This is an absolutely stunning work of art! Handpainted on hand loomed cotton with vegetable dyes by one of India's masters of this art, I present this gorgeous sari - 6 yards by 50cms.
by Padma Shri J. Gurappa Chetty. Master kalamkari artist, scholar, researcher and prolific writer of his art form. His father played a pivotal role in the revival of Kalahasti Kalamkari. Both men have been exhibited in museums worldwide.
There is a delightful cow theme to the border with dancing girls and musicians decorating the waist strip. The pallu features more merrymaking with a central goddess of wine, Varuni. The colours are black, white and gold, accented by red. The whole is an absolutely delightful piece. The blousepiece of winding flowers is still attached. It has not been worn.
The technique of hand painting with vegetable dyes began to die out with the introduction of machine-printed textiles, and now only a small number of artisans practice the craft in centres in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Chief among these are Srikalahasti and Masulipatinam. Both centers have a distinct style of Kalamkari.
This is not block pattern, not a mass produced item. This is a hand painted one off master art-work. It is a joy to behold.
Contours are drawn with a point in bamboo soaked in a mixture of jagri fermented and water; one by one these are applied, then the vegetable dyes. After applying each colour on to the motif, the Kalamkari fabric is washed after drying. Thus, each fabric can undergo up to 20 washes. Various effects are obtained by using cow dung, seeds, plants and crushed flowers to obtain natural dyes.
The laborious process involved with each painting takes around 40 days; the designing takes about four days and the entire process of painting takes 30-35 days depending on the climatic conditions. Most of the raw materials are gathered from forests and processed by traditional methods.
It is 6 yards of silk with the blouse piece joined to the end -
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