(Last Updated on : 13/05/2011)
Crafts of Karnataka
have passed on from one generation to the next and bear testimony to the skill, aesthetic sensibilities and decorative abilities of the craftsperson. They have received patronage from the royalty in the past. The crafts of the state include woodcarving, ivory craving, kasuti embroidery, durries, pottery and cheennapatna toys. The traditional craftsmen in Karnataka inlaid rosewood and ebony with ivory. The doors of Amba Vilas Palace in Mysore, Seringapatnam mausoleum bear ample testimony of this form of craft. The daily use items of the wood inlay item include furniture items, powder boxes, bowls, puja mandaps, wall hangings, etc. The tradition of crafts in Karnataka has been religiously followed through ages.
Traditional Crafts of Karnataka
Woodcarving is a traditional craft of Karnataka, which is done on sandalwood and rosewood. This skill requires deftness, as any form of carving should be identified when viewed from any angle. All the items are artistically and realistically sculpted. Mysore`s Gudigar or the wood carving community of Karnataka
is known for the carvings on fragrant close-grained Srigandha sandalwood of Karnataka. The designs include carved flowers, creepers, birds and animals etc. The best of sandalwood carving reflects the unique craftsmanship of the artists. The toys of Chennapatna bear ample testimony to the artistic skill of the craftsmen. The range of traditional Chennapatna toys include, cooking vessels although today planes, trams, trucks, rattle etc are also made. Khanpur in Belgaum district
of Karnataka is known for pottery, which includes large sized containers and jars, for storing food items. The local clay is excellent and a thin variety of pottery has developed with designs embossed on it.
Weaving is a household craft of Karnataka. Cotton sarees are woven in dark earthy colours with heavy maroon or chocolate colours to mark the borders. There are sarees in mat design in white or yellow; or in the rudraksh pattern. The pallu is usually in alterations of white and red hands with mounts at the two ends, woven either in cotton or silk. Irkal is a special sari of the area that is made in rich colours like pomegranate, red, peacock blue, parrot green etc.
One of the most popular types of crafts of Karnataka is wood carving. This state has successfully occupied a place of pride in the field of wood carving. Karnataka has a vast forest reserve that provides enough raw materials for this craft. The foremost specimen of wood carving in Karnataka is the ancient temple wood architecture, where wood has been carved finely into sculptures. Further, in the world of crafts, the kasuti embroidery of Karnataka has carved a niche for itself and has been widely acclaimed by the connoisseurs of crafts all over the world. The designs of kasuti embroidery can range from architecture to cradles and animal figures. The designs have a feminine angle and are mostly done in two stitches namely, the gavanti line or double running stitch and murgi or the zigzag stitch. Kasuti is essentially used for decorating sarees and blouses and is best when done on thick materials against dark Indian shades.
Navalgund in Dharwad district
of Karnataka is best known for its colourful durries. The durries are marked with intricate design and stunning colours. The designs are usually in geometrical juxtaposition. They are not only in demand within the country but outside as well. The durries are outlined in delicate floral motifs with an occasional bird or animal form added to it. A special type of durrie called sutada is made in the Bijapur district and Dharwad district. They have simple horizontal stripes in different colours. There are special designs, which lend significance to the object.
In the past, Ivory carving was another popular craft form of Karnataka. The different types of crafts of this state wonderfully reveal the royal delicacy as well as efficiency of the craftsmen.