All You Need To Know About The Craftsmen At Dastkari Haat Samiti Crafts Bazaar 2018

Promoting India’s indigenous handicrafts has been Dastkari Haat Samiti’s aim for the past 26 years. It’s founding member Jaya Jaitly has brought together over 1400 artisans and craftsmen from all around India, to help them gain more recognition.

Just like every year, the bazaar is being held from Jan 1-5 with a special India-Israel crafts workshop during this event. We’ve profiled the top unmissable 6 artisans who will be displaying their skills at Dastkari Haat bazaar.

Ram Soni:

Sanjhi art (Image courtesy: The Hindu)

He’s a pioneer in Sanjhi craft, drawing on his family’s 350 years of expertise in making beautiful paper stencil rangolis which they would use to decorate Krishna temples.

He adapts his crafts to the needs of the market. His delicate motifs – kadamb, tree, flowers, butterflies and cows – are finding their way onto lamps, screens, sliding doors, coasters, trays and windows. Stop by his stall to take a closer look!

Nihad Dabeet:

The art of weaving (Image courtesy: Dastkari Haat Samiti)

This Israeli sculptor is known for his experimentation with different discarded building materials and working with thick strands of wire, which he describes as “weaving”. His crafts are mostly hybrids of figuration and abstraction. Some of his works include gigantic olive tree structures, animals and horses.

According to Dabeet, art has to be about storytelling and should touch people’s hearts. Join his wire workshop at Dilli Haat during Dastkari Haat Samiti Exhibition and learn a thing or two about his weaving technique.

(There are many artist villages in India wherein you can get to hone your art and crafts skills as well. Check out our list to know more)

Sundari Bai:

Paper mache work (Image courtesy: Asianage)

She’s a renowned paper mache artist from Chattisgarh and has sculpted amazing mud panels from just a mound of clay dough. She initially started making clay figurines as a mere hobby, but now she’s making her presence felt with amazing tribal works.

Sundari highlights the traditional and ritualistic form of tribal figurines under the influence of technology, mass media and the evolution of society. Do check out her work at Dastkari Haat Samiti Exhibition at Dilli Haat.

Urmul Marusthali Bunker Vikas Samiti:

Weaving shawls (Image courtesy: Rang De)

This non-profit organization based in Jodhpur, Rajasthan furthers the artistic talents of the 170 weavers in it’s organization. The main product include traditional shawls called “pattus”. They’ve been collaborating with Dastkari Haat Samiti for a long time and at present, their stall in the exhibition at Dilli Haat has some of the best weaving work you could ever come across.


Shibori dyeing technique (Image courtesy: Dastkari Haat Samiti)

Sujangarh in Rajasthan is famous for its traditional tie and dye work. This organization started by Amrita Chaudhari helps women in this area earn a livelihood. Presently, it works with 400 women artisans, offering them assistance in the form of self help groups, skills trainings, promoting education of their children and conducts awareness workshops.

Their stall displays Shibori, which is a dyeing technique done by hand to form patterns like leaves, flowers and geometric shapes. So visit the stall to get a closer look at it!

Abdul Kalam:

Handmade kilims (Image courtesy: A Hundred Hands)

Beauty of a “kilim” certainly attracts the eye. This Uttar Pradesh-based rug weaver has kept the traditional art of kilim weaving alive through his unique craftsmanship and hardwork. These handmade kilims have a poetic charm to them. They also come with traditional and modern designs which appeal to the modern tastes. Catch a glimpse of this handicraft at Dilli Haat during Dastkari Haat Samiti exhibition.

These craftsmen will definitely make you appreciate of their creativity and labour. So, which artisan’s exhibition are you looking forward to this year? Do let us know in the comment section below.

Featured Image Courtesy: Dastkari Haat Samiti

Written by: Disha Mukherjee


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