Saturday, August 30, 2008

Assam Arts & Crafts

Arts & Crafts, Assam Travel GuideThe people of Assam have traditionally been craftsmen from time immemorial. Though Assam is mostly known for its exquisite silks and the bamboo and cane products, several other crafts are also made here.

Toys : The toys of Assam have been broadly classified clay toys, pith, wooden and bamboo toys, and cloth and cloth-and-mud toys. While the human figure, especially dolls, brides and grooms, is the most common theme of all kinds of toys, a variety of animals forms have also dominated the clay-toys scene of Assam. More ....

Pottery : Pottery is probably as old as human civilisation itself. In Assam, pottery can be traced back to many centuries.The Kumars and Hiras are two traditional potter communities of Assam and while the Kumars use the wheel to produce his pots, the Hiras are probably the only potters in the world who do not use the wheel at all. More ....

Woodcraft : Assam has always remained one of the most forest-covered states of the country, and the variety of wood and timber available here have formed a part of the people's culture and ecomony. An Assamese can identify the timber by touching it even in darkness, and can produce a series of items from it. More ....

Masks : With tribal art and folk elements form the base of Assamese culture, masks have found an important place in the cultural activities of the people. Masks have been widely used in folk theatres and bhaonas with the materials ranging from terracotta to pith to metal, bamboo and wood. More ....

Arts & Crafts, Assam Travel
Jewellery : Gold has always constituted the most-used metal for jewellery in Assam, while the use of silver and other metals too have been there for centuries. Gold was locally available, flowing down several Himalayan rivers, of which Subansiri is the most important. More ....

Cane and Bamboo :
Cane and bamboo have remained inseparable parts of life in Assam. They happen to be the two most commonly-used items in daily life, ranging from household implements to construction of dwelling houses to weaving accessories to musical instruments. More ....

Metal Crafts : Bell-metal and brass have been the most commonly used metals for the Assamese artisan. Traditional utensils and fancy artiicles designed by these artisans are found in every Assamese household. The Xorai and bota have in use for centuries, to offer betel-nut and paan while welcoming distinguished guests. More ....

Handlooms : Assam is the home of several types of silks, the most prominent and prestigious being muga, the golden silk exclusive only to this state. Muga apart, there is paat, as also eri, the latter being used in manufacture of warm clothes for winter.Of a naturally rich golden colour, muga is the finest of India's wild silks. It is produced only in Assam. More ....

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Handicrafts Information Centre

Handicrafts, as the name suggests, is a skill that embodies any article or object made with hand. The origin of handcrafted products dates back to 3000 B.C during the Indus Valley Civilization when art was still in its nascent stage. This beautiful craft was at its helm during the Mughal era when Indian art, craft and culture was given a new dimension in realms like in-lay work, glass engraving, brocades, enameling etc. and a host of other artifacts that continue till date.

Handicrafts have always revolved around the local needs of menfolk, religious beliefs and special needs of the patrons and the royalty. Despite withstanding the ravages of time and numerous foreign invasions, this traditional art is still flourishing not just as an isolated craft but as a highly enterprising industry.

Due to the assimilative nature of Indian culture, the handcrafted products are now customized to present a more realistic view of the life styles today. A vast array of handcrafted articles are now a common part of households as well as commercial interiors. Some of these wares include home furnishing items such as bed sheets, runners, cushion covers etc. and a few others like wall hangings, variously carved photo frames, fashion jewelery accessories and embroidered beaded products. The hand craft is highly influenced by the regional and domestic cultures of a place portraying a colorful picture of this industry.

General about arts and crafts

arts and crafts term for that general field of applied design in which hand fabrication is dominant. The term was coined in England in the late 19th cent. as a label for the then-current movement directed toward the revivifying of the decorative arts. The chief influence behind this movement was William Morris . By the mid-19th cent., factory processes had almost entirely driven artisans from their ancient trades and threatened to obliterate the techniques they used to produce beautiful objects of utility. The Gothic revival , however, had brought into existence a great body of knowledge concerning the arts of the Middle Ages, and Morris, together with the Pre-Raphaelite painters and a small group of architects and designers, returned to these arts as a rich source of inspiration.

The pupils and followers of Morris multiplied, and proficient artisans developed. Their methods aimed at a practical demonstration not only of Morris's aesthetic creed but also of his ideas concerning socialism and the moral need for integrating beauty with the accessories of daily life. The aesthetic and political aspects of the arts and crafts movement influenced the development of modernism, particularly as they were later reflected in the core philosophy of the Bauhaus . The revival of folk arts has continued to prosper in some quarters, especially in remote communities and among Native Americans of the Southwest and the Eskimos (see North American Native Art ).

A less aestheticized version of the arts and crafts movement was important in the United States, where it spread from England and flourished from the late 19th cent. to about 1915. It was prominent in American architecture and design, notably in the buildings and interiors of Greene and Greene and in the "mission-style" oak furniture of Gustav Stickley (1858-1942) and his contemporaries. The movement's precepts were also applied to ceramics, glassware, utensils, and other objects of American daily life. The arts and crafts movement also spread to continental Europe, where it was quite influential during the late 19th and early 20th cent.

Craft Products in US

  • Stichin' Stamps are a new line of rubber stamps, specifically designed by needlework artists for Art Needlework.
    No more counting. Simply cross stitch, needlepoint, crewel, satin stitch inside of the stamped image on your choice of aida or fabric.
    Stamp the image with the NEW Mark-B-Gone Ink Stamp Pad. After stitching, dab with water and stamped image will disappear, leaving only your creative work.
    For information on where to buy these products contact Stamp Affair, 1444 W. Nelson Parkway, PO Box 7614, Round Lake Beach, IL 60073, 847-740-0967 or Fax 847-740-0971.

  • Paper Tole is catching on big time. Paper tole is a technique that entails selecting, cutting, gluing and molding segments of an illustration. The segments are then put in layers. The result, a vivid three-dimensional effect that leaps off the frame and into your imagination. Immediately evident is the attention to minute detail, which enhances the presentation.

  • NEW Friendly Clay " Warmer from AMACO". the warmer gently warms the clay reducing the time needed to soften it by hand and keeps colors soft while working with other colors. AMACO also sells Friendly Clay in 24 colors and three assortments containing 6,8, or 16 colors. For more information contact American Art Clay Co., Inc. 4717 W. 16th St., Indianapolis, IN 46222, 317-244-6871.

  • Xuron Hard Wire & Cable Cutter, an all purpose cutter designed with flexibility, durability & comfort. Makes clean square cuts on hardened wire, floral wire, copper wire, multi-stranded bead wire, memory wire and silk flower stems. The cushion grip and light touch return spring handle lets you use it for hours on end. For prices or a catalog call 207-283-1401 or Fax 207-283-0694.

  • Knitted Deep Pile Fur Fabrics from Monterey, Inc. Styles include basic plush, shag, shearling, seal, long & short teddy bear, animal prints & kurl., 18 styles in over 60 colors. Also offer remnant assortments of luxury & basic pile furs, & four types of stuffing. These fabrics can be used in crafts, stuffed animals, toys costumes & more. Send $5.00 for sample swatches, or call 800-432-9959 for more information.

  • Painted Area Rugs- made from canvas, the first linoleum. Using left over house paint as a base coat saves money. House paint is manufactured with polymer sealants that prolongs the wear. You still need to seal the final design with polyurethane. Theme & whimsical rugs, & placemats are hot, in home decorating for wall hangings as well as the original intended use. How about a rung with a turned up corner that makes you want to straighten it out or a rung on a stone floor with a fish pond on it. Decorative painting can be done on almost any fabrication, experiment and see where it leads you.