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Hi, Hope you will like this blog. In this blog I'm trying to share my experience with various forms of arts, crafts and hobbies. My experience while making each piece of work is different. Sometimes its fun, sometimes its tedious, sometimes I learnt lessons of life and sometimes it makes me to introspect myself. Of course you know, suggestion and comments will help anybody to improve the work. So please share your thoughts also. So what are you waiting for? Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Horizontal arrays of sculptures- Beauty of Hoysala Architecture

The sculptures in horizontal arrays at the base of the temple is another unique feature of Hoysala temple architecture .
When I had been to Keshva temple at Somanathpura, I captured the sculptural beauty. The base is star shaped , and on top of the different sculptures in arrays:
The top row has beautiful sculptures of peacocks,
The second row is a imaginary animal. The guide told its combination of pig and rhino:
The third row is warriors on chariot :
And finely carved vine and floral designs:
The guide told us , if its observed carefully, no two sculptures are same in design. That shows the skill of the artists. I could observe some more interesting features in this architecture. Will share about in coming posts.
About another unique feature , beautiful carvings on ceilings  , you can read in my previous post. 
 
Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Carvings on ceiling -unique feature in Hoysala temples

Hoysala dynasty is one of the powerful dynasties ruled Karnataka. History says , they were brave as well as patrons of arts. There are  many temples  in Karanataka built by Hoysalas which witness their love for arts and architecture.

The Hosysala temple architecture shows many unique features, like intricate carvings, star shaped platform , carving of ornaments on the idols , arrays of stone sculptures and two towers. I had the opportunity to visit two Hoysala temples, Somanathpura and Amrutheshwara temples. I have captured the these features and sharing with you.
Some of the features like star shaped platform, two towers and intricate carvings can be seen in this image:
Somnathpura temple
 
I have shared about the ornamentation on idols ( Somanathpura Temple-Carved ornaments in Hoysala Architecture) and carvings on the walls (Amruteshwara Temple-Rich heritage of Karnataka(India)) Another  feature of Hoysala architecture is symmetrical carvings in circular shape on the ceilings. 
These are the carvings on ceilings of Somanathpura temple:


 Closer view of the carvings :



   The symmetrical designs are carved in circular shape and in the center the bud shape is carved:
The patterns are different in each circular carving:

 Does it not look like lotus flower? The craftsmanship is really amazing.
Same kind of circular carvings are on ceilings of Amrutheshwari temple, another temple built by Hoysalas:

Another unique feature of Hoysala architecture is wall panel with  horizontal arrays of sculptures. I will share about that in the next post.

Until then, 
Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana




Thursday, November 20, 2014

Is it Ikebana?

Recently I visited Bodh Gaya temple. Its a pilgrimage place of Buddhists.  When I visited Bodh Gaya  , I could see  many disciples from all over the world. In that some devotees from Japan, were meditating in front of the Maha Bodhi Tree( where Budha attained enlightenment). Though they were in a group of 25-30, it was very calm there. What attracted me, was the flower arrangement made there.
Here are the closer view of the flower arrngement:
The combination of  Orange flowers with Green leaves was eye catching :
You can see the white buds on the tip of the artistically arranged leaves. Here is the close view :
From side also it was looking very beautiful, like temple.
This was the flower arrangement made behind Maha Bodhi tree:
Isn't this flower arrangement very unique? I don't have knowledge of Ikebana ( Japanese art of flower arrangements) ,as there were many Japanese pilgrims meditating there at that moment, I thought it must be Ikebana. 
Is it Ikebana?Anyone of you know about this kind of flower arrangement ?
 
Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana

Monday, November 17, 2014

Banjara Embroidery- unique combination of patchwork, mirror work with embroidery

When it comes to craft, my favorite is always embroidery, hand or machine embroidery. I really love the way the threads fills the cloth with the colors. Nowadays , because of time constraints not able to work on any of my embroidery projects. Especially hand embroidery requires lot of time and patience.Sometimes its very tedious, and if the threads knot with one another,Uff! it really makes one to loose patience . So I wonder when I see the hand embroidery made on the entire  cloth or dress. One such , embroidery is Banjara embroidery. Here is a bag with Banjara Embroidery:
Banjara embroidery
Banjara embroidery is very fine embroidery  combined with patchwork, applique work and mirror work. And also the work is decorated by cowrie shells. Here is the closer look :
This is made by  artist  Late . Smt. Manjula,I have  written about her in   my   posts ,
3rd anniversary of my blog
Cute... cuter....cutest dolls .  
and 
Lets enter the world of craft- Wire handbags made by Smt. Manjula
 Banjara embroidery is traditional embroideries by semi-nomadic community called Banjara or Lambani.  In earlier days women of Banjara community used to wear these kind of heavily embroidered costumes:
The top(Blouse)

 Embroidered Long Skirt:
Banjara embroidery
And the veil :
Banjara embroidery
Late Smt.Manjula with the costume she embroidered.
In Banjara Embroidery , majorly used stitches are Chain stitch, herringbone stitch , cross stitch, chevron stitch and mirror work.  Below image shows the different embroideries: 
 Embellishments made of silver and gold were used in earlier days,now the fancy artificial embellishments are used. Here the embroidery with silver color embellishments:
Embroidered waist belt with mirror work :
 
   One more specialty of Banjara Embroidery is, the cowrie shells are used to decorate the embroidery, like this one:
  
All the above works are made by Late. Smt. Manjula. She was an expert in almost all arts and crafts. Here is a cute doll decorated with Banjara costume, by her:
 Banjara embroidery is very colorful embroidery combined with mirror work, patchwork and embellishments. Now many Banjara women are using this embroidery on different kinds of products for sale. This is also supported by Government organizations too.
Planning to design a dress or saree with Banjara embroidery. Hope I will complete that soon and share with you.
Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Terracotta of Phokaran(Jaisalmer- Rajasthan)

Phokaran is a small village in Jaisalmer. I know you remembered the Nuclear test. In this craft blog I'm not posting about the Nuclear test :). This small village is also famous for the very special type of pottery work(terracotta work). I would love to visit this place and see the process of making of the potteries. Hope this wish will be fulfilled soon :-).  I have tried my hands in making terracotta jeweleries and share about that in this post.
I had an opportunity to see these potteries in a craft exhibition. These are really attractive and in different shapes:
Earlier potters were to make only pots and household utensils. But now they have extended their skills to make variety of decorative items too like Pen stands:

terracota

Many decorative items :
terracota
Wall hangings:
terracota
Cute dolls : 

terracota
The specialty of Pokaran terracotta is, these are decorated with beautiful motifs, lines and dots.
Don't you feel grab some of these to add to your collection. I felt the same. I bought a  small hut , so that I can paint this: 
terracota
Eager to paint it and share the same with you. 

Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Motifs and designs used in Banarasi silk

In the previous post I have already shared about Banarasi silk.  In Banarasi silk designs the motifs add to the beauty of the delicate silk. Normally Banarasi silk is bright colored and plenty of Zari is used in weaving.  The motifs and designs are influenced by Mughal designs.
The use of plenty of zari gives  it very luxurious brocade look:
Banarasi
Paisley designs woven in a creeper and net style
The sarees are either plain with heavy zari border , or with buttas( motifs) all over the saree. The borders cantain bel (creeper designs), and the pallu jal (latticework)
Here in this saree you can see the creeper design at the border and the heavy zari work on the Pallu.
 This one is red saree with creeper design all over the saree, and floral motifs on the Pallu.

The motifs are geometrical, floral , animals or birds.Banras weavers have extended their designs and styles so that it caters to the needs of all.
Some are plain with heavy borders, like this one here: 
This one is very bright magenta color with heavy border ,pallu, and butta(small motifs) all over the saree:
Banaras saree

And this one is very nice color with silver zari. This is very special design, as half of the saree has diagonally decorated creeper designs, with beautiful paisley designs  in between the creeper designs. This is also called as Adha Patli.
No wonder, these designs, colors , patterns and richeness make the these beautiful sarees " Dream of every Saree loving woman".:-)


Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana
 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Banarasi silk - intricate combination of silk and zari

Today I read a news that , the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, announced a huge financial aid to boost the textile industry in Banaras. I feel this boost is really required for the weavers of Banarasi silk.It is a good support to the weavers . Also this reminded about long pending post I had planned , to write about Banaras silk. (Already I have written a post about an atique Banaras silk here.)
 The bright colors, delicate silk combined with zari makes it dream of saree lovers like me :-). The elegance and beauty are effect of  the hard-work of the weavers. It takes 15 days to 6 months to weave a Banaras saree , depending on the complexity of the design. Here you can see a red Banarasi saree, with heavy zari work all over the saree.One can imagine the hard-work behind the making of this saree.

Banarasi saree is manufactured in Varanasi. Its a cottage industry, run majorly by Momin Ansari Muslims. The designs are influenced Mughal designs. In ancient time,  Varaasi was famous for weaving of cotton, gradually the weavers switched over to silk weaving. Recently when I visited Varanasi, I got a chance to visit a weaver. I could capture the image of  hand-loom machine used for weaving. As it was night when I visited there, so the weavers had stopped the weaving for the day. So I could not  see the  weaving :(.

 But collected some information about designing and making of the saree, and also gained some knowledge  on different kinds of designs used etc. I will share about the details in my next post.

Until then, 
Love , laugh and live the life to the fullest,
-Ranjana

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