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Entries in India (21)

Tuesday
Jul312012

one of a finds: orissa brass owl

Orissa is the region in eastern India that once held vast control over the Bay of Bengal. For hundreds of years, it was one of the most financially and culturally wealthy nations of India so ancient tributes to Lakshmi—the goddess of wealth, fortunes in Hindu mythology—took place annually and continue to this day.

There are a great many sculptures of Hindu gods—which number in the hundreds—and some depict Lakshmi with an owl as her vahana, or carrier.

Uluka, which means ‘owl’ in Sanskrit, is also one of the names of lndra—the king of gods, personifying wealth, power and glory.

As all the points come together, they help explain why valuables might be kept in a vessel like the orissa brass owl for safekeeping—assuming Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune, could not have found a better vahana than the king of gods.

Made using the traditional and complex process of lost-wax casting, it’s one of the most accurate forms of casting hand-made models as it re-produces intricate works with superior definition.

To begin, a sculptor creates a model out of clay or plaster which is coated with a thick layer of wax.

Another layer of plaster or clay then goes over the wax layer to create the outer shell so that when the whole piece is heated, the wax melts away leaving a space between the plaster layers.

Molten metal is then poured into the newly created mold and once cool, the mold is broken to reveal the solid metal replica of the original sculpture which is then finished using traditional metal-work techniques.

Tuesday
May082012

on the road: india 4.2012

Thursday
Sep152011

one of a finds: gais vintage toys

Not only is almost every region of India renowned for their handicraft speciality, but also for their distinctive toys. India has a fantastic tradition in toys since many are about religious characters and festivals.

Revered in the teachings of Lord Krishna as the living symbol of Mother Earth, the cow—or gais— is treasured as a most important member of the family—which these figures lovingly attest to.

Depicting the sacred cow, each figure was collected from villages within Gujarat and Rajasthan—the land of colors—in northwest India.

Just as a village’s cows are brightly painted and decorated during holidays, these handcarved found objects dating back up to 50 years were also once colorfully adorned and adored.

photo by: WonderlaneOriginally brightly painted—which has worn out over many years of use—each is intended for display as decorative objects only as it reflects years of joyful play, and retains its individual patina under a matte lacquer as protection from further wear.

To this day, cows are sacred and allowed to wander freely. They are protected and cared for, and revered for the everyday necessities they provide such as dairy foods, insect repellant, and dung for fuel.

One of a Finds original works are offered one time only as a limited edition for collectors and enthusiasts—the painted wood cows have a fall 2011 release of 448.

Friday
Jul082011

the making of: tie dye rug

Above, hand-tufting and finishing the natural wool pile—the base of a tie-dye rug—then prepping the rug for dyeing.

After dyeing, rinsing, and blocking, a latex backing is added above. Below, four tie-dye rugs shown side by side—each unique in pattern and color variation—ready for inspection, wrapping and shipping.

Thursday
Jun302011

one of a finds: XL cinema journal

With the film industry of India’s move to digital vinyl billboards, sadly, the talents of an almost extinct community of Bollywood artists—known for their kitschy, glamorous movie posters and sets—is no longer in high demand.

Once required to produce up to 20 posters a day, this special initiative provides the artists not only a new source of income, but also the opportunity for a slower pace focused on their skills and passion for painting.

In an effort to keep their art alive, each XL cinema journal is made of special white pH neutral handmade paper, reclaimed from cotton rag, and is bound by a canvas cover which is hand-painted and signed by these original masters.

One of a Finds original works are offered one time only as a limited edition for collectors and enthusiasts—the fluorescent lips/eyes painting has a fall 2011 release of 200.

Note: this one of a find will be available mid-October.