Memories coloured in lacquer

The highlight of the Rann Utsav holiday for me was visit to the Nirona village, exploring lacquer work art, chatting with the locals there and playing a game of hopscotch with the kids.

Lacquer work is an art form dipped into the colours of traditions and talent. Kutch lacquer work is an illustration of unique and distinctive patterns of different colours. In this art, layers of different colours are created, intermingling into each other and converting the simple and ordinary wood crafts into exquisite and beautiful artworks.

Traditionally, artists used to obtain lac from insects founded in the forests. Later, they began to collect and prepare lac from some sort of trees. Nowadays, this is readily available in the market. This lac is applied and polished to a smooth glazed finish on a variety of products – from kitchen ladles, velans, spoons to little jewellery boxes, wooden bangles, etc.

I learned from the local women that the form and technique of this craft is similar to Sindh art, but its design patterns differ. Sindh artists have been using bold patterns and solid shades, whereas Kutch artists usually experiment with abstract patterns and zigzag designs.

Those flashy, chic and colourful art pieces won’t allow you to bid adieu to the Rann without shopping at the bustling local market here.

So next time when you visit this local market at Nirona don’t forget to grab your wallet, carry a shopping bag and set off to splurge!

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