Kutchi mud art and wood crafts workshop
Are you interested in spending Diwali a little differently this year? Spend it with a community living in the remote village of Hodko in the Rann of Kutch of Gujarat? And by the way, accompany them to persevere with a vernacular craft which is on the verge of being abandoned?
Practiced by women from certain communities living in the Rann of Kutch, “Lippan Ka Kaam” is a traditional decoration used to beautify houses. They combine local clay with fibrous horse manure to form a dough which is then rolled into long cylindrical shapes, molded by hand and attached to the walls in geometric shapes. The patterns are then encrusted with tiny mirrors. This three-dimensional mirror encrusted mud work, which has been practiced for centuries, is now on the verge of being lost as modern families tend to plaster their homes with cement. While there have been several efforts to modernize the art form with modern creative interpretations, there is a need to ensure that the original art form is preserved as well.
Indi Architecture, a “social enterprise” based in Himachal Pradesh, which aims to promote and maintain “traditional knowledge and skills related to vernacular architectural traditions”, is hosting a workshop for those who wish to learn more about the work of Kutchi mud.
Participants will stay with a host family with a local family and attend the six-day hands-on workshop which will be led by one of the master craftsmen, Bharmabehn, whose house still retains a magnificent display of this work of art. .
During the workshop, participants will learn how women harvest natural clay, prepare it for painting and sculpture work, how to create symmetrical patterns using the body as a guide, and more.
Participants will also have the opportunity to learn about the handcrafted wood crafts practiced here by master craftsman Namori Bhima whose family handcrafted them for the famous havelis in the region.
The workshop will end with Diwali celebrations with the host family and master craftsmen.
To learn more about the Kutchi Mud Work & Wood Carving Workshop held between October 30 and November 4 this year, check out here.
Separately, before or after the workshop, you can also plan a visit to the Rann of Kutch, known for its salt marshes, white sands and wildlife. The famous Rann Utsav organized by Gujarat Tourism starts on November 1 of this year.