Sunday, November 29, 2009

Why you should plan to shop now

As Christmas and new year are around the corner everybody is busy preparing for the holidays and as usual everybody is confused about the gifts that they would be giving. If you are planning to buy gifts from us then we suggest you must do it soon. Here is the reason why.

  1. The festive sale is on where you are getting upto 50% discount on all products at our store. It is on only till the year end.
  2. As this is the year end we'll not be adding fresh stocks till the next year. That means you have to grab what you want as soon as possible before someone else buys it.
  3. Our store back end would be closed for the year end from 21st December, 2009 to 1st January, 2010. That means any orders received during this time will be processed only after 1st January, 2010.

Here are a few Christmas gift suggestions from us which you can use.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Horn Craft of Orissa - Part II

pen holder in horn craft

The process of crafting horn

Horn crafts demands enormous patient, utmost concentration and long working hours. First the solid part of the horn is soaked in water to make it soft and then the desired design is carved out of it. If shaping is necessary, then the carved piece is heated to a specific temperature and shaped. Then, different files are used to smooth the surface of the sculpture. Necessary bores are then made to fix appendages. Eyes and other highlights used to be made of stag antlers, but now a days due to its unavailability plastic is used. After drilling bores, light incisions and grooves are made in the required places on the body of the horn work. Then it is polished, generally by the women of the village. They polish the articles first with sand paper and then with wet Kharsana leaves. The Kharsana leaves have a rough surface on one side. The polishing is continued till the horn work is smooth and shiny. Then it is thoroughly cleaned with water and dried in open air. After drying it is polished further with cow dung ash or charcoal ash. Then the various parts are assembled by applying either limestone paste or white varnish highlights the desired areas. Finally coconut oil is smeared all over which gives the horn work the beautiful luster it possesses.

The present

Like any other crafts in Orissa this craft is also fighting for its survival. This craft which seems to have reached its fag end too soon is going to die an untimely death unless some concrete and hard actions are taken. Dejection is written over the faces of the artisans who are now valiantly struggling to maintain their rich cultural heritage. They suffer a major setback from the non-availability of enough horns. They have to compete with buyers from outside the state which results in the spiraling of its price and the lowering of their profit. Horns also are used in the rich shipping industry, leading to further scarcity. And the worst part is that, the horn workers have to compete with various machine made products like plastic ware. And the worst enemy are the buyers like us who have been showing indifference to traditional craftsmanship. The horn craft artisans are hence going into other professions. Those who are still sticking to this profession are not at all interested in passing it on to their children. The way the situation is right now this beautiful craft will surely die a painful death in another ten years or so. It will have to a be a combined effort of the government and the buyer to get this craft form back where it belonged.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Diwali Gift Ideas

Its Deepavali time. Its that time of the year when families and friends get together and have a blast. Its also the time to gift your loved ones. Here are some gift suggestions from us, that will surely be different and flavorful.

Appliqué lampshades of Pipili make a great gift for Diwali. Diwali or Deepavali is festival of lights. People light up earthen lamps or Diyas to celebrate this festival. The appliqué lampshades multiply the charm of this festival by creating an ethnic ambiance and adding soft colorful light to the festivities. Combine it with an appliqué wall hanging or a papier mache mask of Ram, Ganesh, Hanuman, Sita, Laxman or Kali and it will be the perfect gift for Diwali.

Combine a metal crafted sculpture with a palm leaf engraved painting and it will be an unique and rare gift that you shall be giving someone this festive season.

One of the best gifts will be a Ganesh or Buddha stone sculpture from our store. You can choose from red stone or marble sculptures. These are very intricately and ornately carved and are available at better price than any other store on the internet. You can also combine this with an appliqué lampshade to make it the perfect gift.

Wood carved Jagannath or Trinity idols are great too as a festival gift. These hand carved and painted idols of Puri are made from wood blocks and are completely hand crafted. These will make an ideal gift for any festival and especilly for Deepavali.

No matter what the festival is Pattachitra painting or a palm leaf engraved painting is a good gift any day. Let it be Diwali, Durga puja, Holi, Christmas or new year. Because of its beautiful colours, design and intricacy it makes a great gift for any festival. Go ahead gift your loved ones with a Pattachitra or palm leaf painting this season.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Horn Craft of Orissa - Part I

Horn craft is practiced by the Oriya tribal people, mainly the Marijas, Santhals and Orans. The horns, taken from the corpses of mainly cows and buffalos are transformed into beautiful artworks that become home decors and a large variety of functional items. Pen stands, paper weights, lamp shades, table lamps, walking sticks and decorative figures of animals and birds are some of the most common products. But the razors, spectacle-frames, cigarette cases that were in vogue till early eighties have slowly disappeared from this craft and also public memory. And in the land of Jagannath how can be a craft be a complete without representing the lord with it!! In keeping with changing times, inspiration for decorative pieces is being drawn from modern art as well. Paralakhemundi and Cuttack are the Mecca of this beautiful craft and Paralakhemundi mainly is synonymous with horn craft around the world.

The history of horn work

The history of how this craft was born is not known precisely. But by most the present form of horn craft is attributed to Rao Sahib K.V.Appa Rao of Paralakhemundi. He was patronized by the kind of Paralakhemundi for his fireworks. Legend has it that during a firework display Appa Rao accidently recognized the plastic properties of horn which was used as a container for his fireworks. Till then horn was used to make functional items like combs by the tribal people. Appa Rao studied the potential that horn had as a medium for art form and then under the patronage of the king set up his workshop with the very best carpenters. And this is how the horn craft of Orissa was born.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The festive sale is on

This is the time of the year when celebrations encapsulate the world. It starts with Durga Puja or Dusshera. Next is Diwali or Deepavali and then comes Christmas followed by new year. And craftOrissa gives you just another reason to celebrate. Our grand festive sales are on from this weekend.

You get upto 50% off on all products. Yes you read it right. The sale is on for all products. Everything in our store is up for sale. And the discount is upto 50%.

By the way the launch offer is also still on. So if you purchase before 31st December you get additional 15% discount on the final purchase amount and also 25% off on shipping.

But there is a catch. Offer is valid till stocks last. So hurry up and order today. There are great gifting ideas that you can get on our site now. So vitsit us today and we assure you it will be worth.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Anatomy of a Pattachitra

Kalia Dalan Pattachitra

Pattachitra has always been used as a story telling medium. Though one may find various themes in a Pattachitra painting now-a-days, traditionally stories from Indian mythology have been told through this medium. As Krishna and Jagannath culture is predominant in Orissa stories from Krishna’s life occupy a dominant position in Pattachitra paintings. What you see in this post is a basic Pattachitra painting depicting a very important incident from Krishna’s life.

The incidence the painting depicts is called ‘Kalia Dalan’. A multi-headed serpent called Kalia along with his hundred wives had taken refuse in Yamuna river near Vrindavan, the village where Krishna grew up as a child. Its venom had caused havoc killing all the cattle that used to go to the river to drink water, all the birds that flew over it and all trees that were there on the bank of the river. Kalia had a bloated ego because of the powers that he possessed.

Nobody in Vrindavan village dared to go near Yamuna, which was the lifeline of the village. One day Krishna while playing with his friends veered towards the river and playfully jumped into it. His friends ran back and informed the villagers and his parents.

In the meanwhile inside river Yamuna Krishna has a small encounter with Kalia whereby Kalia tries to display his powers against Krishna. But Krishna in a very playful way climbs on top of the hood of the great serpent as the serpent rises above water. The villagers of Vrindavan watch in awe as the great serpent emerges out of water with its hood raised and Krishna dancing on top of it. Kalia bleeds heavily and his venom also starts to come out as he keeps becoming weaker.

The wives of Kalia surface and ask Krishna for forgiveness. Finally Kalia’s ego too is broken and he asks for forgiveness. Then Krishna directs him to go to a certain place and live harmoniously there.

This whole incident is a metaphor for the Hinduism’s philosophy of giving up one ego and surrendering to supreme lord. Complete surrender is a way of attaining Moksha.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New products added to store

As the festive season is coming up we have added some new products to our store. In applique craft there are some new lampshades and wall hangings. In papier mache masks you can check out the black Ganesha mask that we have added. Some of the other highlights in the new products include Krishna leela on palm leaf, Trinity of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra in Pattachitra painting, kurtis in handmade textiles and a Ganesha in red stone carving. And yes how can we miss out one of the most unique mew items. It is a bull horn carved deerBull horn carved deer. Do check out the new products.

And by the way did we just say festive season. That sounds like discounts. Keep checking this space or our offers page for details.