JAJPUR: Artisans and designers from across the world got an opportunity to learn about Jajpur’s terracotta art and its sculptors at a workshop hosted recently by UNESCO Creative Cities Network. The three-day workshop organised at a UNESCO Creative City Chiang Mai in Thailand concluded on Friday. It saw the virtual participation of terracotta artisans of the culturally-rich Jajpur district along with 500 others from across the world. The theme was ‘Creative Ceramic, Sculpted City’.
Jajpur was the only city in India which was invited to participate in the event and showcase its rich culture and craft traditions. Other cities were Chiang Mai (Thailand), Tamba Sasayama (Japan), Baguio (Philippines), Kutahya (Turkey), Jingdezhen, and Weifang (China), and Manises (Spain). Jajpur’s delegation included artisans and National award-winning master craftspersons like Parsuram Behera, Maheshwar Ojha and Narendra Rana and SHG members Jayanti Behera, Ranglata Behera, Malati Rana and Parbati Behera. Jajpur’s delegation presented the district’s emphasis on arts and crafts.
The artisans also shared information on the genesis of the terracotta craft, its socio-cultural importance, processes, knowledge transmission, the role of stakeholders, and the measures taken for safeguarding the crafts. Congratulating the artisans for taking part in the workshop, Collector Chakravarti Singh Rathore said such events will help boost the creativity of artisans of Jajpur which is a hub of creativity. The district is home to over 3,500 weavers, craftspersons and artists besides, art forms like Tassar handloom, terracotta, golden grass and stone sculpting.
“The district administration is collaborating with a number of UNESCO Creative Cities for exchange of knowledge on crafts development.’’, he said. Moreover, Jajpur has lined up several local master craftspersons to participate in a boot camp programme to be organised by UNESCO Creative Cities Network in October this year.