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Malwa Utsav showcases unique art forms

INDIAN CULTURE is so rich that though Indore is blessed with cultural festivals and art shows all round the year still one finds new art forms and unique artists in every event and new traditional arts can be discovered almost every other day. The on-going Malwa Utsav has brought to the city many such artists and their creations.
By SHUBHA jain | None, Indore
PUBLISHED ON MAY 21, 2006 03:04 PM IST

INDIAN CULTURE is so rich that though Indore is blessed with cultural festivals and art shows all round the year still one finds new art forms and unique artists in every event and new traditional arts can be discovered almost every other day. The on-going Malwa Utsav has brought to the city many such artists and their creations.

The craft zone in this Utsav held at Lalbagh Palace grounds is full of lovely art pieces that draw everyone’s attention. Each of these artists have a story to tell as the art-forms date centuries back and has a history behind it.
Wakar Hussain and Intezaar Hussain from Udaipur are two such artists who have been into traditional glass art since their childhood.

They have presented the craft of Rajasthan both in India and abroad through glass artware and handicrafts. Wakar Hussain told Hindustan Times that he makes statues of Gods, trees, flowers, jewellery and many other items with glass rods.

Sometimes the idols or showpieces are made with a single rod and with multiple ones when needed. The handmade glass idols of Lord Ganesh and Krishna are liked by most of the people. There are pens and earrings made with the same art.

The process for making these artware is not a cakewalk. The artists have to work on each delicate rod with lot of care and concentration. Focusing a flame lit with Oxygen and LPG at a particular point of the rod creates bubbles.

The bubbles are then shaped into heads, hands, legs, flowers and other parts with holders and twisters. The numbers of gas cylinders required depends on the diameter of the glass rod and the size of the item to be prepared. Wakar remembers the time when he had to seek permission from Udaipur administration as he was using 10 cylinders to make a three and a half feet idol. The size of showpieces varies from 3 mm to 3.5 feet.

Different types of glasses like China glass, soda glass, lead glass and coloured glass are used for this purpose. The statues, trees, animals and flowers are coloured from outside when required. Gold mixed with chemical is coated on the statues.

Wakar’s journey towards popularising this art in the country and at global level was a steady one. According to him display of his collection at festivals and exhibitions organised by Khadi Gramodyog in Rajasthan was the first step in this direction. Wakar gladly says that he has visited almost the entire country with his collection after his work was selected by West Zone Cultural Centre (WZCC), Government of India.

The first international exposure was selection for the International Edinburgh Festival in August 2001. Wakar recalls that the people of Britain were delighted with the glass figures made by him. Due to the overwhelming appreciation won by the glass handicrafts Wakar was again selected for the Edinburgh Festival in 2002 and then for the third time in 2003.

He was awarded with Maharana Sajjan Singh award by Maharana Mewar Foundation, Udaipur and ‘Best Shilp’ award by WZCC. Wakar has designed many special idols and tabletop pieces for corporate gifting and even for the guests in ad-maker Prahlad Kakkar’s programmes.

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