Arts and Crafts of Karnataka
In Karnataka, works of 'art' and 'craft' is evident in every sphere, even the
objects of daily use like the earthen pots, greatly are nonetheless a work of
art. The extensive magnitude of Karnataka's arts and crafts is easily be seen in
the palaces, royal homes and elite bungalows of the by gone era. It depicts the
elegant delicacy and sense of supreme craftsmanship. Karnataka craft tradition
has been followed through ages from father to son, has encouraged and
continuously helped to hamper a vast variety of handicrafts. This has been done
continued with the highest degree of perfection.
The State Government has set up many agencies and even design centers for
encouraging handicraft designing that has ultimately resulted in upgrading of
many craft traditions.
The Craft of Wood Carving- Karnataka has come to occupy a pride of place
in the field of wood carving. Holding a vast densely populated forest reserves,
the State provides enough raw material for its craftsmen who continue to employ
age-old techniques for carving, inlay-work, coating, painting and lacquer
articles in wood. Ancient temple wood architecture is the foremost specimen of
wood carving, where wood has been used extensively and carved finely into
delicate sculptures. The ceilings and gateways of royal homes and the temples
showcase hundreds of intricately carved images of gods and goddesses. Rosewood
articles are a one of the shopper's delight, that tourist take home with them
articles or sculptures carved out of rosewood, beautifully carved rosewood
elephant is most famous of all.
Mysore craftsmen have acquired expertise in wood inlay work making exquisite
articles delineating picturesque beauty, tranquil scenes and lot more. The
Maharaja's palace in Mysore and the mausoleum of Tipu Sultan in Srirangapattna
are foremost specimens of master craftsmanship where visitors get virtually
stunned with the startling intricacy and delicacy of work.
Ivory Carving- Ivory carving is another popular craft prevailing in the
entire state. Articles carved delicately without excessively ornate image
adjoining the figures, mostly showcasing the figures of god and goddess. Some of
Mysore's masterpieces in ivory are now preserved in the Heritage Museum in
Russia and in the South Kensington Museum, London.
Stone Carvers- Shilpis, the stone carvers of Karnataka are supreme of
all, they had won the master crafts-man awards at the national level while
others have been assigned to carve stone idols for Hindu temples abroad,
especially in the USA.
Sandalwood Craft- Talking about sandalwood, Mysore's charm lies in the
fragrance of this soft wood which is extensively used to produce beautiful art
pieces. There is vast range of sandalwood product carved by the highly skilled
workers. The gudigar families of Shimoga, Uttara Kannada and Mysore districts
specialize in this craft. Krishna images are very popular among the devout,
besides articles like lamp shades, trays, jewel boxes, decorative articles,
combs and even walking sticks with rosewood handles.
Doll Making-Doll making is another craft famous in Karnataka
evenly arranged on wooden platforms, decorated and displayed during the nine day
Dusshera festival . Kinnal and Gokak in north Karnataka and Channapatna on the
Bangalore/Mysore are famous for doll-making. The art of making puppet has
galvanized many wood artisans and painters to produce a variety of puppets.
Besides puppets made of wood, Karnataka also makes leather puppets which are
more extensively used.
Metal Ware- Bidar in Karnataka, is a famous for bidriware-a
craft done on a metal plate of zinc, copper, tin and lead. Bidri articles
ornamental jugs, bowls; plates pen holders, candle sticks and even paper knives.
Nagamangala near Mysore is famous for its bronze items and Mangalore in the west
coast boasts of domestic articles made of bell-metal. Metal ware in Karnataka
has a rich and ancient tradition, Udupi - the temple town is famous for its
small images and ritual objects, while Karkala - an ancient Jain center, is
well-known for its Jain icons.
Karnataka Mysore Paintings - Fabulous Mysore paintings of
Karnataka are another attraction that dates back to the carving of Ajanta Caves.
The soft lines, the smooth and elegant drawing of figures the sagacious use of
bright vegetable colors and lustrous gold leaf, make the traditional paintings
of Mysore very elegant and attractive and most demanding in international
market. Chitrakala Parishat in Bangalore, showcasing masterpiece collection of
old paintings, also runs a school for teaching the art of traditional painting.