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Venkatesh B.

image Art Form:
Wooden Toys

image Home Address:
House No. 684/30, 5th Cross North, Kuvempu Nagar, Channapatana - 562160, Rama Nagar, Karnataka

image Note:

Toys and dolls form the most bewitching part of Indian handicrafts.

Chennapatna in Karnataka is famed for its artisans who have been crafting toys using their traditional woodcraft. The toys are coloured with natural vegetable dyes that are lacquered onto the surfaces as a finishing touch.

The wood used for making these colourful toys is usually the 'Hale' wood, which is cut to the basic size required and kept aside for seasoning for a period of four to six weeks. Lac is applied in a dry state. The Lac stick mixed with natural earth and vegetable colours are pressed against the wooden pieces to be lacquered. As the wood keeps revolving on a 'lathe', the heat generated by friction softens the Lac, making the colour stick on the surface. It is with remarkable skill that the craftsman manipulates the stick so that the colours spread uniformly, especially when several colours are used. A final polish is done using palm leaves. On some of the lacquered pieces designs are painted with a brush, thus rendering the piece as unmatched. Unparalleled beauty from the smallest key chain to boxes and jars and exquisite toys for children makes it a distinguished art form.