Srinagar was included in the list of creative cities in crafts & folk arts category in United Nation’s Educational Scientific Organisation (UNESCO) list. To celebrate this momentous occasion, the Department of Handicrafts and Handlooms Kashmir have started a Craft Safari. For the conduct of the same the Department of Handicrafts and Handlooms Kashmir have listed a large number of artisans and clusters in the city of Srinagar.
If one wishes to take a tour of the Safari, it takes around two to three hours on the most common route and you will witness a rich legacy and heritage of old art and craft preserved by generations of skilled craftsmen over long period of time.
This article brings out about various types of handicrafts that is being displayed and the various locations which one must visit.
THE MELTING CORE OF ART
Safakadal which lies around 3.6 km from the centre of Srinagar is the hotspot of art and craft in Srinagar. Every spot of this place tells a unique story about the craftsmanship which have been inculcated in the residents over generations. This place is also called the birthplace of handmade products. Walking down the lane you will see geometrical masterpieces made out of Walnut, Deodar and Silver fir.
HOOK WORK EMBROIDERY
Fine fabric and a little hooked awl, this is what is required by the skilled craftsmen of Kashmir to make Crewel, an intricate form of Kashmiri embroidery. Nakkas is the brand located at this place which is famous throughout the globe for its crewel embroidered artifacts ranging from drapes, pillows cover, bedding and a lot more.
The art of hand carving motif into the walnut wood is something indigenous to Kashmir. This single woodwork comprises of large carving techniques which ranges from single flat layer to a seven-layer undercut with the subtle three-dimensional effect.
After crossing a large journey of obtaining raw material, spinning and winding the process of weaving a Pashmina begins. The Weavers of Kashmir with their experienced eyes and tirelessly working hands and feet create the masterpiece of Pashmina. This art has been preserved and practiced generations after generations in Kashmir and is famous throughout the globe.
Even after modern techniques of weaving is being used, Kashmiri carpets still have the touch of sustained historical designs. Not just weaving of the carpet but the local weavers also repair carpets from Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Middle East countries.
One of the most common forms of embroidery in Kashmir is Aari staple. This is practiced by a huge number of artisan specially household women. These embroideries are sold even in the European markets. Firoz Ahmed Bhat is one of the hook work artists. His fine and delicate designs are widely known throughout the Kashmir. His art has survived the test of time and the masterpieces which he created stands out from the rest. The intention behind conduct of the art Safari is to connect tourist to crafts person. This also used the help of tourism students who guided the tourists throughout the Safari moreover the students got a on ground experience of of what I have been learning in theories. Even the students have created a few art pieces. Such events prevent the stagnation of the art forms.