A handicraft, sometimes more precisely expressed as artisanal handicraft or handmade, is any of a wide variety of types of work where useful and decorative objects are made completely by hand or by using only simple tools.
A handicraft , sometimes more precisely expressed as artisanal handicraft or handmade, is any of a wide variety of types of work where useful and decorative objects are made completely by hand or by using only simple tools. It is a traditional main sector of craft, and applies to a wide range of creative and design activities that are related to making things with one’s hands and skill. Usually the term is applied to traditional techniques of creating items (whether for personal use or as products) that are both practical and aesthetic. Collective terms for handicrafts include artisanry, handicrafting, crafting, and handicraftsmanship.
The term arts and crafts is also applied, especially in the United States and mostly to hobbyists’ and children’s output rather than items crafted for daily use, but this distinction is not formal, and the term is easily confused with the Arts and Crafts design movement, which is in fact as practical as it is aesthetic.
Handicrafting has its roots in the rural crafts —the material-goods necessities—of ancient civilizations, and many specific crafts have been practiced for centuries, while others are modern inventions, or popularizations of crafts which were originally practiced in a limited geographic area. Many handicrafters use natural, even entirely indigenous, materials while others may prefer modern, non-traditional materials, and even upcycle industrial materials. The individual artisanship of a handicrafted item is the paramount criterion; those made by mass production or machines are not handicraft goods.
Seen as developing the skills and creative interests of students, generally and sometimes towards a particular craft or trade, handicrafts are often integrated into educational systems, both informally and formally. Most crafts require the development of skill and the application of patience, but can be learned by virtually anyone. Like folk art, handicraft output often has cultural and/or religious significance, and increasingly may have a political message as well, as in craftivism. Many crafts become very popular for brief periods of time (a few months, or a few years), spreading rapidly among the crafting population as everyone emulates the first examples, then their popularity wanes until a later resurgence.
Paper mache began with the art of paper making and writing in the 15th centuru during he regin of Badshah zain-ul-abedin in madhya pradesh. The art now manifests itself on cloth, stone, wood and metal apart from moulded paper pulp. This products are very ecofriendly, reliable, stronge and Weightless.
Paper mache products are totaly eco-friendly as they made using old newspapers recycled and processed manualy in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh state. Paper mache pen stands, photo frame, letter stands, eggs, pencil stands, boxe of various sizes and hanging lamps etc.
The character of India might be felt through the crafted works of the nation. Our pages have been outlined particularly to illuminate our followers about the different sorts of painstaking work in India. We introduce the vivid pictures and instructive compose ups about the method, workmanship and custom identified with the art. Data is accessible on a reach of workmanship items like home beautification, covers, compositions, designs, photograph casings, carefully assembled furniture, and stoneware.
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Specialty is an occupation that requires extraordinary aptitude particularly manual ability. Craft and art are just about interrelated things and regularly these two expressions are covered in the use. India is the area where there is an ages old convention of symbolizations and specialties. Since the genesis of human advancements in India in Indus Valley makes have been most respected calling of various artificers. Practically every single area of India speaks to a style of craftsmanship with inconspicuous subtleties and varieties.
In 1971–1972, art teacher Geoffrey Bardon encouraged Aboriginal people in Papunya, north west of Alice Springs to put their Dreamings onto canvas. These stories had previously been drawn on the desert sand, and were now given a more permanent form.
The dots were used to cover secret-sacred ceremonies. Originally, the Tula artists succeeded in forming their own company with an Aboriginal Name, Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd, however a time of disillusionment followed as artists were criticised by their peers for having revealed too much of their sacred heritage. Secret designs restricted to a ritual context were now in the market place, made visible to Australian Aboriginal painting. Much of the Aboriginal art on display in tourist shops traces back to this style developed at Papunya. The most famous of the artists to come from this movement was Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri. Also from this movement is Johnny Warangkula, whose Water Dreaming at Kalipinya twice sold at a record price, the second time being $486,500 in 2000.
The Papunya Collection at the National Museum of Australia contains over 200 artifacts and paintings, including examples of 1970’s dot paintings.
There have been cases of some exploitative dealers (known as carpetbaggers) that have sought to profit from the success of the Aboriginal art movements. Since Geoffrey Bardon‘s time and in the early years of the Papunya movement, there has been concerns about the exploitation of the largely illiterate and non-English speaking artists.
One of the main reasons the Yuendumu movement was established, and later flourished, was due to the feeling of exploitation amongst artists:
“Many of the artists who played crucial roles in the founding of the art centre were aware of the increasing interest in Aboriginal art during the 1970s and had watched with concern and curiosity the developments of the art movement at Papunya amongst people to whom they were closely related. There was also a growing private market for Aboriginal art in Alice Springs. Artists’ experiences of the private market were marked by feelings of frustration and a sense of disempowerment when buyers refused to pay prices which reflected the value of the Jukurrpa or showed little interest in understanding the story. The establishment of Warlukurlangu was one way of ensuring the artists had some control over the purchase and distribution of their paintings.” (Source: “Warlukurlangu Artists”. warlu.com. Archived from the original on 2005-06-23.)
Other cases of exploitation include:
painting for a lemon (car): “Artists have come to me and pulled out photos of cars with mobile phone numbers on the back. They’re asked to paint 10-15 canvasses in exchange for a car. When the ‘Toyotas’ materialise, they often arrive with a flat tyre, no spares, no jack, no fuel.” (Coslovich 2003)
preying on a sick artist: “Even coming to town for medical treatment, such as dialysis, can make an artist easy prey for dealers wanting to make a quick profit who congregate in Alice Springs” (op.cit.)
pursuing a famous artist: “The late (great) Emily Kngwarreye…was relentlessly pursued by carpetbaggers towards the end of her career and produced a large but inconsistent body of work.” According to Sotheby’s “We take about one in every 20 paintings of hers, and with those we look for provenance we can be 100% sure of.” (op.cit.)
In March 2006, the ABC reported art fraud had hit the Western Australian Aboriginal Art movements. Allegations were made of sweatshop-like conditions, fake works by English backpackers, overpricing and artists posing for photographs for artwork that was not theirs. A detective on the case said:
“People are clearly taking advantage…Especially the elderly people. I mean, these are people that, they’re not educated; they haven’t had a lot of contact with white people. They’ve got no real basic understanding, you know, of the law and even business law. Obviously they’ve got no real business sense. A dollar doesn’t really have much of a meaning to them, and I think to treat anybody like that is just… it’s just not on in this country.”Call for ACCC to investigate Aboriginal Art industry, ABC PM, 15 March.
In August 2006, following concerns raised about unethical practices in the Indigenous art sector, the Australian Senate initiated an inquiry into issues in the sector. It heard from the Northern Territory Art Minister, Marion Scrymgour, that backpackers were often the artists of Aboriginal art being sold in tourist shops around Australia:
“The material they call Aboriginal art is almost exclusively the work of fakers, forgers and fraudsters. Their work hides behind false descriptions and dubious designs. The overwhelming majority of the ones you see in shops throughout the country, not to mention Darling, are fakes, pure and simple. There is some anecdotal evidence here in Darwin at least, they have been painted by backpackers working on industrial scale wood production.”
The inquiry’s final report made recommendations for changed funding and governance of the sector, including a code of practice.
Australian Indigenous art movements and cooperatives have been central to the emergence of Indigenous Australian art. Whereas many western artists pursue formal training and work as individuals, most contemporary Indigenous art is created in community groups and art centres.
Many of the centres operate online art galleries where local and international visitors can purchase works directly from the communities without the need of going through an intermediary. The cooperatives reflect the diversity of art across Indigenous Australia from the north west region where ochre is significantly used; to the tropical north where the use of cross-hatching prevails; to the Papunya style of art from the central desert cooperatives. Art is increasingly becoming a significant source of income and livelihood for some of these communities.
Indigenous Australian art or Australian Aboriginal art is art made by the Indigenous peoples of Australia and in collaborations between Indigenous Australians and others. It includes works in a wide range of media including painting on leaves, wood carving, rock carving, sculpting, ceremonial clothing and sand painting. This article discusses works that pre-date European colonisation as well as contemporary Indigenous Australian art by Aboriginal Australians. These have been studied in recent years and have gained much international recognition.
Traditional Indigenous art
There are several types of aboriginal art, and ways of making art, including rock painting, dot painting, rock engravings, bark painting, carvings, sculptures, and weaving and string art.
This photo shows the painting of Baiame made by an unknown Wiradjuri artist in “Baiame’s cave”, near Singleton, NSW. Notice the length of his arms which extend to the two trees either side.
Australian Indigenous art is the oldest unbroken tradition of art in the world. The oldest firmly dated rock art painting in Australia is a charcoal drawing on a rock fragment found during the excavation of the Narwala Gabarnmang rock shelter in south-western Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. Dated at 28,000 years, it is one of the oldest known pieces of rock art on Earth with a confirmed date. Rock art, including painting and engraving or carving, can be found at sites throughout Australia. Rock paintings appear on caves in the Kimberley region of Western Australia known as Bradshaws. They are named after the European, Joseph Bradshaw, who first reported them in 1891. To Aboriginal people of the region they are known as Gwion Gwion or Giro Giro. Other painted rock art sites include Laura, Queensland, Ubirr, in the Kakadu National Park, Uluru,and Carnarvon Gorge.
Aboriginal rock art has been around for a long period of time, with the oldest examples, in Western Australia’s Pilbara region and the Olary district of South Australia, estimated to be up to around 40,000 years old. Examples have been found that are believed to depict extinct megafauna such as Genyornis and Thylacoleo as well as more recent historical events such as the arrival of European ships.
The rock art at Murujuga is said to be the world’s largest collection of petroglyphs and includes images of extinct animals such as the thylacine. Activity prior to the last ice age until colonisation is recorded.
Papunya art consists of various paint colours like yellow (representing the sun), brown (the soil), red (desert sand) and white (the clouds and the sky). These are traditional Aboriginal colours. Papunya paintings can be painted on anything though traditionally they were painted on rocks, in caves, etc. The paintings were mostly images of animals or lakes, and the Dreamtime. Stories and legends were depicted on caves and rocks to represent the artists’ religion and beliefs.
On modern artwork, dots are generally applied with bamboo satay sticks. The larger flat end of bamboo satay sticks are more commonly used for single application of dots to paintings, but the sharp pointier end is used to create fine dots. To create superimposed dotting, artists may take a bunch of satay sticks, dip the pointy ends into the paint and then transfer them onto the canvas in quick successions of dotting.
Stone arrangements in Australia range from the 50m-diameter circles of Victoria, with 1m-high stones firmly embedded in the ground, to the smaller stone arrangements found throughout Australia, such as those near Yirrkala which depict accurate images of the praus used by MacassanTrepang fishermen and spear throwers.
Mimih (or Mimi) small man-like carvings of mythological impish creatures. Mimihs are so frail that they never venture out on windy days lest they be swept away like leaf litter. It is said their necks are so thin a slight breeze might snap their heads off. If approached by men they will run into a rock crevice; if no crevice is there, the rocks themselves will open up and seal behind the Mimih.
Certain symbols within the Aboriginal modern art movement retain the same meaning across regions although the meaning of the symbols may change within the context of a painting. When viewed in monochrome other symbols can look similar, such as the circles within circles, sometimes depicted on their own, sparsely, or in clustered groups. Depending upon the tribe of which the artist is a member, symbols such as campfire, tree, hill, digging hole, waterhole, or spring can vary in meaning. Use of the symbol can be clarified further by the use of colour, such as water being depicted in blue or black.
Many paintings by Aboriginal artists, such as those that represent a “dreamtime story”, are shown from an aerial perspective. The narrative follows the lie of the land, as created by ancestral beings in their journey or during creation. The modern day rendition is a reinterpretation of songs, ceremonies, rock art and body art that was the norm for many thousands of years.
Whatever the meaning, interpretations of the symbols should be made in context of the entire painting, the region from which the artist originates, the story behind the painting, and the style of the painting, with additional clues being the colours used in some of the more modern works, such as blue circles signifying water.(Source: Aboriginal Symbols – Indigenous Australia)
Traditional indigenous art almost always has a mythological undertone relating to the Dreamtime of indigenous Australian artists. Wenten Rubuntja, an indigenous landscape artist, says it is hard to find any art that is devoid of spiritual meaning:
Story-telling and totem representation feature prominently in all forms of Aboriginal artwork. Additionally, the female form, particularly the female womb in X-ray style, features prominently in some famous sites in Arnhem Land.
Graffiti and other destructive influences
Many culturally significant sites of Aboriginal rock paintings have been gradually desecrated and destroyed by encroachment of early settlers and modern-day visitors. This includes the destruction of art by clearing and construction work, erosion caused by excessive touching of sites, and graffiti. Many sites now belonging to National Parks have to be strictly monitored by rangers, or closed off to the public permanently.
In 1934 Australian painter Rex Batterbee taught Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira western style watercolour landscape painting, along with other Aboriginal artists at the Hermannsburg mission in the Northern Territory. It became a popular style, known as the Hermannsburg School, and sold out when the paintings were exhibited in Melbourne, Adelaide and other Australian cities. Namatjira became the first Aboriginal Australian citizen, as a result of his fame and popularity with these watercolour paintings.
In 1966, one of David Malangi‘s designs was produced on the Australian one dollar note, originally without his knowledge. The subsequent payment to him by the Reserve Bank marked the first case of Aboriginal copyright in Australian copyright law.
In 1988 the Aboriginal Memorial was unveiled at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra made from 200 hollow log coffins, which are similar to the type used for mortuary ceremonies in Arnhem Land. It was made for the bicentenary of Australia’s colonisation, and is in remembrance of Aboriginal people who had died protecting their land during conflict with settlers. It was created by 43 artists from Ramingining and communities nearby. The path running through the middle of it represents the Glyde River.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s the work of Emily Kngwarreye, from the Utopia community north east of Alice Springs, became very popular. Although she had been involved in craftwork for most of her life, it was only when she was in her 80s that she was recognised as a painter. Her works include Earth’s Creation. Her styles, which changed every year, have been seen as a mixture of traditional Aboriginal and contemporary Australian. Her rise in popularity has prefigured that of many Indigenous artists from central, northern and western Australia, such as Kngwarreye’s niece Kathleen Petyarre, Minnie Pwerle, Dorothy Napangardi, Lena Pwerle, Angelina Ngale (Pwerle) and dozens of others, all of whose works have become highly sought-after. The popularity of these often elderly artists, and the resulting pressure placed upon them and their health, has become such an issue that some art centres have stopped selling these artists’ paintings online, instead placing prospective clients on a waiting list for work.
Current artists in vogue include Jacinta Hayes, popular for her iconic representation of “Bush Medicine Leaves” and “Honey Ants”, Rex Sultan (who studied with Albert Namatjira), Trephina Sultan and Reggie Sultan, Bessie Pitjara and Joyce Nakamara, amongst others.
Despite concerns about supply and demand for paintings, the remoteness of many of the artists, and the poverty and health issues experienced in the communities, there are widespread estimates of an industry worth close to half a billion Australian dollars each year, and growing rapidly.
The cultural heritage of India is one of the richest and most ancient in the world, rivalled only by Chinese art. The art of sculpture, the most highly respected medium for artists, was widely practised throughout the subcontinent, and buildings were profusely adorned with it. The subject matter of Indian sculpture was almost invariably abstracted human forms that were portrayed to instruct people in the truths of the Hindu Buddhist or Jain religions. Painting in India typically concerned religious deities and kings and was influenced in style by Chinese painting as well as the art of Ancient Persia and other countries from middle and central Asia, as well as Greece. Painting in India encompasses Buddhist murals in the Ajanta caves and the Brihadisvara Temple, to the large frescoes of Ellora to the miniaturist tradition of Mughal, to the mixed-media embellished works from the Tanjore school. The paintings from Gandhar-Taxila are influenced by Persia to the west, while the eastern style of Indian painting – taking inspiration from Indian mythology, grew up around the Nalanda school of art. Indian civilization is also a rich source of architecture and architectural styles, one of its more minor examples being the famous Taj Mahal. Please Note: for important dates in the evolution of Asian culture, see: Chinese Art Timeline (18,000 BCE – present).
Origins of Art in India
The art of India begins way back in the Paleolithic culture of the Stone Age, with the famous Bhimbetka petroglyphs at the Auditorium Cave, Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh, as well as other petroglyphs at Daraki-Chattan, a narrow, deep rock shelter in the Indragarh Hill, near Tehsil Bhanpura, Madhya Pradesh.
These primitive cupules and instances of rock art have been dated to as far back as 290,000-700,000 BCE. (For other prehistoric artworks in the Far East, see also: Chinese Neolithic art.) Later, Buddhists were associated with many instances of cave art, which was imitated in the seventh century by Hindus at Badami, Aihole, Ellora, Salsette, Elephanta, Aurangabad and Mamallapuram. In addition, Buddhist literature is full of descriptions about late Iron Age royal palaces in India being decorated with a variety of religious art including frescoes and panel paintings but no such works have survived. The best early frescoes to have emerged are those from the Brihadisvara Temple at Chola, and the murals on temple walls in Pundarikapuram, Ettumanoor, Aymanam and Trivandrum.
Mughal painting is a miniaturist style of Indian painting, typically executed to illustrate texts and manuscripts. It emerged and flourished during the the Mughal Empire in the sixteenth-nineteenth centuries, coinciding with the upsurge in the art of illumination in Persia, which reached its heyday during the Safavid Dynasty (1501-1722). In fact, Mughal pictures were a blend of Indian and Islamic art. One of the key patrons of Mughal painting was Akbar (1556-1605). At Fatehpur Sikri, he employed the two Persian master painters Abdus Samad and Mir Sayyid Ali, and attracted artists from throughout India and Persia. They painted on cloth using vivid reds, blues and greens, as well more muted Persian colours of pink and peach.
Another type of miniature court-style art, Rajput painting flourished in particular during the eighteenth century, in the royal courts of Rajputana. Typically it depicts a variety of themes, including Krishna’s life, epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, as well as landscapes, and people. Colours used were usually extracted from minerals, plants, even conch shells. Brushes used by Rajput artists were typically very fine and tapered.
Noted for their elegance, subtle colours, and intricate detail, Mysore painting is an important form of classical art from Southern India. Mysore paintings portray Hindu Gods and Goddesses and scenes from Hindu mythology. The process of making a Mysore painting involves a preliminary sketch of the image which is then covered by a gesso paste made of Zinc oxide and Arabic gum to give a slightly raised effect. Afterwards a thin gold foil is pasted. The rest of the drawing is then pasted using watercolour.
An avant garde, nationalist movement which reacted against the dominant academic style of art in India as promoted by both Indian and British art schools, the Bengal School of Art was an influential style of painting that developed in India during the British Raj in the early twentieth century. Its influence waned with the spread of modernist ideas in the 1920s.
Thanjavur painting is a classical South Indianpainting style, which was inaugurated from the town of Thanjavur (anglicized as Tanjore) and spread across the adjoining and geographically contiguous Tamil country. The art form draws its immediate resources and inspiration from way back about 1600 AD, a period when the Nayakas of Thanjavur under the suzerainty of the Vijayanagara Rayas encouraged art—chiefly, classical dance and music—as well as literature, both in Telugu and Tamil and painting of chiefly Hindu religious subjects in temples.It is distinguished by its famous gold coating. However, it can safely be surmised that Thanjavur painting, as we know it now, originated in the Maratha court of Thanjavur (1676 – 1855). It has been recognized as a Geographical indication by the Government of India in 2007-08.
Thanjavur paintings are characterised by rich, flat and vivid colors, simple iconic composition, glittering gold foils overlaid on delicate but extensive gesso work and inlay of glass beads and pieces or very rarely precious and semi-precious gems. In Thanjavur paintings one can see the influence of Deccani, Vijayanagar, Maratha and even European or Company styles of painting. Essentially serving as devotional icons, the subjects of most paintings are Hindu gods, goddesses, and saints. Episodes from Hindu Puranas, Sthala-puranas and other religious texts were visualised, sketched or traced and painted with the main figure or figures placed in the central section of the picture (mostly within an architecturally delineated space such as a mantapa or prabhavali) surrounded by several subsidiary figures, themes and subjects. There are also many instances when Jain, Sikh, Muslim, other religious and even secular subjects were depicted in Tanjore paintings.
Nataraja flanked by Sivagami, circa 19th century
Sikh Gurus with Bhai Bala and Bhai Mardana – 20th century Thanjavur paintings are panel paintings done on wooden planks, and hence referred to as palagai padam (palagai = “wooden plank”; padam = “picture”) in local parlance. In modern times, these paintings have become souvenirs for festive occasions in South India – colourful pieces of art to decorate walls, and collectors’ items for art lovers, as also sadly sometimes, dime-a-dozen bric-a-bracs to be purchased from street corner practitioners.
Parchment is a thin material made from animal skin. The most common use for parchment was as a material for writing on, for the pages of a book. It is different to leather in that parchment is limed but not tanned. The better qualities of parchment are named vellum.
Central European (Northern) type of finished parchment made of goatskin stretched on a wooden frame
An English deed written on fine parchment or vellum with seal tag dated 1638.