KOCHI: Engraving the whole story of the epic Ramayana or Krishnaleela on palm leaves in not such an easy task. Presenting an eclectic array of crafts, jewellery and clothes, the All India Crafts Fair 2018 is all set for a ride.
The fair organised by Surabhi Kerala State Handicrafts in the VJT Hall showcases large varieties of handicrafts made by the artisans from different parts of India. The exhibition cum sale was opened to the crowd on Sunday.
Along with traditional Kerala handicrafts and handloom, the traditions and crafts of other states such as Bengal, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Rajasthan were also on display. Antique collection when fused with modern trends added charm to the fare. Exclusive Jaipur Meenakari or enamel-printed jimikis have lured the youngsters to the fair. Exquisitely crafted bangles, black metal ornaments, jewellery crafted with stonework, pearl and coral combined jewellery, anklets and other accessories were some of the highlights.
"I learned this from my father and it is followed by all the members of my family. All the ornaments displayed here are crafted by us. Back at home, we do not have to take these items to the market, rather they get sold in our houses itself. Those in need of our products visit our home to make the purchase. Also, we have online facilities for the customers," said Durgesh Tiwari, an artisan of Jaipur, who comes to the capital every year with his articles.
Bead studs prepared by needles and the peacock faced antique necklace of Jaipur are the trends now, said a vendor. "The pure enamel work is elegant and charms one with its glaze. Also, the jimikis are lightweight and this attracts the young crowd. Silk thread chains with meenakari pendants, Jaipuri thread jimikis, oxidised silver anklets are some of the other most preferred varieties of ornaments," said Veerandra Singh, an artisan from Jaipur.
Another visual treat that awaits one at the fest is the palm leaf engraving by Anvwesha Tribal Art and Craft society of Odisha. Krishnaleela and Dasavatharam have also been depicted in a palm leaf using the thorn of neem and natural colours. It takes about 6 months to complete the work, one of the artisans said.
"Surabhi has been conducting exhibition cum sales in Kozhikode, Goa, Pune, Surat and other places since the last 25 years. According to the ever-changing needs of the people, new collections are brought every year, but as compared to the previous years, the sales are low. Big textiles shops have wiped out the significance of small-scale handloom clothing," says Shaji Sasidharan, one of the co-ordinators of Surabhi. "Implementation of GST and demonetisation has affected our sales," he added.