art has survived since the 15th century due to its resourcefulness. From being used to create home décor items to building temples and building, terracotta is used for all. This building material is available in abundance universally. The know-how was developed after people learned the art of baking clay and started using it to design more permanent buildings, in case of inaccessibility to other materials like stones or woods. One of the best examples of terracotta architecture can be found in Bishnupura in Bankura district of West Bengal. It is the most popular and beautiful terracotta temple with extraordinary figurines and sculptures.

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  • Famous Ancient Indian Traditional Art and Paintings

    India is a land of cultural diversity but we can always witness that all these differences only makes it more interesting. Ancient Indian folk art is a tradition in India and it has been practiced through various generations in many parts of the country. With time, art forms tend to adapted modern resources but there are still few unpretentious forms who have survived the test of time. Most of the Indian folk art forms illustrate religious stories about God and Goddesses, and yet they are different from each other. Traditionally natural colours, earth, charcoal and natural resources were used by artists to maintain the natural integrity of the art. Ancient antique paintings are portrayed on the cloth or canvas.  Below is the list of ancient Indian art forms appreciating their uniqueness and magnificence –

    Madhubani Art

    Madhubani art originated in Mithila region of Bihar in India, hence this art is also known as Mithila art. Madhubani art is found in the mural and geometric patterns describing religious folk stories, God, Goddesses, Indian flora, and fauna. In ancient times, this art was used by women to decorate their home walls. Madhubani can be painted using fingers, sticks, brushes, pointed pens and natural colors and dyes. This art is mostly used as a part of the ritual during Indian festivals and happy occasions like birth or marriage, Holi, Kali Puja, Durga Puja.

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    Gond

    The Gond art form is said to evolve from Madhya Pradesh region in India. It is called Gond based on the name of ‘The Gondi tribe’ who is known as the inventor of Gond art. This type of art also focuses on the mysteries of nature, plants, animals. This is a very lively art form characterized by its upbeat colour schemes and vibrant looks. Natural colours are prepared from soil, charcoal and cow dung and are used to create this art form.

    Miniature Paintings

    Indian Miniatures paintings date back to 17th century and evolved in Western Himalayas. The art items are painted in small size with elaborate expressions and are inspired by Persian art style during Mughal era. The artists used to describe history and war. The main characteristics of a miniature painting are the enlarged eyes, sharp nose, and thin waist with men in turbans.

    Image Credit - wikipedia Image Credit - wikipedia

    Phat Art

    Phat art is a traditional art of Rajasthan with paintings of folk deities of Pabujai and Devnarayan. The painting describes the incidents related to lives of these deities. It is painted on canvas and the paintings are generally large in size. Painters use natural colours and dye to create this magnificent art form.

    Kalamkari

    Kalamkari art is a Hindi translation for ‘creating art with pen’. A kalamkari is an ancient form of hand painting painted on cotton or silk cloth using natural colours and a special type of tamarind pen. This art is popular in Andhra Pradesh in machilipatnam and Srikalahasti. Machilipatnam artists create block paintings and Srikalahasti artists create designs on fabrics using pens. Natural resources are used for preparing colours such as fruits, vegetables, leaves and so on. Most common objects of Kalamkari art are flowers, birds, peacocks and Hindu mythological stories. In this day and age, this art has excelled as a popular art to create Kalamkari sarees.

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    Tanjore Painting

    Tanjore paintings are a famous art form of South Indian culture and are native to Thanjavur region of Tamil Nadu.  These paintings depict the stories related to God, Goddesses and holy saints of Hindu religion. Vibrant colours, precious stones, and ornaments are used to create these paintings. This art form is the blend of Maratha, Deccan and European panache and it originated in India somewhere in the 16th century.

    Thanjavur Painting Shop For this Thanjavur Painting Lady with Fruit Plate - Click Here

    Cheriyal Scrolls

    Cheriyal Scrolls painting is an ancient art form similar to Nakashi art. In current times, this art is only created in Telangana and Hyderabad states in India. These cheriyal scrolls paintings use local motifs and stories from Indian mythology. These scrolls are more than fifty feet long and painted in panels to narrate the stories from Puranas and Indian epics. Primary colours are used to create the scrolls.

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    Bhil

    Bhil is a folk art created by one of the main tribes in India known as ‘Bhils’. They live in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra region in India. Bhils are known as successors of Eklavya, the great archer from Mahabharata. Bhil paintings are mostly about nature and tribal lifestyle and are painted using bright natural colours.

    Kalighat Paintings

    Kalighat paintings are used by artists to raise their voice against social conditions and cause awareness. The art form is known to exist since the 19th century and was originated at Kalighat in West Bengal state in India. Initially, this art was focused to tell religious stories but in modern times it is used for social reforms.

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    Warli

    Warli is another tribal art form from the Gujarat and Maharashtra regions. The Warli tribe used to paint the walls to decorate their homes. This painting uses geometric patterns to describe life in a modest way. The art is created on gerue (red soil) base with bamboo sticks. Rice paste is used to paint the various life events like festivals, dancing, etc.

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    Saura

    Saura is a traditional tribal painting used by Saura tribe living in Odisha, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. These paintings describe the never-ending connection between nature and mankind. Saura paintings use natural colours made from neem leaves, herbs, and flowers. Saura art also uses geometric patterns like Warli however it is much bigger and extended form of painting.

  • 21 Age old wisdoms of ancient India

    Our country “BHARAT” is very different and unique in all respects in whole world. Be it the tradition,culture,history,climate,language,region or religion, India has always set an example of exemplary wisdom and peace since beginning. A lot of changes though has taken place from following rituals to spending life,but there are still people who strictly follow the ancient lifestyle practices that our rishis and ancient Indian scholars used to do. You all might be aware of the things that Iam going to write down below but hardly find time to inculcate these habits in our day to day life.

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    Have a look over some wisdom points from ancient Hinduism custom that might be helpful to many of you living in today’s modern world:

    • People are advised to worship Neem and Banyan tree in the morning. Inhaling the air near these trees, is good for health.

     

    • If you are trying to look for ways for stress management, there can’t be anything other than practicing Hindu Yoga asanas and Pranayamam(inhaling and exhaling air slowly using one of the nostrils).

     

    • Hindu temples are built scientifically. The place where an idol is placed in the temple is called ‘Moolasthanam’. This ‘Moolasthanam’ is the place where earth’s magnetic waves are found to be maximum, thus benefitting the worshipper.

     

    • Every Hindu household has a Tulasi Tulasi leaves when consumed, keeps our immune system strong to help prevent the dangerous H1N1 disease.

     

    • The rhythm of Vedic mantram, (an ancient Hindu practice), when pronounced and heard cures so many disorders of the body like blood pressure, heart disorders and insomnia.

     

    • Hindus apply the holy ash on their forehead after taking bath to removes sweat and excess water from head.

     

    • Women keep Kumkumabottu on their forehead that protects them from being hypnotised.

     

    • Eating with hands might be looked down upon in the west but it connects the body, mind and soul.

     

    • Hindu custom requires one to eat on either banana or palash leaves. This is the most eco-friendly way as it does not require any chemical soap to cleanse it and it can be discarded without harming the environment.

     

    • Piercing of baby’s ear is actually a part of acupuncture treatment. The point where the ear is pierced helps in curing asthma.

     

    • The old practice of pasting cow dung on walls and outside the house prevents various diseases as it is considered natural anti-biotic and rich in minerals.

     

    • Hindus consider drinking cow urine to cure various illnesses. Apparently, it does balance bile, mucous and air and cures heart diseases and also acts like an antidote.

     

    • The age old punishment of doing situps while holding the ears actually makes the mind sharper and is helpful for those with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, learning difficulties and behavioral problems.

     

    • Lighting ‘deepam’ or oil or ghee lamp in temples and houses fill the surrounding with positivity and recharge your senses.

     

    • Janjam, or the string on a Brahmin’s body, is also a part of acupressure and keeps the wearer safe from several diseases.

     

    • Decorating the main door with ‘Toranamu'- a string of mango leaves; neem leaves and ashoka leaves actually purifies the atmosphere.

     

    • Touching the elder’s feet keeps your backbone in good shape.

     

    • Cremation or burning the dead is one of the cleanest form of disposing off the dead body.

     

    • Chanting the mantram ‘Om’ leads to significant reduction in heart rate and leads to a deeper form of relaxation with increased alertness.

     

    • Hanuman Chalisa, according to NASA, has the exact calculation of the distance between Sun and the Earth.

     

    • The ‘ShankhaDhwani’ creates the sound waves by which many harmful germs and insects are destroyed. The mosquito breeding is also affected by Shankha blowing and reduces the spread of malaria.
  • Dussehra-Celebrating Good over Evil

    Festivals and celebrations form the mainstay of Indian society since the beginning of civilization. Indian festivals are considered as symbol of love, peace, brotherhood and unity throughout the world. Dussehra or Vijay Dashami is one such festival which beholds a lot of traditional and cultural significance. It basically symbolizes victory of good over evil.

    After nine days of celebrating Navratri, the 10th or the final day is celebrated in each and every corner of nation with full joy and spirit and is called as Vijay Dashami or Dussehra. It is believed that it is this day when Goddess Durga killed the demon Mahishasur and thus saved the world. It is celebrated in various parts of India with different historical beliefs conveying the same message of peace and harmony.In West Bengal, it is known as Bijoya where people exchange goodwill with each other. In  north India, Lord Rama is believed to have killed the demon king Ravana in Lanka by cutting off his ten heads, it is therefore celebrated as Dussehra here (dasa means ten and hara means to kill).In Maharashtra, Dussehra is celebrated very joyfully by collecting and offering the leaves of the Shami tree to elders to seek their blessings. In Gujarat, Dussehra is celebrated very enthusiastically and joyfully.People organize a special dance known as Garba where they dance on different devotional and regional folk songs. Devotees observe fast for those pious nine days of Navaratri and eat one time food during night after giving prayers to Goddess Durga.

    In south Indian states, there is a tradition of paying respects to one's Guru on Dussehra. InKerala it is known as “Vidyarambham”;vidyameans knowledge and arambham means startorbeginning. People here worship Goddess Saraswati in Dussehra. The festival is considered very auspicious and is believed to bring in prosperity and happiness. People visit temples and initiate all the new and good things in their life during this festival.

    Dussehra is a time to celebrate success, victory,triumph and good over evil.Let’s celebrate this holy festivalbynotjust associating oneself with fasting, being vegetarian,temple offerings etcbutwith full positivity and spirituality this year.All the days ofthis great festival hold a deep meaning and help in imbibing all the good qualities like charity,compassion,humility while letting go hatred,anger, ego and jealousy.

    Poompuhar offers a variety of products this Dussehra to help you remain spiritually aware and religiously more connected. Bring in home some beautiful pure brass and copper Pooja accessories this Dussehra and decorate yourhome and Pooja mandapam with these wonderful products:

    Ganesh Panel

    This 12x11x2 inch beautiful copper Ganesha Panel represents the Lord Ganesha seated amidst tastefully constructed arch. Hang it on your wall, keep in pooja room or gift it to your loved one this festive season.

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    Ashatalakshmi Deepam

    The simple yet elegant lamp depicting the Deity Ashatalakshmi (8 forms of Deity Lakshmi) is shown seated at the center with one spout. It is considered to bring in peace and harmony to your home during Navaratri.

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    Lakshmi Villaku

    Bring in home this Dussehra the auspicious brass Lamp presenting an ornamental stem at its base with 5 beautiful spouts and an Annam at the top.

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    Ashta Lakshmi Chembu

    Copper is known for its Ayurvedic and medicinal properties since ancient time. It is also used for making many household items because of its antimicrobial action and amazing healing power. This 4x4" copper AshatalakshmiChembu is used to store offerings like milk, payasam, panagametc during pooja rituals and in festive season.

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    Wall Hanging Leaf Ganesh

    The astonishing leaf shaped Lord Ganesha is a blend of ethnicity and neo modern creativity. Since Lord Ganesha is considered as a symbol of good luck, success and prosperity, go for this exquisite leaf shaped wall hanging this Dussehra.

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    Happy Dussehra!

  • A Glimpse of Tamil Nadu Handicrafts

    If you ever travel to Tamil Nadu, then your trip would be incomplete without acquaintingyourself with the rich and diverse handicrafts of the region.Be it the capital city of Chennai, the surrounding cities of Kanyakumari and Thanjavur or the geographically interesting Kanyakumari, every region in the state has something bright, colourful and original to offer to lovers of art. Poompuhar brings a vast collection of such diverse art to you at one place. You can visit our website at http://tnpoompuhar.org/ and be a proud owner of exceptional artwork crafted by talented artisans.

    Our products are bought to adorn homes not just in India but abroad as well. Some of our bestselling products and materials include –

    Bronze

    Bronze is the most popularmaterialfor art statues or sculptures. It can be used for statues, art pieces, small figurines, designer utility articlesand evenfurniture.  Bronze work is famous around Swamimalai, and Kumbakonam inThanjavur District.

    Shop for this Danvanthari Polish Click Here Shop for this Danvanthari Polish Click Here

     

    Brass Lamps

    Brass lamps are commonly used in Hindu householdsin theprayer room, butmany designs of such lamps are used as decorative items also. These brass lamps are mostly crafted in areas like Sivagangai, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Nachiarkoil, and Kumbakonam in Thanjavur District.

    Shop for this Brass Louts Lamp - Click Here Shop for this Brass Louts Lamp - Click Here

     

    Thanjavur Painting

    Tanjore Painting is one of the most famousstylesof traditional South Indian painting. It is the inherent art from the Thanjavur or Tanjore city in Tamil Nadu. It is also be found in Trichy and Chennai.Most of these paintings depict stories related to Hindu Gods, Goddesses and saints.

    Shop For Thanjavur Painting Perumal - Click Here Shop For Thanjavur Painting Perumal - Click Here

     

    Thanjavur Art Plate

    Thanjavur art plates are the custom metal craft of sophisticated workmanship in Thanjavur. Famous Thanjavur Art plates contain images of goddesses, flora, and fauna or geometric patterns compressed out on copper and silver sheets.

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    Wood Carvings

    Sandalwood is used because of its religious significanceand it is supposed to be an extremely expensive material for wood artefacts. The wood is refined to create a number of products like God idols, twisted chariots with famous jail work, and home decor items such as paperweights, walking canes, photo frames, small storage cases, and holders and so on. Sandalwood carving art is done in Kallakurichi in Villupuram Districts.

    Sandalwood Carvings

    Sandalwood is used because of its religious significance and it is supposed to be an extremely expensive material for wood arte facts. The wood is refined to create a number of products like God idols, twisted chariots with famous jail work, and home decor items such as paperweights, walking canes, photo frames, small storage cases, and holders and so on. Sandalwood carving art is done in Kallakurichi in Villupuram Districts.

    Lacquerware

    Lacquerware is an art where objectsare ornamentally decorated with lacquer. Lacquerware has painted or carved pictures which are lacquered for the final touch. Such art can be done on any item like large boxes, crockery, tokens, furniture or even coffins. Ambasamudram in Tirunelveli District is famous for Lacquerware.

    Stone Carving

    In stone carving, pieces of uneven natural stones are designed into a beautiful piece of art by meticulously carving out the extra stone. The initial proof of depictive art is stone carving, for example, temple carvings and historic sculptures.  Stone Carving work mostly comes from Kancheepuram, Namakkal and Coimbatore districts.http://tnpoompuhar.org/tamil-nadu/stone.html

    Papier Mache & Clay Toys

    Papier Mache is an art form containing paper pieces or pulp, occasionally reinforced with fabrics using adhesive like glue, starch or wallpaper paste. Clay art is a traditional art of creating toys, statues, decor pieces using clay. Papier Mache & Clay Toys are famous in Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Chennai, and Kancheepuram.http://tnpoompuhar.org/tamil-nadu/papier-mache-47.html

    Pith

    Pith is the hard core of a water reed available abundantly in tanks, swamps and lakes. The pith is used for creating the miniatures of famous architectural monuments and daily objects such as Taj Mahal, Perumal Temple, Bullockcart, Temple Chariot etc. This type of art is commonin Thanjavur and Kumbakonam Pudukottai areas.http://tnpoompuhar.org/tamil-nadu/pithwork.html

    Kanyakumari is known for its work in fiber, talipot fiber, screw pine, lace, and embroidery work. Vadaseri, Salem, Trichy, Virudhunagar, Coimbatore are famous for silver and imitation jewellery. These are just someof the productswhich you can browse and buyfrom Poompuhar. There are many other works of arts available and we try to feature as much as work from artisans from all over the state. Enjoy shopping.

  • Sanjhi Art–The Beauty of Paper and Scissors

    The passion of arts in humans does not wait for any manmade canvas or paint for its expression. The instinctive urge to honor Mother Nature and avoid polluting it has led humans to experiment with natural resources. Sanjhi art is one such example.The word Sanjhi means “sandhya” or “dusk” and is native to Mathura,a district in Uttar Pradesh. Sanjhi is a traditional paper artthat makes use of paper and scissors only. It’s a skill of cutting out a beautiful yet complicated pattern reflecting panorama of Lord Krishna mainly.

    Image Credit - isha.sadhguru.org Image Credit - isha.sadhguru.org

    Mathura is known to be Lord Krishna’s birthplace.The people here are fond of making Sanjhi art pieces with zest and passion. Known for its spiritualty, Sanjhi art started around 16th century when people took interest in decorating the wall and floor of templeswith exquisite designs, intricate mythological figures and natural motifs with special focuson Lord Krishna’s Ramleela.

    To make Sanjhi art,designs are drawn using either hand or a stencil on a piece of paper and then cut using a specially designed scissor. In North India, people make sanjhi designs on banana leaves too. During paper cutting process,the paperis rotated carefully around the scissor so that the design can be neatly cut out.This step requires a lot of concentration as a slight slip of hand can spoil hours of hard work.Paper cutting is done without any sketch work or tracing. This paper is then folded from corners for liftingafter the color has been applied.The cut designs are carefully placed, sometimes on surface of water or a flat surface and filled with different types of colors which can be substituted with natural flowers,colorful stones,mirror pieces etc.After colorfilling, the artisan meticulously lifts up the Sanjhi, holding his breath so that the design doesn’t get disturbed. That’s the uniqueness and precision of Sanjhi art. Astep that separates success of Sanjhi art from failure.The stunning piece of art is uncovered at evening time during Pooja and the event is accompanied by reciting various songs and hymns that are related to Lord Krishna.Various art forms where Sanjhi templates are used are coasters, trays,paintings,wall hangings,henna patterns,bindi, lampshades and greeting cards. The art piece ranges anywhere from Rs 10 for a simple bindi cut to Rs 5000 for a magnificent filigreed Sanjhi work.

    Sanjhi art is a ritual practice that involves offerings to eventools along with deities and teachers.The tools used are carefully wrapped in a clean cloth piece to protect from rust and also as a mark of respect.Sanjhi art requires a lot of time and patience. A typical Sanjhi work can take anywhere between an hour and even a month. Sanjhi art pieces can be found in homes and spaces of art lovers. You can also see it at Delhi Metro Station and even at airports. Recently Sanjhi art was used as a pictogram during Commonwealth Games.

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