Ethnic clothes, jewels and much more...

THE CRAFT sales which come with the onset of summer every year is here once again with everything from handmade fashion accessories, jewellery, hand-woven saris and yardage to furniture items and even pappads and pickles, all going at 10-20 per cent discount! Time for wise shoppers to choose from — a wide variety of carved walnut rosewood and Rajasthan teak furniture, stock up the wardrobe with Maheshwari, Chanderi and hand block printed cottons from Jaipur, Jaisalmer and Gwalior or buy the prettiest of zari and bead bags from Gwalior, Minakari jewellery boxes or marble and serpentine stone icons.

The Mriganayanee (I.A. TNHB Complex 180, Luz Church Road, Mylapore) sale comes up with the best shopping options be it the ethereal zari edged Maheshwaris, gossamer thin Chanderis or beautiful Bagh printed bed and table linen. The emporium has interesting burnt wood tribal wall hangings and furniture pieces as well as sculpted marble images , Bhopal's zari bags, jute dhurries and chiks as well as the prettiest painted papier-mâché birds! For the tribal lover there are Bastar's iron-craft silhouette lamps and well-crafted dhokra work boxes and knicknacks.

The Rajasthan Handicrafts Emporium (TTK Road, Alwarpet) offers an explosion of colours in vegetable dyed block printed saris, bed linen and yardage. Less sophisticated in motif and technique than their Bagh counterpart, the fabric and made-ups are distinguished by blazing colour combinations.

Minakari artefacts and semi-precious jewellery are also on display along with crushed gem artefacts, paintings on silk etc. But easily the most eye-catching items are the Rajasthani carved furniture which include stunning brass inlaid doors, carved dining table sets, very imaginatively carved sideboards and bar cabinets inlaid with glass squares and brass fixings as well as exquisitely carved jhoolas. At 10 per cent off, they are definitely a steal.

The two Village Industries Products and Handicrafts Exhibitions organised by the Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan at Sri Sankara Hall, TTK Road Alwarpet and No.W45/126, 3rd Avenue, Annanagar, have a range of handcrafted items to suit all purses — and all tastes. The gun metal icons and pseudo-Grecian urns have a pedestrian appeal while the Kashmiri walnut wood furniture charms with its impeccable craftsmanship and a more contemporary line in almirahs, wine cabinets, side boards and so on. Also on display are rosewood artefacts from Mysore, Santiniketan's etched and painted leather bags and accessories, bell metal urlis and even Feng Shui frogs! Khadi Gramodyog's pickle, pappads, sweets and agarbathis made by village units are inexpensive quality attractions at the exhibition.

The exhibitions conclude on March 31.

Author : PUSHPA CHARI from