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KALAMKARI PAINTINGS

THE BIRTH OF KALAMKARI PAINTINGS

Kalamkari paintings refer to hand block printing on clothes. The word Kalamkari originates from a Persian word. Needless to say, ‘Kalam’ means pen and ‘Kari’ represents craftsmanship.

Thus, the literal meaning of Kalamkari is painting with a pen.

The block printed clothes are mainly produced in India and Iran. Also, we can see large panels of Kalamkari paintings at Hindu temples.

THE PILLARS OF KALAMKARI PAINTINGS

The Mughals patronized this art in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.

Machlipatnam and Srikalahasti in Andhra Pradesh are famous for Kalamkari paintings.

HOW ARE THE PAINTINGS MADE?

Kalamkari paintings on clothes use natural and mineral dyes. They are both hand painted and block printed on clothes.

Besides, it is also involves weaving. The typical Kalamkari art has figures with round shapes and border designs.

In fact, the traditional Kalamkari paintings include 23 steps.

There are a lot of methods to make the outlines Kalamkari paintings. One such technique involves using a burnt tamarind stick dipped in molasses and iron filings.

WHAT ARE THE THEMES AND STYLES?

The KALAHASTI THEME

The Kalahasti tradition mainly developed around the temple region. Thus, they use Hindu mythological themes for the paintings.

Most of the themes include stories from epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata.

The Kalahasti tradition uses a pen for Kalamkari paintings.

THE MACHLIPATNAM STYLE

On the contrary, the Machlipatnam tradition uses both pen and hand blocks. In Fact, both the British and Persian patterns inspire them.

The Kalamkari paintings under Machlipatnam uses hand-carved blocks to draw the outlines and main features. The arresting details are done using a pen.

Also, many paintings depict Buddhist art forms.

THE KARRUPUR STYLE

The Karrupur Kalamkari style originated from the Thanjavur region during the Maratha rule.

In earlier days, gold brocade work in the woven fabric was royally popular. In addition, incorporating Kalamkari details to such work was extraordinarily ornamental.

Furthermore, the royal family used this fabric as sarees and dhotis during the period of Raja Sarfoji and later Raja Shivaji.

HOW ARE KALAMKARI PAINTINGS DIFFERENT?

No two Kalamkari painted panels are alike. Also, the finished products are mellow.

Kalamkari paintings have also hit the fashion industry. Its unique effect is used in garments, bedsheets, curtains etc.

Originating from the roots of Indian heritage, learning Kalamkari paintings is an experience to treasure forever.

Besides, the legacy is being passed down from one generation to another.

WHERE CAN YOU LEARN?

There are very few institutes that conduct Kalamkari classes in Bangalore.

However, Pencil and Chai has brought all the veteran artists together. They conduct Kalamkari art classes in the most traditional way.