February 9, 2021
A stroll on MG Road will inevitably take us to Cauvery Art and Crafts, a landmark destination for the promotion of crafts in Karnataka. A space that has been nurturing craft that eyes the tourist who wishes to indulge in buying “local” crafts as a mementos, here you find brightly lacquered toys and home accessories from Channapatna.
Tipu Sultan is credited for bringing in Persian craftsmen to establish this craft locally. The historical proof we have is the famous mechanical “Tippoo’s Tiger” of the British soldier being mauled by the Mysore beast.
In 2015 in Delhi, well-known set designer Shashidhar Adapa created a float for the Republic Day that used the Channapatna aesthetic of tubular lacquer turned toys; it acknowledged Tipu Sultan and the craft that had made it to the White House thanks to first lady Michelle Obama.
The small town of Channapatna is also called “Gombaygala ooru” (dolls’ village) that also has a geographical indication the local tradition uses “Aale Mara” and the skill of lathes with a coat of vegetable colours and lac, the forms are basic to the limitations of the cylindrical wood.
While our purchases were beautifully wrapped in tissue paper, we only wish the range came in sturdy boxes, to make these items better for gifting. That aside, products we recommend that you get yourself to Grasshopper (which is exclusively selling the range) pronto if you want to buy into the Channapatna revolution.