Artisans launch novel initiative to resuscitate the dying art form

Artisans launch novel initiative to resuscitate the dying art form
Highlights

The very mention of Nirmal in Adilabad conjures images of an amazing array of creations in the form of soft wood toys and paintings. The traditional art form dating back to 14th century has carved a niche of its own not only in India but also across the world.  Such was the popularity and uniqueness of the creations that Nirmal has become synonymous with everything artistic and aesthetic.  

The very mention of Nirmal in Adilabad conjures images of an amazing array of creations in the form of soft wood toys and paintings. The traditional art form dating back to 14th century has carved a niche of its own not only in India but also across the world. Such was the popularity and uniqueness of the creations that Nirmal has become synonymous with everything artistic and aesthetic.

But unfortunately over the years the art form has been heading towards extinction with fast declining market size due to changing tastes and depleting resources. Though artisans here continue to practice the art, churning out exquisite softwood toys and paintings, they are encountering tough times in eking out livelihood from this occupation due to lack of market support.

But undeterred by the situation, the artisans with the objective of ensuring the survival of the art and in the process ensure revenues for their own sustenance have together and formed Nirmal Toys and Arts Industries Cooperative Society Ltd., with guidelines and functional framework incorporated.

Registered members of the society are allocated one particular toy which he makes in large numbers within a certain time period. Artisans are free to pace out their work as long as they deliver on schedule. Therefore, they need not adhere to a stringent daily work routine. Nirmal handicrafts are made from a locally available variety of softwood otherwise known as white sander wood.

The toys carved mostly animal and birds- from the tender wood are made using only indigenous raw material. A mixture of sawdust in tamarind seed paste is used as a base to smoothen and the toy, Once dry, these get a final coat of brilliant paint, typical also of the Nirmal Paintings. The artists also make the paintings on the same wood, with colours from local minerals, gums, and herbs. The influence of Mughal miniaturist art and the Ajanta and Kangra styles of painting are reflected in nirmal creations.

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