In 1981 six women come together to start an organization that dealt with the problems of traditional artisans in contemporary India. They all shared the belief that craft, despite the strains of urbanization and industrialization, is still viable as a means of earning and employment. With this view in mind, Dastkar came into existence in October 1981. Headed by Ms Laila Tyabji the chairperson of Dastkar, the organisation's goals are to make the crafts groups self-reliant. Today Dastkar is working in 19 states of India, with 180 crafts groups--35-40 of whom receive the whole gamut of Dastkar services and the rest benifit from marketing activities.
ORISSA, the State is home to more than 52 crafts skills, reflect the culture vibes of the people of Orissa. The crafts sector makes a significant contribution to income- generation and employment opportunities in the state. The glory of the ancient crafts tradition and their renaissance are represented in the niches of the carved stone temples as well as their domes and gateways. The crafts garden includes heritage crafts items such as tribal jewellery, paintings, art textiles and embroidery, dhokra, stone and wood carving etc.
The Dhokra crafts are made in brass and employ the ancient wax casting process. The origin of this craft can be traced back to the distant past, when this artwork was encouraged by royal patronage. The craft is associated with nine different communities of the state, reflecting their ethnic identity heritage, design and motifs.
Since time is immemorial...Orissa has has an uninterrupted tradition od metal jewellery, which showcase the cultural nuance of its primitive tribes. The metal jewellery reflects the adornment patterns, ethenic identity and cultures of various tribes of the state. Metal jewellery includes necklace, banles, pendents, earrings, anklets and bracelets that caters to everyones taste and choice..Certainly a destined thing for women's!!
The numerous stone temples that dot the state reflects the acme of its artistic excellence, whereby mute stone panels come alive. The chisels of the state's artisans carve figurines with vivid expressions, which showcase the many facets of human emotions.
Stone artefacts from the state includes miniature replicas of the Sun Temple at Konark, the temple of Lord Jagannath, the Linjaraj Temple, the Rajarani Temple and the Mukteswar Temple. The artisans are also known for their intricately carved ashtray, flower vases, lamp bases and containers of utilitarian importance.
WOOD CARVING & WOODEN PAINTED CRAFTS
The artisans of Orissa excel in the art of wood carving and wooden printed crafts. The most popular artefact from the state is the replica of Lord Jagannath. Other treasures include carved wooden items of decorative and utilitarian value, which combine the harmony of both folk and classic forms.
APPLIQUE & MODERN APPLIQUE
The applique was mastered by the carftsmen of the State several centuries ago and has been widely used to decorate temples and chariots. Traditional motifs such as elephants, peacocks, fish and flowers are deftly stitched on the fabric along with pieces of glass. The state offers lampshades, letter holders, file holders, bags etc.
Among the state's greatest contributions to the arts and crafts of the country are the artefacts made from coir fibre. The lightweight, yellow coloured fibres is moulded into animal and bird designs as well as decorative items. Some of the popular animal figures include horses, crocodiles and dinosaures.
PALM LEAF ENGRAVING
Chitrakars of the patta chitra tradition have developed this styke by engraving on palm leaves. the engraved leaves are exquisitely arranged one after the other to lend continuity to the pictoral narratives that depicts the legends of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna.
Terracotta is one of the oldest crafts of Orissa and, to date, the traditional artisans extensively practise this craft. Traditional motifs as well as modern designs are used on artefacts, which include flowerpots, utilitarians and household objects, dolls and toys, and idols of Godas and goddesses.
Although this craft originated in the tiny town of Nabarangapur in south Orissa, it is now practised throughout the state. Green, yellow, brown, black and other colors are used to provide visual contrast to the ethenic designs. Lacquered objects like bangles, toys and boxes are very popular.
Apart from the others the state is rich in crafts like: Seashell Crafts, Silver Figuree, Horn Crafts, Brass & Bell Metal, Golden Grass, Cane & Bamboo Crafts, Patta & Tassor PaintingTribal Art & Embroidery Textiles, Sabai Grass Crafts, Tribal Combs, Coconut Shell.....