Its a question I asked myself.
Initially when I started with La Oja – Ethnic Arts and Craft, I had just an urge to do something that gives me personal satisfaction. Then slowly as I got more involved with handicraft, I was slowly, somehow more inclined to Indian handicraft. So I ask the question why Indian handicraft? In my quest to answer this question I discovered a lot of interesting things about Indian handicraft that I want to share with you through this article.
Well the answer is not simple. If we look at handicraft on the whole it caters to more than man’s physical needs. It is cultural evolution that has always occupied a place of honor. If we trace the history of the evolution of culture one will notice that the concept of arts and crafts were interchangeable. Handicraft has always been a basic activity of human society and an integral part of life.
It is believed that Craft is as much an expression of the human spirit in material form, which gives delight to mankind, as any of what are termed ‘Fine Arts’. But is the world of Craft there is a very little difference between functionality and aesthetics. In good craftsmanship the two are identical, for while an article is useful it would also be beautiful in appearance and joy giving.
Now why Indian Handicraft in particular? Well a huge variety of Crafts, in a number of materials and something we cannot ignore are their vibrant colours that make Indian handicraft, an emergence of rhythmical composition. This rhythm is worked through relating motif sizes, the use of alternating negative- positive space and basically organic and geometric shapes. Its a continuous outflow of creativeness, a sustained spirit of animation and freshness which dispelled staleness and monotony.
In India, Handicraft can be categorized by, material and technique, but also from their geographical state of origin. The customs and culture of each state determines the style and characteristics of the craft.
‘Living’ culture and ‘evolving’crafts are required to preserve both culture and crafts. – Dr. Darlie O. Koshy. Executive Director, NID Ahmedadad in Handmade in India edited by Aditi Ranjan and M. P. Ranjan.
Thus, Indian handicraft is not an exercise of the intellect which takes form in a scheduled studio to become the proud posession of an individual or institution that has the means to pay the price. It arises from the deeper hunger of humanity, its functions socialized, for its use is distributed through the family and society at large.
Well, will give you details of Indian Handicraft in my posts to follow. Its something to look forward to, taking into consideration its variety yet attention to detail.