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One craft piece for every shopaholic

Henna Rakheja, Oct 30, 2012
handmade Dastkar Nature Bazaar is showcasing crafts from 22 Indian states.

Lamp shades crafted out of bottle gourd; copper bells chiming differently because of minute variations in their sizes; organic products for skin care and papier mache parrots, all traditional techniques have been moulded in contemporary fantasies by craftspeople for the 20th edition of Dastkar Nature Bazaar.

Enter Kisan Haat near Chattarpur Metro Station and you will feel like you have walked into Dilli Haat with stalls showcasing crafts from across India. What is different though is the variety and collection themed as ‘The Forest’ this year. Thus, the grand crafts mela brings together fauna and flora of the forest for your living styles in the urban jungle.

The place comprises 200 plus stalls from 22 Indian states which combine cutting edge design with centuries old traditions. For instance take Sundaram, a stall selling handmade soaps and face washes for all skin types. Set up by Arya Vihar Ashram in Uttarkashi the stall is a huge hit with visitors. Reena Gupta, from the ashram shares, “We mix oil with acoustic soda and use cold process method to make our soaps. We also add few herbs, flowers, spices and essential oils to this mixture. There is a soap or face wash for every skin type from dry to oily.” The handmade soaps have a fragrant smell of apricot oil and neem. A natural way to treat skin troubles.


And then there is a stall stocking wonderful tribal and textile crafts of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Jagatram Devagan’s stall is a must visit as the artisan from Kondagaon, Chhattisgarh, has crafted lamp shades out of bottle gourds. “We grow tuma (bottle gourd) for six months, pluck it, clean it from inside and then make designs. This year I have crafted butter flies and leaves to add to its beauty.” He also showcases his art - on bamboo and crafts earrings, bird houses, planters and wind chimes.

If ‘designer’ is your need then check out the first 20 stalls which have young designers showcasing products from bags to apparels and accessories. Pure Ghee Design from Delhi, specialises in textile bags and makes sure that “every bag comes with a charm,” says Aditi Prakash, its designer. “We have the Allika or natural dyes and chatak range which is inspired from bright clothes of village women.”

Match these with apparels by Red Earth and accessorise with serpentine stone earrings by Collective Craft from Orissa. They also make use of Patachitra on tea coasters and so does craftsman Apindra Swami who paints bottles in this old style. He also specialises in papier mache products.

Before you leave, check out copper bells in various sizes by Kutch artisan, Lohar Haji Siddiq who claims that “no bell of ours sounds the same as any other within and outside (our collection).” The bells beginning at Rs 60 - in a keychain and going upto Rs 3,500 for the largest piece because “there is only one karigar who can make it and nobody else.”

Dastkar Nature Bazaar is on till November 9 at Kisan Haat, Andheria Mor, Chattarpur Metro Station.

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