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Artisans

  • How Poompuhar is bringing life in traditional Indian Art?

    'Indian Art' is a term which encompasses various mediums and styles perfected over centuries by artisans and handicraft workers. Yet this ancient art form is somehow losing its prominence in society. Tamil Nadu Poompuhar aims to showcase those talents which have been unappreciated for long.

    The catrgories have been mapped out keeping in mind the varied artforms which have existed:

    What are our Metal offerings?

    Difficult to carve and yet a beauty to behold, the array of metal designs have been constructed and polished by superior craftsmen.

    The designs are available with antique polish and you can select from the collection like Reshabadevar Set, Boga Shakti, Arthanari, Shivalingam, Arthanarieshwar sets and much more.

    Arthanarieshwar Polish Shop For This Arthanarieshwar - Click Here

    Poompuhar offers Brass items as well, like Brass bowls, Brass Peacock Bead Stones, Brass Nataraj statues, Brass Uruli Weight, Brass Uruli Light Weight, Brass Coloured Weights and a lot more which you can browse through as well as choose from the official website.

    Wood: The most intricate style

    Wood carvings are richly detailed constructions and the products of Poompuhar are made with selected Rosewood, Sandalwood and more.

    They offer various wooden figures like that of the Buddha, Radha-Krishna, Ashoka Pillar and more. But apart from mythological and historical designs they also offer everyday handcrafted wooden products like clocks, pens etc.

    Shop For this White Wood Ashoka Pillar - Click Here

    What are our designs based on Stone?

    The most significant artwork of South India is undoubtedly that of the stone sculptures.  Thanks to the craftsmen of the Pallava Empire who had intricately crafted these stones to create some masterpieces which still enchant tourists from all over the world. The Indian culture and emotion is reflected in various Indian religious monuments dating back to time immemorial.

    To celebrate this achievement and promote its growth among the masses, they offer statues made out of granite, red stone, soap stone along with clay and much more. The life-size figurines and fountain sculptures speak a thousand words about the Indianness.

    Earthware -fragile and precious

    The most widely available type of crafts is the earthenware products like bowls, statues and more. The workers make various masterpieces out of clay and ceramic like that of Nataraj, Lakshmi, Parvati, Saraswati, Kalinga Krishna and more. These statues are available in oxidized variants as well.

    The designs available on Clothing and Leather

    Cloth and Leather Prints have been in use long and are still quite popular in traditional fashion. Keeping with the tradition Poompuhar offers handcrafted textiles like Kalamkari purse, lamp shades and lots more which can be browsed in our website.

    Paintings: What do we offer?

    Indian paintings speak of style and technique in a nuanced and yet simultaneously bold manner. The collection has paintings of the gods Krishna, Lakshmi, Ganesh along with others like Perumal and Ramar as well.

    If budget is not an issue for you, then check out the Thanjavur Paintings which are one of their Big Ticket items.

    Shop For Thanjavur Painting Perumal - Click Here

    Poomphar aims to reinstate traditional Indian art to the position of prestige it once enjoyed by showing its vitality to others. Appreciating and supporting these creations as well as their creators who are on the verge of losing their skills is the goal.

  • Some exceptional facts about the royal art of India-Meenakari

    We all are huge fans of this beautiful and subtle art form which is known as Meenakari. It is one of the very old and distinguished art forms of the Indian culture and tradition which is famous for its exclusive designs.

    Shop For This MEENAKARI SLEEPING GANESH - Click Here

    Meenakari is basically an enamelling of metals. It is the specialty of ornamenting and enamelling metal surfaces by painting and enriching them with beautiful designs, and after that, they are heated in the Klein to give them a required shape. The heating process helps in hardening the colours and fusing the metal. It is an ancient art form which is passed from one generation to the other. Hence not only we Indians like Meenakari designs and works, but the demand of these products is high in the global market too.

    Shop For This Meenakari Key Stand Kalash Model - Click Here

    Here are a few lesser known facts about this colourful handicraft:

    • Meenakari is not actually an Indian art form as it is Persian art which was brought to India by the Persian enamellists in the 17th century when Mughals were ruling the country.
    • Meena or Mina is known as the feminine form of the Persian word “Minoo” which means heaven, and it signifies the purplish blue shade of paradise.
    • The art of meenakari looks best on gold metal because gold has a natural sheen. This helps the natural colours of meenakari to set beautifully in the metal as it also holds the enamel wonderfully and also adds a sparkle in the same.
    • Do you know that the colours of the meenakari work can be cleansed through a mixture of lemon and tamarind? Well yes, it helps in cleaning the colours of the art piece naturally and also preserves its natural look and texture.
    • Besides jewellery, Meenakari is also being used in crafting the designs of jewellery boxes, gods’ idols, crockery, trays, cupboards, bowls, sculptures, paintings and many more things. Hence the modern form of this traditional art has a very vast scope and is not limited to one particular area or region.
    • At first, Meenakari was only done on gold, but now silver and copper are also being used for creating it.. While gold is mainly used for designing Meenakari jewellery, silver and copper are used for bowls, spoons, brightening ancient rarities, icons, sculptures, etc. The remains of Mughal era show the signs of meenakari on hookahs and paan-daan (traditional boxes for keeping betel leaves) too.
    • There are mainly 3 types of Meenakari: “Ek Rang Khula Meena” in which only one color is used to engrave the piece of metal, “Panch Rangi Meena” in which 5 primary colours are used which are white, light blue, green, dark blue and red, and “Gulabi Meena” in which rose pink is used. Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh is renowned for gulabi meena works.

    Artisans at Poompuhar produce Meenakari handicrafts combining traditional techniques with modern ideas. Visit the Poompuhar e-commerce website to view our collection of Meenakari products and get them delivered at your home.

  • Artisans’ Day to be Observed on March 5

    As part of its consolidated plan to revive the Indian craft industry, the Tamil Nadu government has decided to observe March 5 as Artisans’ Day. A fund of Rupees 35 lakh has been earmarked for the occasion which will see an exhibition of handmade products throughout the state. This exhibition, called the Craft Bazaar will be inaugurated by Minister for Rural Industries, Thiru P. Benjamin on 24th February with a display cum sale of authentic Indian handlooms, handicrafts, textiles, jewelry, paintings etc to create awareness among the general public about the revival of the Indian handicraft industry. The exhibition will culminate in an award ceremony on 8th March wherein prizes will be distributed to the best among 2 lakh artisans currently in the state. The occasion will be graced by the Honourable CM of Tamil Nadu, Mr. E. Palaniswami.

    Poompuhar Artisans DayPoompuhar Artisans Day MarchRecently, the government through its handicraft wing, Poompuhar, established an e-repository for artisans. The e-repository is one of a kind online directory for artisans to register themselves along with their specialties, socioeconomic profiles and images/videos of their products. This innovative initiative was taken with the aim of bringing artisans to the forefront and providing a platform for them to be directly accessible to the public. A fund of Rupees 1 crore from the State Innovation Fund was allocated to this cause.

    Portal for ArtisansPoompuhar has been continuously exploring innovative avenues to promote Indian handicrafts, such as installing a 3D printing installation at the Design Research and Development Centre in Chennai, and a Craft Cafe which serves healthy, home-like meals in a cafe generously adorned with select Poompuhar idols and statues.

  • The State of The Indian Craft Industry

    The crafts sector of India’s economy employs over twenty million people, and it is second after the agriculture sector. Handicrafts, rightly described as the craft of the people, are a major source of income and employment for the people of India. The handicrafts sector is a home-based industry. This kind of work does not require extensive investment, training or machinery for production to begin.

    Image Credit - Newindianexpress.com Image Credit - Newindianexpress.com

    Craftsmen typically use ingenuity and raw materials existing within their surroundings to produce ornaments, fabrics or ceramics that can be sold. Many pastoral and agricultural communities within the country rely on traditional craft skills as a source of backup income in times of poor crop yields, famine, lean harvests or drought. Such traditional skills, handed down for generations, also constitute a vital source of income for women and are often the only way that communities can survive natural disasters.

    All these facts prove that the Indian craft industry vital component of the nation's economy, but though they are accurate, it is also true that the craft industry is in a state of decline. With the most recent evidence of this being the plight of the potters and sculptors of Bengaluru, considered by many to be the heart of pottery in India.

    The potters and sculptors worry that they could soon lose pottery town due to a decline in the market, and a scarcity of raw materials. This concern is well founded, the world today is one characterised by mass production, and economies of scale have resulted in a dramatic decline in price. New materials have further changed the industry, mass-produced products are stronger and more durable than natural ceramics. This is an unfortunate truth that we all must deal with.

    On a more positive note, there are still opportunities that craftspeople such as the potters and sculptors of pottery town can exploit to sustain their trade. Handcrafted wares are not cheap. Consider this, if there is even a little demand for a handcrafted product, why would it be cheaply priced.  Since it is unique and one of a kind, consumers should buy it at a higher price. Craftspeople should take advantage of current developments in internet marketing to explore the new market. Web-based artisan stores such as the E-repository launched by Poompuhar could provide much-needed exposure for handicraft makers.

    Though technology has caused some of the Indian handicraft industry's problems, it has also created many opportunities that should be exploited to ensure that it remains vibrant and profitable.

  • Benefits of joining an E-Repository for the Artist

    Promoting art in this era, can be a little challenging for any individual. The average person is normally too occupied with the hustle and bustle of life to find the time for anything but a little rest and relaxation after a hard day's work. As a result, only the truly passionate can make the time to actually visit an exhibition. Coupled with stiff competition, it becomes really hard for the individual artist to make ends meet.

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    Fortunately, advertising strategies for art have grown rapidly in the last few decades, and today, the internet is the newest and most popular avenue for the selling and auction of art. For art lovers, it may simply be a quick and convenient way to spend money on a piece of art but for the modern artist, it is a truly exciting development.

    Why?You ask!! Because it opens a vast and insatiable market.

    Modern art consumers and enthusiasts typically prefer electronic repositories because they have the opportunity to inspect a much greater number of art pieces at their own pace, all this can’t be done in traditional art galleries which can display only a limited number pieces and can operate for limited time of day. This level of discretion also comes with its own advantages such as –there is less exposure for the sellers and buyers, the price remains a secret, and there is hardly any chance that the auction could fail.

    For emerging artists, the repository provides an opportunity to connect with loyal clients. A web gallery that has worked tirelessly to build a proper listing of artists definitely has the market for their work. Such a repository could also convince collectors to purchase the works of new artists.

    Endorsement by a reputable gallery that has nation-wide coverage is a vital step for any artist interested in building a professional career. The art world is a highly competitive environment where the individual with the most exposure has a greater advantage over others in the same field. Representation by an established web-based repository is an important prerequisite for artists seeking to connect with potential buyers.

    Online galleries are typically used by collectors with large budgets. These individuals are usually willing to pay large sums of money for good art. What this means for the artist is that the value of their work could increase dramatically in an instant. This doesn’t mean that the work was less valuable before, just that its perceived value has increased.

  • The Delicate art of Khatambandhi

    Kashmir has always been known for its scenic beauty and amazing handicrafts. Khatambandh is one such traditional Kashmiri art of creating decorative ceiling, by fitting together small polygonalwood pieces in exquisite geometrical patterns. Khatambandhi was brought to Kashmir by famous saint Shah eHamdaan who was believed to have visited the Himalayan valley along with some Persian Khatamband artists around 14th century. These artists passed on this exemplary art to the residents of a small town in south of Kashmir and since then the art flourished throughout the state.

    Image Credit - kashmirink Image Credit - kashmirink

    Khatambandhi is a painstaking art of conjugating pieces of wood elegantly that take seven months to finish a 10 feet by 10 feet ceiling. A 100 sq. feet ceiling of an ordinary design requires a minimum of four craftsmen to work on it. The wood is cut into small panels by one, marked by another,carved into various shapes by the third and finally woven in geometrical patterns by the fourth artist. Then there is a master carpenter who carefully install these designs onto the ceiling. The wood employed is usually walnut,deodar or fir which is artistically processed, cut into buttons and panels and fixed in the ceiling in various beautiful floral and geometrical designs.The two main elements, which form a Khatambandh is the beading, also known as Gaj-Patti and the other one is the polygon called Posh (Flower). All this is done manually without using glue or nails. The beauty of this art is that when the ceiling is complete it acquires a captivating unique seamless geometrical pattern. The seamless ceiling creates a dynamic illusion with shapes morphing into each other, almost like watching a sky full of twinkling stars.Another interesting point of this artwork is that the Khatambandh ceiling can easily be dissembled and re-assembled at another place.

    During earlier days Khatambandh design used to be a part of shrines, houseboats, royal and historic palaces but now it is demanded by many houses inside and outside Kashmir.The splendid geometrical Khatambandh ceiling is now in great demand overseas in countries like Australia, USA and Europe.

  • Famous Forts of India

    India is a land of rich cultural history and architecture. To experience it one must see the majestic palaces and forts built by royal kingdoms of India. Forts were built to guard off enemies in the past. Whole of India is dotted with breathtaking forts of different sizes and types. Everything in a fort, from window to porch to bastion to courtyard and even the outer wall recounts some historic tale. Constructed with an extreme sense of finesse and ability, one cannot stop falling in love with these outstanding pieces of architecture that India feel so proud of. Here is a list of few popular and marvelous forts of India:

    1. Mehragarh Fort, Jodhpur

    An elevated platform and thick boundaries make the Mehragarh Fort of Jodhpur as one of the largest forts in India. The magnificent fort has 7 huge gates, one of which still has a distinct cannonball imprint that signifies the wars of the past. Inside, lies a big museum which documents the rich history of the rulers of that time which is exhibited mainly in the form of paintings, dresses, ammunition etc.

    Image Credit - wikipedia Image Credit - wikipedia

    1. Red Fort ,Delhi

    Red Fort (or Lal Quila) is an apex of Mughal art and the most popular monument in the capital city of India. It is situated on the banks of river Yamuna and was built by Shahjahan.  Carved with only red sandstones, red fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the most well preserved and massive forts of India. The fort reflects Islamic sense of architecture with splendid Persian motifs and carvings.

    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    1. Gwalior Fort, Madhya Pradesh

    Gwalior fort is known to be ruled by 110 rulers of different dynasties. Gwalior fort is believed to have witnessed some great historical events where Tantya Tope fought with the British army and Rani Lakshmi Bai took her last breath. The dramatic Jain sculptures, ceramic tiles, attractive motifs and intricate lattice work make the Gwalior fort a very unique monument of India.

    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    1. Amer Fort

    Amer Fort is located in Amer which falls between Delhi and Rajasthan and is therefore known as Gateway to Rajasthan. This huge fort is built on top of Cheel ka Teela (Eagle’s hill) amongst Aravali hill range and is never known to be conquered by any ruler. The major attractions of Amer Fort are Sheesh Mahal, Diwan-e-Aam, the Summer Residence and Sila Mata Temple. The intricately carved and beautifully painted palaces inside the fort, gardens, rooms and terraces reflect the rich culture of India and artisan’s hard work. Built by Raja Man Singh, Amer fort represents a distinct blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture.

    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    1. Golconda Fort, Hyderabad

    Golconda was basically a mine from which precious gemstones of the world were believed to be mined. The fort reflects the richest histories and traditions of India. The unique domes, entrances, pillars of fort are surrounded by 10 kilometer long boundary wall. The fort renders an acoustic affect where a clap at the entrance of The Fateh Darwaza can be heard a kilometer away at Bala Hisar pavilion.

    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    1. Red fort, Agra

    The huge Agra fort was built by Mughal emperor Akbar in 15th century. Agra Fort is spread over an area of about 94 acres and has believed to witness a number of Indian wars and battles. Diwan e khas, diwan e aam, khas mahal, shish mahal, and an octagonal burj are some of the most aesthetically designed complexes inside Red fort. It is believed that Shahjahan died in the marvelous balcony of the octagonal burj only, when he was held captive by his son Aurangzeb.

    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    1. Chittoragarh fort, Rajasthan

    Chittoragarh fort of Rajasthan is a World Heritage Site and is located 175 kilometers east of Udaipur. The fort has two uniquely designed pillars, the Kirti Stambh and the Vijay Stambh, reflecting the ultimate art and finesse of the artisan. With about twenty pools, nineteen temples and four palaces, Chittoragarh fort leaves you spell bound by its unique architectural beauty.

    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia
  • Will Make in India be the Knight in Shining Armour for Artisans in India?

    India has always been known for its culture, art and craft. For such a culturally rich country, it is a shame that most of the beautiful crafts are being lost. This is mainly due to the fact that companies from other parts of the world are making many such products through machinery and it is cheaper than the Indian made crafts. However, to counter this, the Indian Government has launched the ‘Make in India’ programme, which is an ambitious nation building initiative to promote more multinational companies to invest their resources to supplement manufacturing in India itself. Many small and large scale art setups will also benefit from the support of this programme.

    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    In India, there are over 2500+ crafts and around a million able craftsmen who can use this movement. India being culturally rich has arts and crafts which have been honed for centuries through tradition and these improvisations can easily be used to create many ‘Make in India’ opportunities for not only the urban youth of the country, but even the rural poor people.

    Over the past few years, there has been a regenerated interest in the hand-made and natural things throughout the world. And now with the Make in India initiative and resources available to us, we need to work on re-energizing our efforts, our culture and heritage –something that has been passed on to us from generations and forms a part of us.

    Just like in the Indian IT sector, we need to use modern management techniques and global work culture for creating an environment of Swachh Bharat in the villages and other places like factories and offices of all these arts and crafts which will in turn lead to more turnout of the youths who will want to work in these offices and such work friendly environments instead of going to work as watchmen or other small posts in the big cities.

    We can also use HR experts of various big universities and request them to work with the lower level gram panchayats to develop a modern structure for the community at large. This, we believe, will lead the youth to get more appreciation for their hard work and they will come up with new ideas and start taking pride in their work.

    All these efforts however will fail and come to nothing if we are unable to sell the goods created and generate a steady revenue for these newly formed companies. Hence, investment is required to create world class retail strategies and structures. The government needs to help bridge the gap between the requirements of human resources, financial resources, infrastructure and marketing to really make it work. Make in India can work, we just need to go about it the proper way.

  • THE DYING ART OF CHERIYAL SCROLLS

    Cheriyal is quiet village nearly a 100 odd kilometres from Hyderabad in the Warangal district of Telangana. This village with approximately 2000 residents and 600 plus houses is nothing different from any other village in any other part of India, until you visit the 4 households that have kept the dying art of Cheriyal scrolls alive today.

    The Cheriyal scrolls were renowned across India and the world for their unlettered form of story-telling. In fact these scrolls find mention in A Catalogue of the British Museum.Today this traditional art form has become limited only the village of Cheriyal.

    Image Credit - thebetterindia Image Credit - thebetterindia

    The canvas scrolls are made on Khadi and are hand painted with unique colours made from natural sources. There are a few characteristics that make the Cheriyal scrolls and paintings instantly recognizable such as the predominance of the colour Red in the background and the iconology of placing prominent figures in appropriate order. These scrolls are painted in a narrative format like comic strips or a film roll depicting scenes from Indian mythology like Krishna Leela, Ramayan, Mahabharatha among other folklore from the region.

    Image Credit - thebetterindia Image Credit - thebetterindia

    Tradition has it that these scrolls were used for educating the unlettered villagers and kept the local populace entertained at that time. The village poet or artist would use these scrolls as visual aid to tell people of these stories. Today, with the advent of TV, internet and magazines these scrolls have become a dying art and is just confined to the Cheriyal village. The artists have been forced to adapt and nowadays they paint smaller versions of the scrolls, sometimes limited to just one panel to depict single episodes from the stories.

    Another craft from Cheriyal that has continued to linger and survive is the contemporary Cheriyal dolls. These dolls are made of wood, sawdust and tamarind paste while the masks are made from dried coconut shells.

    Today, the government is doing all things possible to keep this tradition alive and theseCheriyal scrolls are regularly showcased in government run handicraft stores. While the Cheriyal scroll painting received Intellectual Property Rights Protection or Geographical Indication (GI) status in 2007, the families involved in this art form are anything but rich and now rely on education to equip their children for a better future.

    One such family is the husband-wife duo of Vanaja and Ganesh. Both Vanaja and Ganesh are government recognized artists and have made murals for the visit of dignitaries including that of President Pranab Mukherjee’s to Nagpur. They also travel to various locations across the country conducting workshops on Cheriyal scrolls for various state governments and helping spread awareness about this dying art form. The couple run a Cheriyal painting workshop for teaching the basic techniques of scroll making to the neighbourhood children with which they hope they can revive this dying art.

    There are many such artists in Tamil Nadu too who are keeping their culture and art alive, read about them here at: http://www.tnartisaan.com/

  • Famous Indian painters who got international credit

    India is a land of arts. This is the country that has given birth to fantastic artists for years, generation after generation. Many claim that all those things were past and historic. However, in present day also, there are different artists in India, who have established themselves in the International world of art. Here are the top five such Indian artists:

    M F Hussain

    Image Credit - commons.wikimedia.org Image Credit - commons.wikimedia.org

    He is a famous painter in India, also known as ‘Indian Picasso’. He is the most celebrated and internationally renowned artists of all times. Renowned in India, this artist gave birth to lots of the exclusive art, some of which has got recognition in the international platform too. his paintings are mostly narrative, with diverse themes. 

    SH Raza

    Image Credit - hindustantimes.com Image Credit - hindustantimes.com

    Renowned old painter of India, S Raza has made a record to earn 16 crore for a single painting. Some of the top paintingsof his are in the form of Saurastra and La Terre. Most of his paintings were on lightening Indian philosophy in the abstract form in oil or acrylic. His talent was not confined to the country alone. Soon it spread to a broader horizon, making him an internationally famous painter.

    F N Souza

    Image Credit - commons.wikimedia.org Image Credit - commons.wikimedia.org

    The famous painter is recognized by the world for his extraordinary pieces of work. Nearly 400 paintings by him were sold in the world market, among which the famous Birth image is the brightest star. It was sold at 11 crores in International market. The painter created a different generation among all the painters, with his live works. The great painter died in the year of 2002.

    Tyeb Mehta

    Image Credit - commons.wikimedia.org Image Credit - commons.wikimedia.org

    A Padma Bhushan recipient,Tyeb Mehta hailed from the Bombay Progressive Artists' Group, which included F.N. Souza, S.H. Raza and M.F. Husain. Like them, he also embraced the modern and brusque style of painting. Some of the top works of him includethe Diagonal Series and triptych Celebration. The latter one earned him 14 crore INR.

    Ganesh Pyne

    He is another artist of International fame. His works like Assassin or Before the Chariots are some of the landmark creations from this artist. Most of his works were based on the light and darkness of life, created keeping the riot phase in mind.

    VS Gaitonde

    Gaitonde is a renowned painter of India, famous in all parts of the world. Each of his work shows the control he has on his paint brush. He was an epitome of the meditative Zen quality and this is reflected in his paintings as well.In fact, some artists regard him to be the best in the modern context of art and painting in modern India.

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