Cottage Mela arrives at Port City after a decade

Cottage Mela arrives at Port City after a decade

For the handicraft lovers in Mangalore, there is a matter to rejoice. The Cottage Mela-2013, has come to the port city after a gap of 10 years, this time with exclusive artifacts prepared by artistes from across the nation. 

From Hyderabadi handmade pearl jeweleries, to organic bedsheets from Kerala, from the Delhi made wooden furnitures to Culcutta saris, from Kashmiri carpets to terracotta crafts made in Mangalore, the exhibition has it all. The expo organised by the Central Cottage Industries Emporium (CCIE), a government of India undertaking, has chosen Mangalore city only for the second time. The expo was inaugurated at Hotel Woodlands on Friday.

Perhaps, a very few Mangaloreans are aware of Simonart Pottery, a terracotta crafts workshop located in Capitanio. Visitors were wonderstuck to know that there was Mangalorean woman behind the artistic terracotta works displayed at the expo. Speaking to Deccan Herald, Merlin Rasquinha said that she was running terracotta workshop since 20 years. This is her 60th and last exhibition. “After undergoing advanced training in ceramic pottery from RDTDC, Bangalore, I took up the work of preparing terracotta show pieces. I have trained and provided jobs to several children and woman who are mentally challenged or looking after their livelihood by rolling beedis. Now that I am aged, I am going to voluntarily retire from my work,” she said.Apart from show pieces, a variety of jeweleries with fashionable appeal were for sale in the expo.

Sajjad Khan from Kashmir has displayed authentic silver ornaments from Kashmir. The silver hanging earrings which were once worn by bollywood actors are now the trend among youth.

 “These earings (a pair would cost above Rs 1,000) are expensive compared to normal silver earings, as they have oxidised look. These are the old original silver earings,” he said.Organic bedsheets!

Organic bedsheets was the speciality at the stall owned by Muralidhar Thambi from Kerala. The bed sheets are prepared without using chemicals, rather are dipped in cow urine, as it said to be having medicinal value. 

They will be later dyed using natural colours. Organic bedsheets have great demand in foreign countries like USA and London and we import the products in bulk, Thampi said.

The Central Cottage Industries Emporium, Bangalore, which is managed by the Central Cottage Industries Corporation of India Ltd has been organising the handicraft exhibitions every year.

 “We organise the expo only twice in a year and mostly in Bangalore. On receiving good response in Mangalore when we visited last time in 2003, we submitted a proposal to the Ministry in 2011, requesting to open unit of the CCIE here. The Ministry in turn, asked us to visit the city again and study the prospectus of setting up the emporium,” CCEI Manager Inayath Shah said.

On display are exquisite Dhokra brass craft, art furniture from Bastar, oriental furniture from Delhi, Warli art from Maharashtra, fusion of Warli and Bastar art, Madhubani painting (wall hangings) from Bihar etc. The expo will remain open till December 15.

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