The Telegraph
Thursday , November 15 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Catch Jharcraft live and unplugged

Jharcraft will tell the state how hands can make magic on November 15 as a part of Statehood Day celebrations at Morabadi grounds in Ranchi.

Over 200 handloom and handicraft artisans will give live demos of their skill — be it spinning silk yarns or making small stitches of kantha or fashioning cane into trays, racks and stools — at the specially erected 10,000sqft stall.

“When we celebrate our state, why not celebrate our rich craft traditions and the spirit of people behind them?” said Dhirendra Kumar, Jharcraft managing director.

The main focus of the stall is on the creativity and craftsmanship of artisans, most of whom will make their way from remote villages in districts such as Ranchi, West Singhbhum, Giridih, Gumla, Godda, Deoghar and Hazaribagh.

“We want urban visitors celebrating the state to make the connect between what they buy from glittering showrooms and who actually makes the items,” Kumar said, adding visitors could place instant orders.

Jharcraft will focus on sericulture products that have a wide market within the state, across India and abroad. For a live sericulture display, as many as 150 female tribal artisans from West Singhbhum district are expected to arrive. They will represent the nearly 2.5 lakh artisans engaged in silk rearing, yarn making, weaving and manufacturing.

West Singhbhum is the state’s silk rearing hub. Tussar, besides silk saris, is also used to make classy dress materials and home furnishings.

“Sericulture offers one of the most lucrative earning opportunities for male and female artisans. It has made significant inroads in West Singhbhum where people rear silkworms on mulberry and make cocoons,” Kumar said.

Other types of products — think anything from dokra to leather craft — will boast four or five live demonstrators for each.

“There’s also a tech surprise in the form of Samridhi solar-powered reeling and spinning machine developed by us,” he added.

He said people the world over enjoyed watching live demos as they became involved in the process of creation.

“When you see how the skilled craftsmen and weavers from nondescript villages efficiently give live demonstrations in sericulture, cane production, leather goods, kantha stitch, zardosi, satin, appliqué work and many others, you respect the person and the craft even more,” he said.

He added that such a visit was equally important for craftspersons.

“Meeting people and showcasing skills before an admiring crowd works wonders for any creative person’s morale,” he said.

“Foundation Day celebrations will give the handpicked artisans a chance to interact with the general public.”

The managing director added that they were busy drawing up lists of artisans who would win the state award.

“Artisans are our ambassadors. Their skill brings us business and credibility. Just as an example, five Swedish buyers recently went to the districts to meet artisans and know about their products. Jharkhand’s crafts can conquer the world,” the MD said.