| Visitors at the Toshali National Crafts Mela in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Sanjib Mukherjee |
Bhubaneswar, Dec. 17: Hosting Christmas and New Year parties often give the hosts stress of decorating the house the right way. But with the Toshali National Crafts Mela under way in the city, there are handicrafts galore to deck up the house for the occasion.
Janata Maidan, the venue for the event, is witnessing a huge footfall with the festivities only a couple of weeks away.
Artistically painted earthen vases and terracotta artefacts such as animal figures of elephants and horses from Odisha, cane and bamboo products of the northeast, bell metal crafts that have colourful insets on shining brass brought by Uttar Pradesh artisans and many more such decorative items are luring customers of the city.
The handcrafted artificial flowers decorated in metal vases are always one of the most sought after items at the Toshali fair. This year, it is not only northeast craftsmen, but also Bengal artists who are offering the items. Madhubani paintings from Bihar and Jharkhand and various forms of paintings and tribal art from Odisha are also catching attention of the buyers, who are looking for home décor articles.
“We wait for the Toshali fair every year to upgrade the décor of our verandah and living room with articles available here. From wall hangings to show pieces and small items to decorate the shelf as well as huge vases and figurines to adorn the corners of the room, everything is available here and at reasonable prices,” said visitor Soumya Moharana, a corporate employee.
Apart from the wonderful clay and metal showpieces and hangings for the door and walls, there is also a wide array of furniture from Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. While the Uttar Pradesh artisans offer wood inlay dewans, dining table set and portico furniture, each of which has a royal appearance, the products from Odisha are contemporary in design in bamboo and cane. The Odisha collection also includes some traditional sofa sets.
“Home décor is definitely an integral part of the fair every year. The response towards these crafts is also very encouraging every time. This is the eighth edition of the fair, and we hope that it will be as successful as the previous ones,” said chief co-ordinating officer of the fair Raja Parija.