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Entries in one of a finds (27)

Wednesday
Aug122009

one of a finds: palace portrait painting

This original palace portrait painting is hand-painted by an almost extinct community of Bollywood artists known for their kitschy, glam movie posters and sets. With the Mumbai film industry’s move to digital vinyl billboards, the talent of these fine artists is no longer in demand.

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

In an effort to keep this art form alive, this limited edition of 228 paintings has been commissioned from the hands of the original masters. This portrait of a regal couple painted in black and white with theatrical color highlighting only jewelry and costume details, harkens back to the romance of a lost age and an iconic art form.

Wednesday
Aug052009

one of a finds: jain monk bowls

This exquisitely refined set of jain monk bowls is handmade in Rajasthan, India by the Kharadi muslims for use by the Shwetamber sect of Jain monks. The white-robed Jain monks take five ethical vows—this includes renouncing all wordly possessions, including their name—owning only these nine alms bowls presented to them by their followers. In a journey of humility, the monks travel on foot with only their nesting bowls, going door to door, village to village, seeking followers who fill them with food.

Now an almost extinct woodworking art practiced by only 30 families in the region, the begging bowls or “bhiksha patra” are lathed from local rohida wood, prized for its dense grain and strength. No wood is wasted, with each of the nine bowls scooped from the heart of the bowl before it.

Artisans apprentice for years to make these bowls by first making simple coasters and progressively improving their skill level once each has been mastered. In addition to the difficulty of carving a smaller bowl from the heart of a larger bowl, the walls are only 1/16-inch thin which further tests their skills.

As a continuation of their vow to renounce worldly possessions, when the bowls are no longer of use they are broken into pieces, buried and returned to the earth.

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