Gulabi Meenakari is a GI tagged art-form of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. A piece of pure silver is molded in the base, and the design is embossed in the metal. The embossed design is then filled with crushed meena glass, and is mixed with a natural anardana (pomegranate seeds) glue. It is then exposed to fire for the transformation into a translucent colour. The paint is then fired layer by layer.
These cufflinks were prepared for US President Joe Biden with a matching brooch for First Lady Jill Biden.
Black pottery from Uttar Pradesh’s Nizamabad is prepared using a special technique that brings out the black colour while the items are inside the oven. The artisans ensure that no oxygen enters the oven and the heat level remains high. The glaze on the items come from the high zinc content of the soil and the layer of mustard oil that is applied before firing the items.
The pieces were gifted to Japanese PM Fumio Kishida.
The platinum hand painted tea set came from Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandhshahr. The base form is hand painted and fired at 1200 degrees Celsius. The embossed outlines are laid on manually with mehendi cone work. Each shape is then separately filled with colour, and the entire cup is fired again. The crockery has been outlined with platinum metal paint in honour of the Queen’s platinum jubilee being celebrated this year.
The tea set was gifted by PM Modi to Boris Johnson.
The carrier box was crafted in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The Zari Zardozi box has been hand embroidered on khadi silk and satin tissue in colours of the French national flag. The motifs used are traditional Indo-Persian, lotus flowers hand embroidered with metal wire in blue, a pendant used in Kashmiri carpets, and motifs from Awadhi architecture.
The box includes attar mitti, jasmine oil, attar shamana, attar gulab, exotic musk, and garam masala. The box with itr was gifted to French President Emmanuel Macron.
The nickel coated, hand engraved brass masterpiece is from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh. After casting the pot, the design is first sketched on paper, and is engraved using a tool hammer. This particular type of engraving is called Marodi, owing to the curved lines used to fill up negative space in this design. The importance of this engraving craft is its ability to elevate items of everyday use into objects of intrigue.
The matka was gifted to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Like in Senegal, the tradition of hand weaving is passed down from mother to daughter in Prayagraj, Sultanpur and Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. Like Senegalese baskets, Moonj craft also utilises bright, jewel tone colours. This particular piece is by a master craftswoman, who used blades of sarpat grass.
The cotton durries are hand woven in Sitapur district of Uttar Pradesh. The beauty of this particular piece is the thin width of its loom which increases the work into the durrie threefold.
The baskets and durries were gifted to Senegal President Macky Sall.
The GI tagged lacquerware art-form has its roots in the temple town of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. The process is a tedious one, requiring assembly of a base wooden form with separate limbs, which is covered layer by layer with distemper or lac-based paint. Lacquerware items always come in bright, jewel tones.
This particular piece is made of Goolar wood. The principal characters in the artwork are Lord Ram, Goddess Sita, Lord Hanuman and Jatayu. It is believed that the Indonesian version of Ramayana was written during the Medang Kingdom (732-1006 AD) in Central Java.
This art-form was gifted to Indonesia President Joko Widodo.
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