August 02, 2020

Art in the time of Corona

With Corona positive cases skyrocketing, small-scale and large-scale businesses facing losses, jobs being affecting, and people losing their minds due to the isolation, we are undoubtedly living in difficult times. But on the brighter side, we are creating history for it is not every day that a pandemic halts the entire globe from functioning normally.

This iconic period sure deserved to be captured in many art forms. Ranging from drawing rainbows on windows to thank NHS workers to graffiti on walls and illustrations/graphics on social media, artists are doing their best to capture this event in art.

Hence, we could not help but wonder if the role of arts and crafts in this time goes beyond solidarity and gratitude.
Research proved that art is not only a form of expression but is also a very effective therapy/remedy for releasing stress and easing anxiety. The lockdown, isolation, boredom, financial pressure, news updates, etc., could be a lot to deal with.

What better way to spend your time with your loved ones and/or by yourself than to get those paints, papers, scissors, glue, and everything you can find and get down to making art.

We have listed a few ideas for you. Read on!

  • Watercolors are arguably one of the most easily available mediums that people with zero to professional expertise can use. Grab a nice thick sheet (preferably 300gsm watercolor sheets), brushes, water, and some colors and get started.

You can try your hand at traditional painting styles such as Warli, Madhubani, Tanjore paintings, Pattachitra, etc., for inspiration.

They have a sense of richness to them owing to their age’s long heritage.

While you are at it, teach your kid a thing or two about the history of the painting style. This will keep their interested, engaged while also helps keep the traditional art alive.

  • Grab some jute ropes that come with packages, a pair of scissors, glue, and some paints of your choice (watercolors tend to get absorbed. We recommend acrylics or poster colors).

Pick one end of the rope and start rolling this to create a circular pattern. As you roll, make sure you apply generous quantities of glue so that it stays in place and the craft becomes rigid. Cut the other end of the rope and stick in it place for a smoother finish.

You can either color the craft or leave it as it is and use it as a coaster, wall hanging, etc. Get creative with your ideas.

  • If you want to take up a bigger, more time-demanding project, consider giving your house/room a makeover or maybe paint a wall in your chosen style. You may have to purchase wall paints if you are considering repainting the walls.

Decide a theme, chalk a plan, and start having fun!

You can make some paintings, frame them, and hang them in your room. Spice up the space with some fairy lights.

Grab some old plastic bottles and paint them using acrylic colors. You can use them to place stationery, creeper plants, or just as showpieces, and they will instantly make the room look artsy.

 

Some amazing art channels like Iteeha, Kesh, and social media handles like Etsy India, and of course, Pinterest will help you boost your ever-expanding creative streak.

 

Like what you read? Stay tuned for more blogs and follow us on social media.
July 02, 2020

A Technique As Old As Time Finds Relevance Today

The Lost Wax Casting method dates back to almost 4000 years ago and the oldest artefacts were perhaps our first form of expression and art for early settlers, right after cave painting. There is reason to believe that the first civilization in Indus Valley used this technique extensively.

Now improvised and developed, it is used as a method to create many fine sculptures and is considered a heritage of the Dhokra Damar tribes of Eastern India (West Bengal and Odisha) and hence the name, Dhokra metal casting. Over time these tribes traveled far and wide to the north, west, and south making this style of craft popular across the globe. 

The traditional process of wax casting involves creating a wax structure of the final image. Beeswax is usually used for this purpose. The wax structure is then covered in a thick mixture of sand and plaster which are then heated until the wax inside melts away. This creates a negative of the image- meaning the mold. Hot liquified metal is then poured into this mold and left to cool down and set. The artisans then proceed to break the sand and plaster mold revealing the metal sculpture. The sculpture is cleaned and smoothened giving the final output. 

This method is famous for its tribal and primitive look owing to its stark motifs and forceful forms. 

Displayed here is a Dhokra brass work by our artisans depicting figures of a tribal couple. Tribes hold a significant place in India for their heritage and culture and yet live a backward and shielded life, finding themselves meager jobs to sustain their families. This statue stands testimony to their simplicity- we see a tribal couple frozen in time as they do about their daily chores. The nature of the art is visible in the intricate casting of their clothing and jewellery as well as the precision in the objects they carry.

This piece of art can be customised and resized according to your taste and requirements. Click here to know more: https://www.artisanscrest.in/collections/dhokra-brasswork/products/tribal-art-dhokra-brasswork-tribal-couple-09
June 15, 2020

In solidarity with the artisans of the east

It has barely been a year since the catastrophic cyclone Fani hit the streets of Odisha and the state received yet another major blow by cyclone Amphan. These calamities coupled with the COVID-19 lockdown have done no good to the local artisans of Odisha who are struggling to make their ends meet.

This eastern state is a heritage hub for the country as it houses the famous Puri Jagannath temple and the Konark Sun temple that have many tales, folklore, and legends revolving around them. They are also of immense religious significance.

Odisha is also home to the centuries-old Pattachitra painting style which translates to painting on cloth. Traditional Pattachitra artists, known as Chitrakaras, have been involved in keeping the art alive for many generations now.

However, due to lack of adequate patronage, such artisans, and other craftsmen all around the country often find themselves in poor financial conditions which forces them to look for other jobs.

What was already a pitiful condition only got worsened because of the many calamities and disasters hitting the country and world at large this year.

These are artisans that earn their day-to-day income by working in a traditional fashion of carrying their produce to the market and selling them. Because of the extensive lockdown to curb the Coronavirus from spreading, markets have been shut down and as a result, their sales!

While the government and the NGOs are doing everything in their capacity to offer relief and comfort to such small-scale vendors, it is about time that we view things in a larger scenario. An old saying goes, “If you want to feed someone for life, teach them how to fish.”

The Post-pandemic world is visualized to be digital. It would take a considerable time for the public to recover from the blow of the virus and many would not return to the streets and markets quickly.

It is therefore important that artisans adopt a proactive approach and take their art online. It would be a viable solution to help educate the artisans and acquaint them to the digital world so that they continue making art.

Artisans looking for jobs outside the arts and crafts industry poses the risk of the traditional art forms being lost in time. It is therefore our responsibility to stand in solidarity with the artisans and promote them, ensuring that they live a financially stable, dignified life.

We, at Artisanscrest are proud to be helping local, traditional artisans by giving their arts and crafts exposure on our website.

When you support our artisans, they can keep the rich culture and traditions of India alive. Shop #localart and be #vocalforlocal

May 20, 2020

How You Can Support Artisan Small Businesses During This Time

In the wake of the ongoing lockdown due to the COVID19 pandemic, many industries such as hospitality, transportation, apparel, food and beverages, manufacturing and construction, etc. have been hit severely.

One industry that is also suffering a severe setback is the art and craft industry.

A vast section of the rural population is employed in this industry and many artisans follow these traditions for hundreds of years. They are almost completely dependent on their craft to feed themselves and their families.

Despite their significance, artisans in India are often not remunerated fairly and they have been facing a financial crisis for a long time. The lockdown only worsened the situation for them.


It is, therefore, necessary that in this time of crisis, we join hands together and lift them up.

  1. Financial aids and donations

While the government does its job of providing financial aid and packages to the affected sectors, we can do our part by donating to NGOs that work for the welfare of local artisans.

  1. Choose local products over imported goods

India is quite equipped and capable of manufacturing good quality products and merchandise. Indian art is also rich and vibrant. Unfortunately, there exists a fad for imported goods and artefacts.

It is time that we honor our Prime Minister’s appeal of #vocalforlocal. Let us choose to empower and lift our artisans instead of opting for relying on imports.

  1. Promote them and their work

An old saying goes, “if you want to feed a man for a day, give him food. If you want to feed him for life, teach him to fish.”

In this digital era, everything is available at a click. Internet and eCommerce is a very vital source of income even for artisans. Local artisans hailing from rural backgrounds, however, do not have access and knowledge to sell online.


We as fellow citizens with access to the internet and social media can help them by promoting their works. Giving them a shoutout, shooting a documentary, writing a blog, etc. are ways one can contribute.

There are also websites that actively engage in hosting artefacts and handicrafts designed and crafted by local, traditional artisans.

We at Artisanscrest take pride in being one of them where we bring together exquisite pieces of handmade paintings, sculptures, woodworks, textiles, jewellery, and more.

You can also support the artisans’ work by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

  1. Engage them in teaching

It is a sad reality that due to unfair and inadequate remuneration, more and more heirs of traditional artisanal families are opting for jobs outside the arts and crafts industry. If this curve continues, there will soon be a time when Indian art becomes history.

Schools and other institutes can organise paid programs where artisans engage in teaching students the traditional process of making different forms of art.

This will ensure more income for artisans while also keeps the art alive in young generations.

It is our duty and responsibility that we uplift our economy in an effective and all-inclusive manner. Let us become #atmanirbhar and support/empower Indian manufacturers, companies, entrepreneurs, and artisans.

March 13, 2020

The Wrath Of Mahishasura Mardini

Devi Durga, also identified by the name Adi Parashakti is the warrior goddess of heaven whose stories revolve around wars fought over evil to restore peace and justice.

The famous of all and the reason for her incarnation is the story of Mahishasura. He was a mighty demon who could take the form of any animal but most often appeared as a buffalo. Indian mythology narrates that Mahishasura performed penance for Lord Brahma to appear and grant him the boon of being invincible. He demanded that no man or animal can harm him. he believed that a woman cannot fight him.

As is customary, Lord Brahma granted him the boon. With the confidence of his new-found "immortality",  he soon began to conquer the universe and caused chaos in the Trilok (the hell, the heaven, and the earth). Unable to defeat him, the gods decided to approach Lord Vishnu for a solution and thus, to defeat him was created the incarnation of Mahadevi. 

She was bestowed with Lord Shiva’s trident, Lord Vishnu’s Sudarshana Chakra, Lord Brahma’s Kamandalam, Lord Indra’s Vajrayudham,  Varuna’s Conch, Agni’s Missiles, Vayu’s bow and arrows and Lord Vishwakarma’s axe while the Himalayas gave her a lion to ride on.

Armed with divine weapons, Goddess Durga defeated Mahishasura in a fierce battle that lasted for over ten days and hence the title Mahishasura Mardini meaning "the slayer of Mahishasura".  It is in this form of her defeating the demon, armed with weapons and seated on a lion that she is often portrayed and sculptured.

The story of Lord Durga defeating the buffalo demon is an often narrated tale in Shaktism- a cult in Hinduism where Shakti (the feminine power) is worshipped. It is also mentioned in their sacred scripture called the Devi Mahatmya. 

A historic city in the southern state of Karnataka called Mysore gets its name from the goddess. People of the place recall the killing of Mahisharura by Devi Durga during Navratri and Mysore Dasara where grand festivities are organized in great pomp to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. 

Our traditional artists with their fine craftsmanship manage to capture this divine moment on a piece of cloth. This style of art originates in Odisha and is called Pattachitra- literally meaning "art on cloth". Stark features of this art form include the usage of bright pigments that are often made using natural elements and an intricately designed border on each painting. 

This painting can be customized according to your needs. Find the link for this painting here: https://www.artisanscrest.in/products/painting-pattachitra-durga-09

February 29, 2020

Goddess Saraswati- Making Process of the Sculpture

At Artisanscrest we always strive to keep alive the beauty and grandeur of traditional Indian art. For this, we work with local artisans who are each skilled in their own style ranging from Pattachitra Paintings and Kerala Murals to Dhokra Brass Works and exquisite sculptures.

It is also our attempt that we cater to all the needs of our customers so they receive a piece of art that is customized to suit their requirements and one that will stay a prized possession to them for a very long time.

In our journey, it always motivates us when we receive a kind appreciation from our customers.

Annapurna Dixit, a patron and art connoisseur, recently purchased a sculpture of Goddess Saraswati made out of black stone from us.

She said, “It is looking beautiful as it is- just what I imagined Goddess Saraswati would look like”.

Everything we create is with love and passion. Hearing such words of praise from art aficionados makes us twice as determined to continue the good work.

Our deepest thanks to the lady.

Keep supporting our work. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

February 25, 2020

The Eternal Banyan Tree

The Vata-Vriksha or the Banyan tree has for centuries now been regarded as the most eternal form of existence. There is one particular tree called the Akshaya Vata on which many scriptures, tales and mythologies are based. View full article →
February 24, 2020

Tresses And Beauty

Long, cascading tresses have always been a hallmark of beauty in a woman. Beautiful hair always catches attention for its allure is such that it is capable of capturing any soul. View full article →
January 16, 2020

Shades of India- How the country celebrates the Harvest Festival

India is predominantly a land of agriculture and festivals. It is hence no surprise that the season of harvest is celebrated with much grandeur, with great joy across the country. The only aspect that varies is how each state welcomes the season in their own unique manner.

Tamil Nadu- Pongal

Pongal is a four-day long festival celebrated in the Southern state of India- Tamil Nadu. The word ‘Pongal’ literally means ‘to boil’. It is named so because on the second day of Pongal- Thai Pongal, people prepare a sweet dish by boiling rice and milk together (Kheer) which is offered to the Sun god.

The festival commences by honouring Lord Indra on the first day. People collect old household items and burn them in a bonfire made of cow dung cakes.

On the third day called the Mattu Pongal, people worship cattle as they play an eminent role in growing crops. Legend has it that once upon a time, Lord Shiva sent his servant Nandi on earth to inform people that they should bath daily and eat once a month. Nandi however, mis-informed people that they should eat daily and bath once a month. An angry Lord Shiva then sent Nandi on earth to help farmers grow more crops.

On the last day of Pongal-Kannum Pongal, people enjoy a mini picnic in their courtyard with left over kheer, betel leaves, etc.

Andhra Pradesh- Sankranthi

Andhra Pradesh celebrates the harvest festival for three days.

Much like Tamil Nadu, the people here honour Lord Indra on the first day by burning old, worn-out items in the Bhogi fire. This tradition symbolises new beginnings.

The second day, called the Makara Sankranti, is the main day of this three-day long festival when people prepare Kheer using freshly harvested crops.

On the third day, people honour and worship cattle for aiding them in agricultural activities.

During this time of the year, one can spot colourful kites in the sky as flying kites on this festival is a tradition widely followed in the country.

Punjab- Lohri

‘Punjab’ immediately strikes an image of lush green agricultural fields and a joyous, vibrant culture. Their harvest festival is also as colourful as their heritage.

10-15 days prior to the main festival, children of the town go around their neighbourhood singing folk songs and asking for wood logs. It is considered inauspicious to send them back empty handed. Hence, people offer sesame seeds, peanuts, jaggery, etc. These collections made by the children are called “Lohri”. This is then distributed during the celebrations at night.

The people here also light up a bonfire to which they add til (sesame seeds) and gud (jaggery) symbolising the end of old days and new beginnings. They dance around the fire as a tribute to the holy god of fire.

Many other states celebrate this season of harvest in a similar fashion.

Assamese call it Magh Bihu while people of Himachal Pradesh call it Magha Saaji and in Uttar Pradesh it is known as Kicheri.

In Maharashtra, a simple dish is prepared by mixing sesame seeds and jaggery and they distribute this sweet among their friends and family asking them to maintain cordial relations.

Despite differences in languages, cultures and traditions, India is united by its innate nature of being an agricultural country and hence, this festival is dear to one and all.

This festive season, we hope happiness and success find their way to you and your dear ones.

Team Artisanscrest wishes you a very Happy harvest festival.

December 28, 2019

Some Art for Every Corner of Your House

Homes are a paradise on earth. There is nothing that provides comfort and warmth like your house does. We have discussed things that new home buyers should keep in mind and have also posted a blog on how to decorate your interiors based on Vaastu Shastra to fill your space with positivity.

Let us now help you pep up every room in your house. After all, special spaces deserve a personal touch.

  1. Living Room

It is true that the first impression ought to be the best impression. It is your living room or your drawing room that your guests notice first in your house, and it ought to stand out.

Make this space all about your creativity. Display some of your very best artefacts- your prized possessions. Don’t forget to hang a painting or two above your sofa.

However, make sure you do not overdo it. Simplicity is the key!

Balance all the elements using the right colour combinations. For example, if you want to display bright, colourful paintings ensure that your sofa set is of a soft, nude colour. This way you can avoid causing visual chaos.

 

  1. Bedrooms:

Your bedroom is your personal space and it should be as peaceful and soothing as possible. Hanging a painting here is the best bet. Make sure the art piece is not too loud or something that portrays wilderness and violence. Let it be a depiction of flowers or natural landscapes.

You can always place a sculpture or two in your bedroom. However, ensure that they are small sized artefacts- something that can be displayed on a side table or a bookshelf.

  1. Kitchen:

Yes! You heard us right. If we are including every room in your house, why leave the kitchen alone? Paintings in the kitchen are a cliché. However, displaying your favourite crockery set is not.

Bring out those bright bowls and wine glasses and showcase them in a way you think is best.

Placing small plants and pots such as those of flowers and herbs is also a very pleasing décor element.

  1. Garden:

This is the place to display those big, intricate sculptures.

Purchase some beautiful sculptures such as those of a maiden, huge flower vases or mini waterfalls to place in your garden.

Try placing a set of tables and chairs somewhere in the garden where you can experience a great view. Imagine sipping some piping hot tea and nibbling on cookies, enjoying a cool, winter evening out in the open.

Find some exquisite and indigenous artifacts on our website.

You can customize and get them designed to suit your needs. Feel free to write to us at contact@artisanscrest.com

 

Artisanscrest brings the glory of Indian art to the global stage. For more updates and to see our products, follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You can also reach out to us on 918217781109 for queries.

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