WORLD CRAFTS COUNCIL
(WCC AISBL) INTERNATIONAL
Jaipur is a city founded on a futuristic vision where creativity has been nurtured at every stage. It is ideally placed to propel itself into a city of the future through established creative
It is difficult to categorise the myriad crafts of Jaipur since a lot of craft forms are complementary; for instance block printing on textiles and block making are two distinct craft forms and processes. Similarly, up to five different craft forms may go into the crafting a single item of gold jewellery, yet different skills and processes are involved. An attempt has been made here to broadly categorise craft forms based on the nature of product created.
Kundan Jadai-Gem setting
Kundan refers to a specific style of setting stone into gold, using flakes or chips of precious stone, usually unpolished ‘polki’ or rose cut diamond, in an embedded form. In the 16th century Amber (Jaipur) emerged as the leading centre for kundan jewellery. When the city of Jaipur was first laid out by Sawai Jai Singh, one of the principal axial streets was the ‘Jadiyon ka Rasta’, in Johari Bazaar, which was established as a trading centre for precious jewellery.
Form of enameling that was traditionally done on the reverse side of kundan jewellery to protect the gold from wear and tear. Originating in the Mughal era, the skills of enameling were brought south, first to Amber from the historic centre of Lahore by Raja Man Singh (r. 1590-1614) of the Kachchawaha Rajputs. The craftsmen later settled in Jaipur.
Lac based craft
Lac is a resinous substance secreted by a commonly reared insect Kerria lacca.
Lac was a widely used material to decorate wood work and as a sealing wax, but it is now predominantly used for creating jewellery items; specifically bangles. Lac craftsmen migrated to Amber (Jaipur) in the 17th century from the Manoharpur and Shahpura districts of Rajasthan. They later shifted to Jaipur.
Jaipur Blue Pottery
Blue pottery was introduced in the 19th century in Jaipur by Sawai Ram Singh. The
unique blue glaze is an amalgamation of Chinese glazing technology with Persian stylistic influences, achieved by a careful mix of cobalt oxide, quartz, feldspar into the clay or fullers earth along with several other metallic pigments.
Gotta Patti Work
Appliqué embroidery technique which has its origins in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan. Gota craftsmen migrated to Jaipur from Ajmer at the behest of Sawai Jai Singh II in the eighteenth century. Traditionally, gota comprised of woven ribbons or strips of flattened gold or silver wire using a silk or cotton weft.
Bandhej, is a form of resist dyeing, usually carried out on fine cotton fabric. This textile is endemic to the desert regions of Rajasthan and Gujarat and is widely practiced, with different variants in various craft clusters.
12th c. with pieces of Indian block printed fabric from the 15th century being excavated in countries as far as Cairo. Today Block printing is spread across Jaipur.
Jaipur is one of the largest centres for hand-carved marble ware, especially statues and idols. It emerged as a leading centre for stone craft over two centuries ago. Stone craft persons in Jaipur are primarily idol makers or moortikars.