Kolkata HANDICRAFT Fair Haul
|Kolkata Handicraft Exhibition Buys|
One great thing about Kolkata winters are the back to back handicraft and trade fairs. I make a point to visit them. One of my favorite fair happens at Milan Mela Grounds opposite Science City. As I was out of town and travelling a lot for the last month so, I somehow squeezed some time out for the fair two days back.
What is so special? There are 3500 artists from various communities having array of skills who participated and displayed their work. Also, the artists themselves sell it to you. So, you get the best deal and the artist earns more than what they does when the handworks goes through the middleman. In the end, you are doing something to encourage the artist community who puts their day’s work into these handmade products. Also, personally, I have a weak spot for handmade artifacts and handloom items.
What to look for in handicraft fairs and what I got?
Handwork Fabrics – There are variety of sarees, dress materials, duppatas etc with hand worked Patua, Kantha Stitch and Madhubani work. I got a Tshirt and a dupatta with hand painted Patua work. The shirt is the black one in the back and priced around Rs 200-250 whereas the dupatta (forgot to click) was for Rs 500. The dupattas can cost up to Rs 1500 depending on the fabrics. The two katha stitch dupattas are for Rs 2100 for both. The price for kantha stitch ones depends on fabric as well as the breadth.
Shantiniketan Leather Goodies – Everyone who loves leather products are aware of them. But, instead of handbags, I really love their other goodies more. I got a red spectacle box (Rs 100), floral motif bi-fold wallet (Rs 50), Owl Coin purse (Rs 30), Elephant Pen pouch (Rs 20) and Elephant print teal pencil pouch (Rs100).
Jute Handicrafts – I spotted a girl with a round bag recently and I am eyeing for one every since. Got this in round sling bag for Rs 60 and the keyrings for Rs 10 each. I got this from a lady and she was feeling shy even to ask Rs 60 for the bag. It was too much for her to ask and too low for me. It shows how much the dealers exploits them.
Wood Works – There are several interesting things to choose from. As I was not looking for furniture or any home décor item, I got a wooden massager (Rs 80) and a fish shaped table mat (Rs 50). I also got a spiked wooden ball that works as a hand massager but forgot to click it (Rs 30).
Clay Products – There are way too many clay products to choose that but I decide to pick this cute little lamp. The fun part of this is – you need to fill the oil from the oil and it won’t spill. Then, you need to put the wick in through the mouth and when you light it up, it will look as if the fire is coming out of it's mouth. Am I making sense? I think I will show you this in working more to make it clear. Price – Rs 25.
Handcrafts made of Horns – There are cutlery and other products made of horn. I choose a comb because unlike the wood one I have, I can use this on wet hair. I also got two key rings shaped like birds which has whistles in them. For safety?
The fish is an interesting thing. The flap on the fin opens to a small cavity. It is actually made to keep homemade kohl. Some use it for sindoor as well. I am still wondering how else for I can use it. Can you suggest me something please?
The fair ends tomorrow. This is the largest with maximum number of artists. But don’t worry there will be another in Salt Lake soon. Also, the trade fair is about to start. Have you seen what all I got last year's trade fair?