Dhivya T is looking for a specific indigo shade for a Sungudi that she wants to buy. TA Ramesh from Madurai takes out a piece and hands it over. Ramesh, who has a booth at Crafts Thiruvizha organized by Poompuhar, says that his family has "worked with Sungudi for at least 10 generations. “My parents taught me the craft when I was a little boy, but I only started it 10 years ago after my father got sick. Now I like it, ”he says. He obtains cotton saris from five hand-weavers in Madurai and “dyes them with natural colors. I need a day to finish a piece that I am selling for £ 530. “He also has a collection of Paramakudi silk-cotton saris that he obtains from his relatives. He shows me a blue one with pictures of women playing drums and men on horses. "The designs are inspired by the sculptures in the Meenakshi temple."
The Crafts Thiruvizha offers 15 artisans from across the state. R Narendrabose, manager of Poompuhar, explains that the exhibition is intended to “preserve the traditional handicraft of Tamil Nadu and give artisans the opportunity to interact directly with customers. The specialties of this edition are wood and banana fiber products. We also have brass artifacts, Thanjavur dance dolls, incense sticks and jewelry. "
In the Satish Kumar store, customers look at the wooden bowls, kettles, mugs, jugs and jewelry boxes. “I am a mechanical engineer from Chennai. I worked in a private company for two years, but my earnings were enough to support my family. My father is a carpenter and I knew the basics. So I decided to do something with wood and I'm earning better now, ”he says. He started making jewelry boxes with secret compartments. “I found the process of making these boxes interesting and was thrilled. The secret compartments can be made visible by simply inserting a wooden panel. It's only been a year since I started making kitchen utensils. “He uses neem wood and uses beeswax, neem oil and olive oil for the finish.
Banana fiber products include baskets, pillows, tissue boxes, bags and hats. "We had a lot more products, but most of the baskets and vases were sold out in the first two days," says Narendrabose. "In December, the government trained 25 basket makers who source the fiber locally from Madurai."
Children are attracted to the toy stand in Channapatna. Six-year-old Adithya S has fun with a top that turns into a turtle when it is turned. "It's magic," he says, and tries it out. Karthika K examines the Thanjavur dance dolls. "The previous one broke down. I had read about this exhibition and wanted to get one more. They have a good collection and most of the products are affordable too, ”she says.
The exhibition is open until February 8th. 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Poompuhar, Big Bazaar Street