Plant into art? It happens here!

Plant into art? It happens here!


Art lovers, who are on a constant hunt to discover something with artistic merit, will not be a disappointed lot if they visit the Gandhi Shilp Bazaar, organised by JSS Urban Haat. They can find rare artefacts made out of Sholapith, an aquatic plant that is available extensively in West Bengal.

A twig of an ordinary dried water plant is being transformed into an unimaginable and enviable artefact within seconds at the hands of the artisan Shilp Guru Ananta, hailing from Birbhum district West Bengal.

The nine-feet idol of goddess Durga made out of this simple Sholapith adorns a museum at Mumbai and similar artefacts at museums at several places across the globe.

Born into a family of traditional artisans, Ananta learnt the art from his father and gave a unique touch of his own to become a Shilp Guru. The beautiful art pieces of goddess durga, is truly impressive and makes a perfect gift as a way of blessing or to give the living room a divine touch.

The craft, has been given an additional touch with the perfect ensembles that add to the glow on the face of goddess Durga, and the finished product looks nothing less than an ivory.

The intricate jewellery on the idol, the beautiful flowers, other art pieces like boats, elephants encased in glass adds richness to the craft.

Speaking to City Herald, Shilp Guru Ananta said that the art needs a lot of concentration and an one feet idol takes around two days for completion by an expert artist. Though did not education and has completed only IX std, he has always been in the limelight by participating and displaying his artefacts at major national, international arena.

He has attended many seminars, programmes, exhibitions, demonstration and display in India, USA, Canada, Taiwan and other places.

His Sholapith crafts, a 12 ft image of Durga has been kept at Ashutosh Museum, Kolkata and Delhi National Museum and at various museums across the country.

Ananta is a happy man, being conferred with a lot of awards comprising National award for 3 ft goddess Durga by V V Giri, President of India, Special award by former prime minister Indira Gandhi in connection with the commemoration of the 25th year of Indian Independence, Golden trophy by Tagore society, New York, USA, Golden watch by Kosygin, prime minister of the then USSR for a model of Lenin and a lot more.


S K Khaleeluddin of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, has displayed his Bidriware at the expo. Speaking to City Herald, he says Bidriware is a specialised 500-year-old metal handicraft.

It got the name as the finished product  is immersed in boiling water comprising a mixture of soil from Bidar, North Karnataka. Though Bidriware is being made in Bidar, majority of the wholesale suppliers are from Hyderabad.

The beautiful dark bangles, the flower vases, mementoes, saucers, ashtrays, paper knives and others has a mystical dark look and is much preferred by the IT companies, for corporate gifts.

The combination of metal in this is 94 pc Zinc and six pc copper. After moulding, the required article is filed and the surface smoothened. The design is then sketched and engraved on it pure silver wires by hammering them into the engraved designs.

After the silver inlay work is done, the item is again polished and oxidised with a solution containing a particular type of earth from the fort of Bidar as it is said to contain saltpeter ammonium chloride.

As soon as the article is dipped into the boiled solution the article becomes black and the silver remains unchanged.

Later it is coated with coconut oil and polished with a soft cloth to get the perfect finish.
Khaleel recalls his bulk supply to the a popular IT company in AP.

The 10-day expo, where more than 150 craftsmen from various states are participating comes to an end on March 27.