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Harmonising the old with the new

Published : Oct 21, 2005 00:00 IST

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Handicrafts displayed at a Cauvery Emporium in Mysore.-

Handicrafts displayed at a Cauvery Emporium in Mysore.-

WHEN one thinks of Mysore the images that pop up in one's mind are exquisite sandalwood and rosewood carvings, lacquer ware, bidri work, bronze statuettes, shivani teak and rosewood furniture and doors, terracotta ware, dhurries and batik fabric and perfumes.

If even today most of these arts and crafts are preserved in their traditional splendour, the credit must go to the erstwhile Mysore maharajas and, since 1964, to the untiring efforts of the State-owned Karnataka State Handicrafts Development Corporation (KSHDC).

Established to preserve, develop and promote the traditional crafts of Karnataka, the KSHDC has set up craft complexes where craftsmen are provided with raw materials, design blueprints and technological inputs as well as socio-economic assistance. The finished products are then procured and marketed by the Corporation through Cauvery Handicraft showrooms throughout the country, thereby ensuring constant employment and livelihood to the traditional craftsmen of Karnataka.

Today, Cauvery Handicrafts is a brand that has gained worldwide fame, having become synonymous with excellence - an achievement made possible by the Corporation's strict adherence to quality standards at every stage of production and its marketing expertise. For decades now, sandalwood carvings and rosewood furniture produced and marketed by the Corporation have found their way into homes across the globe.

Being sensitive to the ever-changing trends, the Corporation continuously strives to offer customers new designs. But at the same time it has been practical enough to ensure that the distinctive stamp of tradition is not sacrificed in the name of innovation. By doing so, Cauvery Handicrafts has managed to harmonise the old with the new.

(This story was published in the print edition of Frontline magazine dated Oct 21, 2005.)

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