Odisha Shilpi Mahasangha is a Government recognized non-profit organization that works to improve the living conditions of the artisans and craftsmen of Odisha and make their lives better. It was started six years ago and has been publishing a magazine ever since to bring awareness to the cause and to bring the local artisans to light.
We, team Artisanscrest, take pride in the fact that we have been supporting the magazine and co-sponsoring Artisans’ events thereby supporting the organization. This enabled them to reach far and wide in the state and encouraged more artisans and craftsmen to join this movement. Today, they are a proud family of ten thousand artisans.
A couple of months ago, in their 6th annual celebration, we were awarded the Shilpi Sahajogi Sanman for the year 2018. This award was presented to us by the Hon’ble Arts and Culture Minister of Odisha, Shri Prasanta Nanda, who was also the chief guest at the event which saw a gathering of more than five thousand artisans.
Our efforts in creating a consistent livelihood for artisans:
Artisanscrest is an e-commerce platform whose main motto is to preserve and celebrate traditional art. We get involved in the process of creation and involve ourselves from the workshop level itself, thus helping to preserve tradition and also give maximum representation to the artists.
India is a land of diverse cultures, religions, and traditions. With such rich cultural heritage, it is only natural that each region and each tribe have to themselves an art form that is representative of their culture.
We travel across the length and breadth of India to bring together some fine artisans, sculptors, artists, and craftsmen who excel in their traditional art form that is native to their place. We then strive to improve their livelihood by continuously hiring and extending work to the artisan community and getting them to work under the well-established banner of “Artisanscrest”.
We then bring their work to light by hosting their masterpieces on our website thereby promoting these ancient art forms across the globe and generating a greater demand. We also provide them with a large commission on their work to ensure a stable livelihood for them.
Be it the exquisite woodwork of the Channapatna region of or the lost wax brass work done by the Dhokra Damar tribes, our website is home to them all. We also extend customization options, so our customers get to specify their requirements and receive a masterpiece crafted exclusively to suit their needs.Make sure to give it a visit and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter.
Rooted Deep Into the Woods- Tribal Art
We talk of people who knew not canvases, boards, colors, and brushes. They come from the deepest of woods and bring with them a culture so rich and art so strikingly beautiful that connoisseurs over the globe have adored it for ages.
Tribal art can be distinguished by its bold yet simple imagery and use of vibrant colors. Another very distinct feature of this art form is the use of all natural materials. Be it for painting, carving or sculpting, these artisans resort to mother nature for their supplies.
This exquisite art form dates back to the primitive era of mankind and has evolved since then into a more refined skill that can be commercially viable.
What is Tribal Art?
It is essentially an art form that is native to the tribal regions. In India, various tribes from several regions have marked their identification through their art and craft which now stands as part of the country’s rich cultural heritage.
This form of art, as mentioned above, makes use of naturally available resources such as stones, leaves, wood, gems, shells, etc. Improved technology and easy accessibility have now enabled them to make use of metal and other processed material as well.
One thing that remains true to origins to date is that Tribal Art is still majorly handmade. They beat, carve and sculpt by hand in order to give the raw material a definite form and shape.
Making a livelihood-
The last two decades saw tribal art and craft being celebrated as bold artifacts. Statement junk jewelry became the latest market trend. This brought to light the much forgotten tribal art that now enjoys the adoration of art lovers across the globe.
The skill that has been passed on to tribal artisans from hundreds of generations has now started giving them a means of earning.
One issue they still face is a lack of exposure and means of transportation. Much like handlooms which are now being favored after a dull period, it is time we recognize Tribal Art as a form that is worth appreciating, cherishing and passing on to future generations. Else, it is only a matter of time before we lose this precious tradition.
Our team at Artisanscrest acts to bridge this gap between tribal artisans and art connoisseurs and host exquisite samples of this fine art. Take a look below-
A Dhokra Brasswork peacock.
A flower vase made of Bamboo.
Fine jewelry from the Tribal Jewelry collection.
An Arecanut wall hanging of Lord Ganesha.
We do our part by promoting tribal artisans. It is now your turn to encourage them and sustain their art form. Go ahead and order now!
In our previous blog, we spoke about building an art collection along with some tips to collect and organize. In this one, we are going more specific and focusing on Indian art and how to build your very own collection of it.
India is a land of diverse cultures, religions, tribe, and folks. Each region of the country brings with it its own share of traditional heritage that is most reflected in its art forms. With such rich diversity, it is only fair that you, as an art collector, bring together exquisite pieces of art famous to each region they come from.
Given below are some examples of fine artwork done by artisans whose skill has been passed on to them from generations that lived long before them.
It is a common sight in Indian temples to find long, beautiful, pillar-like metal structures lit using wick and oil. Such a structure is called a Deepasthambam. The state of Kerala specializes in making these using bell metal. A couple of layers and multiple designs including carefully crafted motifs make these lamps a stylized yet traditional piece of work that can be placed either in the puja room or decorated elsewhere on a table.
No art collection is ever complete without a painting or two hanging proudly on the walls. The most traditional form of Indian paintings include the Pattachitra paintings. This technique dates back to almost 5th century B.C and uses cloth as the medium for painting. Pigments are usually natural and work is hand-done.
Find out more about Indian paintings here.
Situated 60kms off the city of Bangalore in Karnataka is a rural village that is famous worldwide for its simple yet enchanting works using wood. They specialize in making toys out of wood and this art form dates back to the era of Tipu Sultan’s rule about two centuries ago. Although the techniques have been more mechanized and modified, the essence of the art form remains to be traditional.
You can find detailed information on this art form here.
Tribes of India are an essential and irreplaceable part of India heritage, culture, and tradition. They have their own share of contribution to Indian art. Their motifs are usually very sharp and forceful owing to their origins in dense forests.
Tribal jewelry pieces are a must-have in every art connoisseur’s collections.
We at Artisanscrest specialize in manufacturing and supplying traditional art forms from across India. Visit our website to find some beautiful works of art that will add value to your collection.
For quite some time now we have been writing about different types of art, various media, methods, their significance and more for you to have an even idea on Indian art and craft.
If you are reading this, it is possible that you are planning on building an art collection of your own. If you are not, this article might inspire you to do just that.
Continue reading to find some great tips and suggestions to build your very own art collection.
Art is varied and comes in different styles, sizes and options to choose from. Before you make a purchase, analyze if you are ready to make a commitment for a long time to come. You don’t want to be bored of it!
You could like paintings, sculptures, craftwork and more. Each such art form then has various styles to offer. Take, for example, paintings. Paintings can be abstract, contemporary, impressionistic, traditional, Indian, etc.
Take your time to explore various art forms. One way to do that could be following Instagram handles and hashtags.
Once you find a form that suits your tastes, start collecting.
We offer a variety of styles to choose from:
Artists often provide digital copies or printed versions of the original masterpiece. They are not only cheaper compared to the original paintings but also come in various sizes and dimensions for you to choose from. Replicas are usually as good as the original and yet offer a better price. Take a look at our customization solutions to find some such artifacts.
Artists majorly marketing on social media handles such as Instagram and Facebook sometimes announce giveaways for promotional purposes. This could be a great opportunity for you to collect art especially if you are a new player in the field.
What use is purchasing art if not to be displayed? Displaying aesthetically makes the piece stand out and for that, one needs to have a good idea of the spacing. Cramming a lot of pieces in one room or hardly having any statement pieces at all, both don’t give off a good appeal.
Therefore, carefully evaluate your spaces before making a purchase.
A crucial point most collectors often miss out is the frame. A right frame for a right piece of art goes a long way in making that particular piece stand out. Play around with frames until you find the one that feels and fits just right.
Of course where you place your art matters but so do the surroundings. A heavily crammed room may not be the right place for a painting of Lord Buddha. Similarly, a large painting stands perfectly well behind a sofa set in your living room.
Plan your placement well.
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The original temple of Puri is said to have its origins dating back to almost 1078 to 1148 CE. However, the one we see today is a reconstructed version of the original temple that was built in the year 1174 CE by king Ananga Bhima Deva.
This temple has a mythical past to it. It is said that when Pandavas began their journey to Yama Lok, the Sapta Rishis advised them to visit the Chaar Dham to attain moksha. One destination of this Chaar Dham is the Puri Jagannath Temple.
The three idols placed in this temple are of Lord Krishna or Lord Jagannath along with his brother Balarama and sister Subhadra. How these unique wooden idols came into being is yet another alluring story of this temple.
Legend has it that Lord Vishnu manifested near the seashore at the end of the Treta Yuga in the form of a blue colored jewel called Indranilamani. The shine of this jewel was so bright that it could grant instant moksha to anyone who looked at it. In order to prevent that from happening, Lord Yama hid that jewel by burying it. Later in Dwapara Yuga, a Malwa king named Indradyumna wanted to find that jewel and performed severe penance for it. Lord Vishnu in the form of a divine voice instructed King Indradyumna to make an idol out of a tree log that he can find floating on Puri beach. As instructed Lord Indradyumna set out on his task where Lord Vishnu himself took the form of an artisan to sculpt the idols. He, however, demanded that he remain undisturbed until he is done. After a couple of weeks, the king and queen took the artisan to be dead as there was no sound from him and entered the workplace thereby invading his privacy and solace. Lord Vishnu hence left the idols unfinished. It is because of this that Puri Jagannath’s idol is said to have no hands.
Of all the festivals celebrated in this temple, two remain to be of utmost importance- The Rath Yatra and The Nabakalebara.
Once every year, in the rainy month of Asadha (around June or July), the three idols of Puri Jagannath temple are brought out onto the main streets of Puri where they are carried on wheeled chariots to Shri Gundicha Temple where they stay for nine days and then return back to Shri Mandri, halting at Mausi Maa Temple on their way back.
This procession is called Rath Yatra and is a major celebration in Odisha. People decorate roads and the chariots are well decorated by skilled artisans for this purpose.
A once in a blue moon festival, Nabakalebara usually occurs in a time gap of 8, 12 or even 18 years. During this time, the existing idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balarama, and Devi Subhadra are buried and new idols are installed. These idols are made using a special variety of wood and this festival calls in huge population from across the globe.
Arts and crafts of Lord Jagannath from our collection:
At Artisanscrest, we house a very exquisite range of art and craft related to Lord Jagannath and the temple of Puri.
Take a look below.
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The festival of lights has just gone by and we are hardly over it yet. As a nation, we celebrate this one festival with more joy and fervor than any other!
A five-day celebration, it commences on the 15th day of Kartika- a Hindu month. The first day is celebrated as Dhanteras, the second day as Naraka Chaturdasi- the day when Satyabhama, Krishna’s wife, killed Narakasur while the third is the main day of Diwali. It is followed by Govardhan Puja and Bhai Duj.
Celebrated across the length and breadth of the country irrespective of caste, region, and religion, it is only fair that this beloved festival has quite some legends and stories attached to it with various adaptions of them too.
Here are some of the often known ones:
Legend has it that once lived a demon named Narakasur who had the boon that he would be killed only by his mother. His mother’s death in his childhood made him an immortal and with these powers, he began tormenting people of both Earth and Heaven. Lord Krishna hence asked Satyabhama who was a reincarnation of Naraksur’s mother to kill him, thereby setting free the 16,000 women he had held captive.
According to some legends, it is believed that Pandavas who were unfairly ousted from their kingdom into exile returned on this day. It is also believed by some that Lord Rama returned from his exile on this day as well. As he was adored by his people, they welcomed him by lighting lamps and hence it came to be called Deepavali or the festival of lamps.
Bhai Duj or Bhau-bheej as it is called in some cultures is celebrated on the 5th day of Diwali. Lord Yama, the god of death visited his sister Yami on this day to bless her. This day henceforth became auspicious and it is believed that any brother who visits his sister on this day would be free from all evil and sins.
Mostly popular in the eastern states of Odisha and West Bengal, Kali Puja forms an important part of the Diwali festival. It is said that Devi Kali, an incarnation of Goddess Durga, killed all the demons walking Earth and wore their heads as a garland. Unable to control her rage, she started destroying everything that came her way. In order to stop her, Lord Shiva lay down in front of her. As she stepped on him, she came back into her senses.
Holding such prominence across India, Diwali calls in for special celebrations and decorations not just before but also after the festival.
This festive season, bring home some of our exquisite pieces of art, idols of Lord Ganesha and Devi Lakshmi and more.
Visit our website to find more.
Stay tuned to our updates!
Dating back to the 16th century, Hampi is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is often called the world’s largest open-air museum. A tourist attraction in Hampi, the famous chariot has an interesting history to it.
It is said that when King Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagara empire went to fight a battle against then Kalinga Rajya or modern-day Odisha, he happened to lay his eyes on the beautiful chariot in the Konark Temple and wanted to construct one in Hampi.
Upon his orders, this iconic chariot of Hampi was built which now stands as part of the three most recognized chariot structures of India including the one in Konark and the one in Mahabalipuram.
The Hampi Chariot, though it looks like one solid structure, is actually made of several slabs of granite carefully plastered together to look like one. On its base are carved scenes of mythical battles in intricate detail. It is said that when the chariot was constructed, two horses were carved to pull it but now one can find elephants instead.
This Chariot is built in the Vittala Temple Complex as a shrine for Lord Vishnu’s vehicle Garuda but now stands empty. Folklore is often stranger than reality, and it says that the world would come to an end when the chariot moves.
A jewel in the crown of Karnataka, this exquisite structure stands tall upholding the state’s cultural heritage and the country’s artistic pride.
Recreating this masterpiece-
We at Artisanscrest take pride in the fact that we have successfully recreated this masterpiece in all its valor and grandeur.
We were commissioned with the task of condensing this mammoth structure into dimensions of 3ft x 2ft x 2ft. It took us about 12-15 weeks to carve this legendary structure with all its iconic details.
This chariot, and many such prized artifacts, be customized and made according to your needs and wants including size specifications and other details.
In doing so, our endeavor is to pay tribute to the artistic grandeur of India and recreate those pieces that are often hard to come by- such as the ones preserved in museums across the world. Our sole aim is to give people a chance to own a replica as a memory of what the original stood for, much like a memento or a token.
The Hampi Chariot is just one of our recreated masterpieces. Our skilled artisans give us the opportunity to provide you with more options in customization across a wide range of artifacts.
Be it a Kerala Mural
Or a Pattachitra Painting
Be it from the Golden Grass range
Or a Marble Statue
Or any other Indian artifact from anywhere around the world that catches your attention, write to us for a consultation.
So what are you waiting for? This festive season, bring in an exquisite masterpiece of your choice, customized to your needs.
Please note that no copyright infringement is intended in the recreation of these masterpieces, nor do we make claims of making the original product and selling it. All our recreations are a tribute to our rich heritage and must be treated as such.
Generally speaking, painting is a form of art which uses pigments (colors) that are applied on any surface such as a cloth, a canvas, rocks, walls, etc.
Painting serves as a tool for visual communication by bringing in elements such as texture, depth, contrast, value, gesture, background. It can be both realistic or suggestive.
What initially started in the caves during the pre-historic age kept getting better over time with the use of various methods and techniques. Paintings are now a part and parcel of life.
The history of paintings
The earliest known paintings were discovered in the Chauvet and Lascaux caves of France. They house a number of representations of animals such as Bisons, Horses, Lions, Deers, Rhinos, etc and also some species that are now extinct.
Another peculiar variety of paintings found in these caves are those of hand marks. They are believed to be made by blowing dried pigments around the hand to create an impression.
Although the exact reason for making such marks and impressions is not known, the art of that time is considered more of a communication tool rather than for aesthetic purposes.
Evolution of paintings
Paintings of the early period usually portrayed two-dimensional images. It wasn’t until the time of Renaissance that painters started showing depth and dimension using techniques such as perspective, shades, and shadows.
It was after this that artists started experimenting with this style of art giving birth to different styles of painting such as Realism, Mannerism, Impressionism, and Romanticism.
Each style has its own distinctive characteristics. Take for example Impressionism where a visual is suggested using plain brush strokes. As the name says, this style of painting only suggests an impression of the actual visual. The famous painter Claude Monet was an Impressionist.
Painting in India
Painting as an art form not only evolved in styles but also in methods, medium, and character.
As in the case of France, the earliest paintings in India were also found in caves such as Bimbetka.
However, owing to regional diversity, Indian painting also took varied forms such as Pattachitra, Kerala Mural, Madhubani, Kalamkari, Mandala, Warli, and so on.
A form of painting prominent in the regions of Odisha and West Bengal, Pattachitra art is usually made on a piece of cloth using natural pigments.
Painters, traditionally known as Chitrakaras first prepare a gum made out of tamarind seeds. They use this gum and white stone powder to coat a fine piece of cloth in order to create a workable surface.
An outline is then drawn in which colors are filled. The traditional method uses pigments made using natural elements. For example, white was made out of conch shells.
Pattachitra is predominantly icon painting using Lord Jagannath as its common subject as shown below.
Bright hues are used for painting these pieces of cloth.
Find the painting here.
Another striking feature of most Pattachitra paintings, as seen below, is that they follow a principle of floral borders.
Kerala Mural painting is another very prominent form of traditional Indian art.
Unlike Pattachitra, the surface for a Kerala Murals is not limited to a piece of cloth as it explores walls, stones, and canvases.
Traditional mural paintings were however done on walls for which the wall was first thoroughly primed by coating it with layers of limestone mixture.
An outline of the image is first drawn followed by giving it dimensions. Colors are then filled after which a black outline is given to each and every detail to accentuate the painting. The final step consists of coating with a pine resin for a finished and glossy look.
Kerala Murals make use of bright hues with orange dominating the palette as in the below picture.
With changing times, artists have started using various other media such as a canvas and cloth. Below is a painting for Lord Krishna done on canvas and paper.
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Pertaining to the abundant availability of stones, civilizations dating back to as far as Mesolithic age saw the usage of these rocks for creating some exquisite works for various purposes.
Some of the earliest stone works include The Stonehenge, Moai and some sculptures recovered from excavating caves and historic civilizations such as the Indus Valley Civilization- each having their own unique style, purpose, and characteristics.
Formation of rocks:
Millions of years ago, the Earth was simply a huge ball of mineral gases. As these gases began to cool down, they got compressed and took on a solid form to become what we call natural rocks.
There are a variety of rocks on Earth such as metamorphic, igneous, sedimentary, etc. Their variety depends on the minerals that went into their formation and their origins.
What is stone carving?
Stone carving is essentially a process by which objects are sculpted out of a piece of rock or stone. It has been a very common yet difficult form of art for quite a few centuries now. Over time, sculptors began taking keen notice of details, beautifying their stone sculptures and creating truly realistic masterpieces out of them.
Limestone, granite, sandstone, marble, soapstone, black stone, etc. are some of the commonly chosen rocks/stones for sculpting- each having their own unique characteristic and quality.
The process of carving stones:
Carving sculptures out of stone begins with the sculptor choosing a stone for his/her work. They then usually create a replica of their design or sculpture using another medium such as Plaster of Paris. This makes it easier for them to copy exact details. Some artisans, however, prefer directly carving the stone.
Carving of the stone involves chiseling out the excess or unwanted parts of the stone using a pointed chisel to create a basic structure.
Once that structure is ready, the sculptor then begins to refine his sculpture, carving out details and bringing out a more defined structure.
After all the carving is done, he then finishes off by smoothening the surface and giving it a polish. Usually, a sandpaper is used for this purpose but it depends on the rock or stone used.
Black stone sculptures:
Black stone is a very commonly used rock for creating sculptures because of its beautiful color that gives an elegant finish to the sculpture. Different types of black stones can be used depending on the sculptor and his needs. Black Onyx is a variety that is often used for sculpting purposes.
Our exquisite Black Stone collections:
Dharma: The Symbolic Sermon-
Simple but professionally crafted, this sculpture shows Lord Buddha seated on a throne and demonstrating the Dharma Chakra Mudra.
Find it here.
Kama: Uncontrollable Desire-
Hindu scriptures define Kama as a physical desire for intimacy between two people. It is this desire that is said to drive all the creatures into reproducing and hence keeping evolution going.
This polished, black stone sculpture depicts the same passion between a man and a woman.
Praheli: The Enigma That Is Life-
Scholars, yogis, and philosophers were forever faced with failure trying to understand the mysteries of life. This secrecy of life hence became an interesting subject for artists and artisans to explore.
This sculpture is a fine example of one that depicts this enigma by being carved to look like a question mark with different creatures engraved on it, conveying that everything that walks the Earth is an eternal part of this question.
Find yours here.
Marble sculptures first came into appearance during the age of Mesopotamia for carving crude models of animals. They gradually kept developing and got their prominence during the Greek and Roman period.
Greek sculptors paid emphasis to human figurines in stark details and contrasts and so was the case with the Romans. Marble carried a soft and translucent texture which enabled the sculptors to create a visual depth evoking realism and hence was greatly used.
With time, marble became one of the essential media for sculptors to sculpt with in order to create beautiful figurines with flowy designs.
What is Marble?
Marble is a metamorphic rock made out of limestone. It is formed when the limestone is subjected to heat and pressure over time combined with other materials.
The finest variety of marble, the one best suited for sculptors, is free from any stains or marks.
Working with Marble:
Carving a sculpture out of marble begins with choosing the right quality of marble. Once a stone is picked, the sculptor goes on to create a wax or clay model of the desired visual in order to have an example to work from. However, a sculptor might also opt to carve out of imagination as was the case with most Renaissance sculptors.
The process of carving begins with chiseling the basic shape out of the block of stone. A point chisel is often used for this purpose using which unwanted pieces of stone are pitched off.
After obtaining a basic shape, larger details like folds and turns are carved to bring out features and characteristics. The sculptor then goes on to carve the finer details that beautify and add grandeur to the sculpture.
The final stage in sculpting out of marble is polishing the surface for a smoother finish. A sandpaper or sand cloth is often used for this purpose. Iron and tin oxides are applied for obtaining a reflective surface.
Some exquisite marble models from our collection-
1. Abhedabhava: Radha and Krishna, Embracing in love:
The love story of Radha and Krishna is much adored and often repeated through Indian mythology, folklore, and songs. Such love, that sustained time and distance, is also a common subject for sculptors.
Carved to perfection and adorned with bright, vibrant clothes and jewelry, this is one of the finest depictions of the lord and goddess in marble.
To customize and order, click here.
2. Gayathri: Goddess of Knowledge and Wisdom:
Goddess Saraswati, also known in some tales as Devi Gayathri, is the Hindu goddess of knowledge and wisdom. Known for her purity, she is often depicted in white clothing, holding a Veena and Vedic scriptures- seated on a Lotus.
Pure white marble with bright golden lining and stark features makes this sculpture a beautiful idol to be placed in your Puja room. What’s more, it is said that whoever welcomes Saraswati into their lives is sure to gain immense knowledge and wisdom.
Click here to see more details about this product.
3. Ekadantha: Ganesha, The Elephant God:
The elephant-headed Hindu god- Lord Ganesha- is one of the most revered and beloved. No auspicious event is ever commenced without a Ganapati puja.
He is said to be a boon-granter. Bring this idol today to spread the divine energy.
Find this sculpture here.
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