About Rajasthan Handicrafts
The Handicraft market of Rajasthan is the most important, vibrant, colorful and biggest market in the entire country. Handicrafts of Rajasthan are well known across the globe. Rajasthani handicrafts are greatly influenced by the great maharajahs who once ruled this state and provided royal patronage and gave vital impetus to carry forward this rich heritage for centuries. Despite the everlasting brown sands cape enveloping the state, it is illuminated by rich vibrant colors through its various art and craft forms. Stone, clay, leather goods, ivory, lac, brass, gold and textiles are given the most brilliant shapes and forms. Some of the important handicrafts of Rajasthan includes
1. Meenakari Works :
- Meenakari is one of the most popular and attractive craft forms in India. Meenakari is the process of coloring or decorating metal surfaces by fusing the surface with different colors over an intricate design.
- Though Meena crafts is said to be originated in Persia, it was brought to India by the Moguls. This crafts was subsequently established by Raja Man Singh in Jaipur.
- The technique of Meenakari requires high degree of skills. The traditional process requires involvement of various skills craftsmen at various stages. Meenakars engrave various intricate designs like flowers, peacocks etc on the metal surface. Enamel dust of required colors is applied on the grooves created through engravings. It is then placed in a furnace where the colors fuse and solidifies within the groove on the metal surface. This procedure is repeated for every color. The material is then cooled, filed and polished.
- Enamel colors are metal oxides mixed with a tint of finely powdered glass where the oxide content controls the shade obtained the color yellow is obtained through the use of chromate of potash, violet through carbonate of manganese, blue through cobalt oxide, green through copper oxide, brown through red oxide, and black through manganese, iron, and cobalt. White and ivory are achieved through a mix of antinomies of potash, hydrated iron oxide, and carbonate of zinc. The colors are applied according to their level of hardness, beginning with the hardest
- Gold has been used traditionally for Meenakari Jewellery as it holds the enamel better, lasts longer and its luster brings out the colors of the enamels. Silver, a later introduction, is used for artifacts like boxes, bowls, spoons, and art pieces while Copper has introduced later. Though Jaipur is the main center for Meenakari work, the crafts is practiced at different centers each of which have their unique variations and style. >/li>
2. Marble Handicrafts :
- The stone-carving is one of the oldest traditions in India. This tradition has been handed over from one generation to another for ages. Marble craft, is one such form of stone carvings which provide a glimpse of strikingly attractive, versatile sizing of beautiful artistic designs and craftsmanship. Though, this art form existed in India even before the advent of the Moguls, it achieved its peak during the Mogul rule.
- Shajahan was instrumental in initiating important architectural changes by using marbles in construction of Monuments and tombs instead of sandstone. During the early days, Marbles were used to enhance the architecture of monuments, tombs and even temples. Present day craftsmen have put it to use by making small gift items like Candle stand, Jewel box, Ash trays, Taj replica etc
- The artwork on marble is a combination of carving, inlaying engraving, sculpture and undercut (art of making multi layered decorative items out of one single piece of stone, hollowed from inside). Designs are made by cutting the stone and varying fine patterns on it. In fact, stonecutters and sculptors work hand in hand.
- The base material of work is marble, gorara soapstone and occasionally cuddapah. Use of inexpensive shells instead of semi precious stone make for reasonably priced gift items. The famous inlay work of Agra reflects the mosaic work used in Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri. At present, this work is limited and enjoys an exclusive foreign demand.
3. Blue pottery
4. Jaipur Quilts
5. Mojaris or Jutis
6. Miniature Paintings
7. Gemstone Paintings :
- Gemstones are some of the famous forms of painting from Rajasthan. The art form was developed in Rajasthan more than two hundred years ago. Gemstone Paintings are made of Semi-Precious stones like Agate, Amethyst, Blood-stone, Citrine, Carnelian, Crystal, Garnet, Jade, Jasper, Lapis-lazuli, Malachite, Peridot, Tiger, Tourmaline etc.
- These stones are ground nicely and pasted on the back side of marble, acrylic, glass sheet. This style of painting is aided by the fact that the state of Rajasthan is a natural repository of precious and semiprecious stones. Beautiful Rajasthani women, deities and Mughal court scenes are the main themes of Rajasthani Gemstone Paintings.
8. Wood Carvings among others