Customised products by craftsmen

best pick Women admire the jewellery on display. DH PHOTOS BY dinesh S K

Celebrating 25 years of promoting art and craft traditions with artisans and their families from all over India, The Central Cottage Industries Emporium (CCIE) is holding its exhibition and sale in the City.

Famous over the years for their fabrics, both handwoven and mill-made, sandalwood articles, incense sticks, gift items and jewellery, there is an interesting range of handicrafts, home and fashion accessories for shoppers to browse through.

One half of the exhibition space is dedicated to Shekhawati furniture which is artistically designed, neatly finished and reasonably priced.

   Tables, display cabinets of varying sizes, bar units, peg tables, corner stands and plenty of stand alone pieces that can fit into an odd corner or vacant space in the home are available.
Besides furniture, there are crafts from different parts of the country with the
craftsmen themselves eager to explain their styles and techniques and interact with the customers.

   Suresh Verma’s grandfather was associated with the CCIE  specialising in sandalwood carving and gemstone paintings.

“I come down from Jaipur every year for the CCIE exhibition. My family members have been part of this tradition for three generations,” he says proudly. Suresh goes back each year with new ideas and feedback from his customers which he incorporates into his work.
Rakesh Bansal is from Agra and makes exquisite marble and alabaster boxes, plates and artifacts inlaid with semi precious stones. “It takes three people over a month to finish one jewellery box, carving out the designs and filling in the gemstones,” he explains. A stall displaying Tanjore paintings is manned by Pushpalatha, daughter of Padmashree award winner Shreepathy. “My father’s paintings and mine are on display here. It is an art we proudly carry on in the family,” she says.

“Bringing the artists down and giving them an opportunity to interact with our customers is a practice which we have been faithfully following for years now. It gives the crafts people an opportunity to get feedback from clients and they even customise some of their products to suit individual tastes whenever possible,” said Sushant Mukherjee, AGM of CCIE.
Besides this, there are chikankari works from Lucknow, Channapatna toys, terracotta and cotton embroidered fabrics and garments from West Bengal, shawls from Jammu and Kashmir, jewellery in sterling silver and semi-precious stones, blown glass knick-knacks, wooden carved panels from Tamil Nadu; paintings, artwork and lamps that are colourful and unusual from different parts of the country.

“We ensure that both quality and price are kept to certain standards and guidelines.”
  “We have a loyal customer base and a relationship with the artisans and their families spanning decades,” added Mukherjee. The exhibition was inaugurated by Sandalwood actress Harshika Poonacha.

The fair is on at Safina Plaza till August 23.

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