Art of Painting
Wall Paintings are one of the essential handicrafts of Jaisalmer. Various buildings like palaces, havelis and also huts of common people have got their walls and ceilings decorated with colorful paintings. In the lanes of Jaisalmer also superb wall paintings can be seen.
Rajasthan’s claim to fame in the leather industry is the exquisite ‘juttis’. These are traditional footwear made of leather and embroidered with bright patterns. These shoes have a very distinct pattern and are hand-stitched by shoemakers. The embroidery is intricate and has an exotic look. Apart from that, beautiful leather satchels, pouches, phone cases, card cases and compacts are available while shopping in Jaisalmer’s local markets. These come in different sizes, colours and designs.
Fabrics and Embroidery Crafts
While shopping in Jaisalmer, there are shops selling traditional batik print, block printed, or tie and dye fabrics. Jaisalmer is known for creating beautiful garments by using these techniques. These techniques have been around for a long time and have been passed down from one generation to another. Jaisalmer is famous for the batik print, which is a continuous print in beautiful earthy tones or other bright shades. Dupattas, kurtis, sarees and skirts here feature this print generously. The stunning Gotta Patti work on the ethnic wear of the Rajasthani womenfolk is a spectacular embroidery involving an array of techniques. This process of fabric ornamentation involves applique work with small cut pieces of golden lace. Traditionally done on dresses, dupattas, sarees, ghagras and even turbans for festivals and occasions, gota work is now loved by women of the world for the touch of royalty it gives to anything it embraces.
Handwoven carpets are pretty famous in Jaisalmer. The more expensive carpets, and the ones that take the longest to create are woollen carpets that are hand woven and made from camel hair. The carpets use traditional Rajasthani motifs, which sometimes include geometrical shapes or animal motifs like that of a peacock.
Stone carving has always been the forte of Rajasthan’s artisans. When you visit the Jaisalmer fort, you will see the incredible beauty of the works of stone carvers who lived in this region a long time ago. Floral and geometric patterns used for pillars, balconies and screens; carved cupolas and ornamental friezesare elements incorporated in many homes and hotels. Marble, slate, sandstone, limestone and quartzite are to be founded all over Rajasthan, and the state’s artisans do some splendid work on it.
Famous pottery art of Rajasthan is the thin earthenware known as kagzi (paper) pottery. Terracotta ware is also well known, especially its fine reliefs of deities such as Ganesh. The resultant items like vases, ashtrays, coasters, bowls, etc. are all painted in delicate, mostly floral patterns of a distinctive blue and white combination.
Jewellery of Jaisalmer
Both men and women in Rajasthan wear a lot of jewellery. The production of jewellery, in silver, gold and precious stones ranks as a major craft in the state. Chunky silver jewellery in the form of earrings, necklaces, anklets and armlets is highly popular in rural Rajasthan, and is sometimes embellished with bits of coloured glass. On a classier level are the finely crafted meenakari and kundan work perfected by jewelers. They take its inspiration from Mughal styles of jewellery and are based on enameled silver or gold, which is then inlaid with semi-precious or precious stones. Kundan, on the other hand, is an art unique to Rajasthan, in which an item, usually of gold is first crafted, then hollowed out in places which are later filled with enamel before being studded with gemstones.
Pattu Weaving is very popular throughout Rajasthan and it is a type of general weaving. Pattu weaving is used a lot in Rajasthan and other parts of the Western India. Western Rajasthan has special importance for pattu weaving where people can find blankets, shawls of pattu or patti which is a narrow strip of cloth. The traditional pattu wears can be found in Barmer, Jaisalmer and nearby villages. Sheep and camel wool found in the natural cream, black and brown colours are widely used for weaving pattu. The usages of cotton fiber and synthetic dyes have included others such as orange, bright red, blue, pink, green and saffron.
Apart from all these handicrafts of Rajasthan, Kathputli dance represents the unique cultural traditions of Jaisalmer. Although it is a performing art but the wooden dolls are the specialty all over Rajasthan.