With the annual Rath Yatra (car festival) of Lord Jagannath having started in Orissa and other parts of the country this weekend, the time seemed appropriate to post about another aspect of the state - its arts and crafts. Orissa has always been deeply associated with age-old crafting traditions. Its villages of Pipli and Raghurajpur are famous for their colourful appliques and Pattachitra crafts the world over. Though I have visited the state many years back, but a visit to these craft villages has been on my to-do list for a while now.
Recently I attended a casual workshop where one of the projects was making a Pattachitra bottle. I couldn't be happier, of course! But it is only once I started painting that I realised how much patience is required to execute the intricate designs. And mine is nowhere close to what the Orissa artisans make.... I remember seeing these bottles a few years back at the Surajkund Crafts Fair when they were getting newly introduced in the market. Absolutely amazing designs and such delicate finery!
I chose to make Jagannath-Subhadra-Balram, the three gods that almost define Orissa; they are placed in the famous Jagannath Temple in Puri and worshipped in every Oriya home. Hope my bottle does justice to the images of these much-loved deities. Click on the image to see a better view of the bottle.
And next time you come across those Oriya craftsmen at a fair, don't forget to stop by, admire their creativity and pick up some gorgeous pieces for your home. Alternatively, you could commission a bottle from me by writing to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a happy July! :)