Can putting together one's wedding trousseau be an exercise in picking up a time-honoured craft? A Kutch Rabari wedding is indeed a prolonged masterclass in the community's traditional chain stitch and mirror work embroidery, which begins two to three years prior to the big day — for, a Rabari bride does not shop for her wedding attire, she creates her own.
Starting tomorrow, you can learn this age-old style of embroidery and eight other lesser-known, exquisite arts and crafts from master craftsmen at a series of workshops presented by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya and Paramparik Karigar. Entering its 10th year, the series works towards promoting skilled artisans from remote corners of India by bringing them in direct contact with urban patrons.
A product from the workshop
"While we also organise an exhibition-cum-sale of the work by artisans, these workshops were designed with an aim to acquaint urban audiences with what goes into the finished product. Sadly, these crafts are being lost to modernity, as the younger generations from skilled families are moving away from their traditional occupation," says the museum's education officer, Bilwa Kulkarni. Apart from Kutch Rabari embroidery, Sanganeri prints from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh's Bagh prints and Mysore painting will be taught at the workshops for the first time.
"We travel to the interiors of the country to meet these craftsmen, who have little or no exposure to the big cities," informs Kokila Ishrani of Paramparik Karigar.
"These workshops also help urban professionals from diverse fields to appreciate creations that go beyond the more popular art like miniature paintings."
From: August 2 to 13, 11 am to 4.30 pm
At: Auditorium, Visitors' Centre, CSMVS.
Cost: Rs 800 onwards (inclusive of all materials)
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