Taking the silk route to India

Sep 16, 2012, 10:19 IST | Nivedita Dargalkar

Home decor store Arastan brings exotic artefacts made by tribes from the Silk Route countries to Mumbai

Art connoisseurs will be treated to a range of fine and authentic handcrafted products such as tribal jewellery, vintage tribal carpets, ceramics, and wall art, crafted by traditional artisans from the Silk Route regions of Anatolia, Persia, Central Asia, and northern Africa at a three-day exhibition held by Arastan at the Artisans’, Kala Ghoda.

“From gorgeous handmade carpets to fascinating tribal jewellery, each piece is a collectible with a story. We aspire to enrich the lives of our customers not just with the beauty of these items, but also with the picturesque narratives that accompany them,” says Nisha Misra, director, Arastan, retailer of home décor and artefacts.

A Rishtan Almond Platter

Misra, who calls herself a tireless traveller and incorrigible seeker of all things beautiful, set out to track the continuing legacy of craftsmanship found on the ancient Silk Route in 2005. Over seven years, she curated several rare treasures from exotic bazaars.

“I travelled to ancient bustling souks, remote tribal villages and sparkling desert cities, where I found artisans and master craftsmen who still follow centuries-old traditions to create unique and sophisticated works of art in Uzbekistan, Turkey and Morocco,” recalls Misra.

An Uzbeck Suzani

The exhibition has artefacts that cost between Rs 1,500 to Rs 1,50,000, and features limited edition furniture incorporating striking Central Asian fabrics and textiles created especially by designer Pragati Toshniwal.

“The limited edition items Toshniwal has designed for us are functional while retaining their origin and authenticity. The collection includes cushions, throws, runners, ottomans and quaint furniture both funky and vintage,” reveals Misra.

“In Persian, Arastan means to adorn, decorate and embellish,” says Misra. “Through this exhibition we aspire to bring the millennial craftsmanship of the Silk Route artisans into the homes of all art lovers in India.”

Artefacts on display
Apart from Nepalese silver jewellery, brassware from Bukhara also on display are: Khotan rugs — from Khotan, a city in remote western China. intage carpets — from East Turkestan and Tibetan where sheep’s wool is tied in unique knots to make carpets Suzanis — from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, silks suzanis have been produced for hundreds of years by nomads. 

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