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Discovering The Palkhi’s Collection: Part One

Exploring artforms and handicrafts from Northern and Western India


By: Aditi Iyer



The Palkhi’s diverse collection of works and art pieces is sourced from various states, starting from Kashmir and moving down till Rajasthan. Paintings and statues are made using various mediums such as iron, papier mache, bamboo and even on pumpkins.


Rajasthan

The most significant contributor to The Palkhi’s collection is from the state of Rajasthan. A significant craft form is blue pottery. Blue Pottery is a classic, traditional craft of Jaipur, which is Turko-Persian in its origin- it came from the Persians to Rajasthan. It is made on ceramic and uses an eye-catching blue dye to colour the pottery. Blue Metal is an art form that makes artefacts made of metal seem like they are ceramic- they are given a special finish to give it a glossy look. Various other products from the region include block-print shawls, the Kavad (an early form of a comic book) and Kundan jewellery.


Bihar

Madhubani paintings were named after the Madhubani district and mainly depicts mythological figures, people, flora and fauna. They are created using a variety of mediums- fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and even matchsticks. The paint is created using natural dyes and pigments- the rich, deep colours and intricate artwork are a characteristic of this art form.


Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh historically has been rich with iron ore deposits. This eventually led to the development of a craft that primarily uses wrought iron as its medium. The products are characteristically simple and black in colour, with carvings of birds and animals on it. They usually blend into the background as compared to the other colourful products on display. They come in various shapes and forms- candle-light holders, keyholders, home decor- even clocks. Another notable collection from Chhattisgarh is the plant holders made of dried pumpkin. They are submerged in water, cleansed, and baked. Designs are carved out and they are used as lamps.



Madhya Pradesh

Similar to its neighbouring state, Madhya Pradesh also has Madhubani art as a traditional art form, as it is part of the Mithila region. The pieces from Madhya Pradesh are eco-friendly papier mache wall pieces with Madhubani artwork on them.


Kashmir

In Kashmir, Kari Kamandari, commonly known as papier mache, is an artform on which intricate

motifs of plants and flowers such as chinar leaf, rose, tulips, hyacinths and arabesques are painted, giving the pieces an elegant look to them. The pieces in the collection from Kashmir are papier mache storage boxes with incredibly intricate designs painted onto them. The rich and bright colours draw the eyes of the passersby.


Uttar Pradesh

Beautiful, hand-carved wood and rich colours are the two ways to describe the handicrafts of Uttar Pradesh. Sindhoor holders, tobacco crushers, hand painted storage boxes and idols are some of the handicrafts. One of the most eye-catching idols in the collection are the Panchmukhi idols. Deities like Ganesha and Hanuman have five differently carved and decorated heads- a beautiful and unique addition to your collection.


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