India Craft Week Preview: Explore Rare and Traditional Skills
Craft Village hosts demonstrations of six rare crafts from India. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore traditional skills in weaving, embroidery, metal inlay, narrative art and pottery, evolved through a lineage of over 700 years.
This preview of India Craft Week showcases the diverse skills of five different states acquired over thousands of years, including Pashmina weaving, Rogan textile art, Chamba Rumaal double-side embroidery, Kagzi pottery making, Bidri metal carving and inlay, and the epic legends of Phad, narrative folk art.
Most of these rare crafting skills have either been lost or forgotten, with very few masters practising today with the same passion and energy. The preview is an opportunity for visitors to explore and learn about these traditional techniques from award-winning masters. Most of the techniques are tactile in nature, offering a meditative break from the digital world and something more humane, sensory and experiential.
For each hands-on demonstration, an authentic material is provided by the master craftsperson, with the opportunity to explore your creativity through traditional techniques.
1. Bidri Metal Ware from Karnataka, India
National and international award-winning Rashid Qadri is a dynasty craftsperson who has been instrumental in reviving Bidri silver crafts. He has innovated new methods of carving, inlaying and the finishing of metal inlay in zinc and copper alloy with silver.
2. Pashmina Weaving from Kashmir, India
Majid Mir, one of youngest Kashmiri weavers, comes from a family whose forefathers evolved and innovated calligraphy weaving in Pashmina centuries ago. A national award winner who has developed some of the finest weaving techniques in urdu calligraphy, most of his shawls talk about heaven on earth – that is, the natural beauty of Kashmir.
3. Chamba Rumaal Embroidery from Himachal Pradesh, India
Lalita Vakil, president gold medal winner, is one of the finest craftswomen to practise this embroidered form in the Chamba Valley region. Inspired by Pahari miniature paintings, she has brought the same finesse into embroidered form, which is done on khaddar in satin stitch. It is the only form of textile which has no wrong side.
4. Rogan Textile Art from Gujarat, India
Gafoor Bhai Khatri is amongst the last of his generation to practise this intricate textile craft. He has recently been awarded the fourth highest civilian award of India, ‘Padmashri’, for protecting and reviving this craft in 2007. The Rogan textile craft he practises (which is reminiscent of 3D-printed textiles) is done using natural oil colours.
5. Kagzi Pottery from Rajasthan
Om Prakash Galav comes from a community called Prajapati, which has been engaged in Ramgarh clay and pottery for many centuries. Besides being a national award winner, he has many national and international records to his credit for making the world’s smallest pottery to the largest ‘Hukkah’.
6. Phad: Narrative Art
Kalyan Joshi hails from Bhilwara, Rajasthan. The Joshi comes from ‘Jyotshi’ meaning astrologers, and he is amongst only seven authentic phad artists practising this art form in the world today. He has been conferred by national award and many other prestigious accolades. He has also helped in creating wall narratives on conserving water, sanitation and planting trees in various villages across India.