Dastkar Nature Bazaar presents the third exciting edition of the cross-cultural craft bazaar- CROSSING BOUNDARIES: Craftspeople from Different Countries & Cultures Coming Together! Artisans and craft organizations from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Nepal, Vietnam, and Uzbekistan (*subject to change) come together with their Indian counterparts to share and showcase talents, techniques and products!
Venue : From 17th-28th September, 2015 at Nature Bazaar-Kisan Haat, Andheria Modh, New Delhi
I look forward to every edition of the Dastkar bazar for the amazing craftsmanship that it brings forth. There are some real gems from various regions of India as well as other parts of the world. The current fair is a mix of arts from several countries and I am always excited about this one: the exotic stall owners, beautiful women in awesome headgears and dresses – all make for an even prettier picture than the wares.
This time, it was no different and we had fun conversing with several stall owners from Afghanistan, Vietnam, Manipur, Nagaland, Gujrat, etc – all very happy to have their wares clicked and give out as much info as they could about their craft.
Right at the entrance, some really gorgeous furniture from Saharanpur made us stop in our tracks. A very impressive sounding visiting card which read:
National Award Winner
The Shisham wood had been stained many shades darker than its original colour – almost like the colour of mehindi (after its dried and removed), giving it a solid and colonial veneer. From a swing seat to a rocking chair to a living room set – the range of furniture is huge and varied at this stall. We loved the folding chairs which had a hinge at the junction of seat and backrest. The magazine holders, quirky stools and the tiny saddleback chairs were my favourite. Prices vary from 3000/- for a pair of stools to 4500/- for a pair of chairs, magazine holders were 1200-1500 INR.
Qasab-Kutch Craftswomen Producer Co. Ltd, Gujarat
Next to capture our attention was this exquisite “kutchi” mirror and thread worked textiles from Gujarat. The pouches, slings, handbags, even kathputlis were all a very fine example in precision and beauty, and got our vote for being very drool-worthy.
Sanskruti Silk Patola, Gujarat
Vibrant lengths of silken fabrics rustled in the mild breeze wafting through the compound and we watched the double shades appear and disappear with each breath the fabrics took. These are six- and-a-half meter pure silk woven in the traditional Patola weave of Gujarat region. Each sari promised to drape the ordinary with its dynamic colour combos and ethnic patterns, and turn them into extraordinary. Prices start at 18,000/-
A word of caution to the wise – there are quite a few jewellery stalls there – from India and the neighbouring countries – and each is unique in its wares. So we recommend a thorough recce of the place, before you set out to make purchases. Don’t believe us – see the pictures below for my shopping, just for jewellery from this fair.
Aagaaz from Uttar Pradesh
I look out with bated breath for this vendor for their finely detailed creations crafted out of tiny multi-coloured glass beads. I especially love the neckpieces and bangles – all moderately priced from 20/- to 250/-They also do hair accessories and ear rings. (I shopped the most from here)
Anvesha Tribal Arts & Crafts, Orissa
Check out the meticulous detailing on brass pieces – be it jewellery or Objet d’arts – at this stall from Orissa. Each item is striking in its refinedness, making for some very exquisite addition to one’s collection. We coveted this cow-head door knocker the most!
Leather Juttis from Hissar, Haryana
After clothes and jewellery it’s time for some shoe shopping. We were bowled over by the vibrant hues of pinks, oranges, mustard yellow, purple and a red; that were used to stain these traditional footwear. The colour accent has taken these shoes to another level and make for a very pretty picture. You can chose from plain or embroidered and both for men and women.
Abshar Hussain – National Awardee – Uttar Pradesh
This young artist’s talent was obvious in his impeccably crafted pieces which were fashioned out of shishamwood and steem beech wood and stained in cheerful happy colours, some with a motif embossed on it. So you had a stack of coloured coasters threaded onto a wooden post, each in a different colour; tiny jars for keeping mouth fresheners, boxes and many more items. He had even made some neat lamps which had very clean lines and were quite sharp in detail.
Help Foundation, Jammu & Kashmir
This stall had the usual display of crewel embroidery and papier- mache which is unique to J&K; but in an unusual combination of styles, motif designs and colour combinations. We loved the table lamps where the lampshade had beautiful crewel embroidered motif on them while the base was made out of papier -mache craft. The jugalbandi of the two was quite unique and made a great combination!
The line up of the stalls is exhaustive and one really needs time and patience to view them all; but one must go through them all as each one is unique.
( All pictures have been taken by the author and are copyrighted. )