Tamil Nadu, in Southern India, has numerous examples of a Golden Age and the pinnacle of architecture and carvings, in its ancient temples at Mahabalipuram and Tanjavur, to name just two. The carving in particular, in stone and wood, are hallmarks of great skill and expertise. This ancient craft and the living tradition that it communicates, flows into the present in a continuum
The Calcutta Needlework is the craft that comes from the legacy of Colonial India, which had been nurtured to perfection over time. The themes present are floral, pleasant and the stitches finely done to ensure that the threads are tightly held together. The usual range of Calcutta Needlework includes table linen, bed-clothes, runners, mats, napkins and also sofa-backs.
Kantha Sarees are highly sought after and often collected over time by Indian women who prize delicate hand-embroidered sarees, as much as they do their jewellery! This embroidery is distinct in that it using running stitches to, as if, draw out pictorial representations of Nature. The Lotus flower, running vines, chirping birds and delicate floral patterns are brought to life using a fine needle and cotton thread. The embroidered is done on Cotton and Silk, with the colors ranging from neutral earthy tones to more vibrant, bright blues, oranges and browns.
The Kalighat paintings get their name from their proximity to the Kali Temple, Kalighat, Kolkata. These originated in the 19th Century using water colours on cloth or patas. Goddess Kali remained the central theme, with depictions of other deities and eventually scenes from the Ramayana.
Pichwai, quite literally, i that which remains behind and Pichwai paintings were made to hang behind, as backdrops to the deity Srinathji or Krishna, as more commonly known, in the temple dedicated to Srinathji at Nathwada in Rajasthan. Nathwada is a place of great spiritual importance and believers travel from far and wide to visit this temple.