From the most basic artifacts and traditions of village life - earthenware water jars, brightly colored wooden toys and painted murals of Hindu deities on mud walls - to sophisticated and intricate geometric designs painstakingly etched on precious metal or carved in stone, here is a spectacular array of arts and crafts, representing the wealth of the country's craft heritage. Specially taken photographs complement a lively and thorough discussion of each medium: the plastic arts; wood and stone carving; metalwork; jewelry; textiles; paint and paper; and a colorful miscellany, including leatherwork, basketry and floral work.
As well as comprehensive descriptions of materials and techniques such as inlay, enameling, sand-casting, tie-dye and papermaking, Arts and Crafts of India outlines the regional styles, history, and social and symbolic significance of many of the artifacts, informed by the authors' first-hand research - often in remote areas of the subcontinent. This book, complete with a collector's guide and glossary, will appeal to all those visiting India, as well as to designers, buyers, and anyone who appreciates the beauty and decorative value of ethnic arts and crafts.
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The authors of these informative and visually appealing books often discuss the individual crafts?both antique and contemporary?against a backdrop of historical and sociological issues. In their book on India, Cooper and Gillow, who have both written extensively on the topic, examine the influence of India's many ethnic groups on its crafts and culture. Items discussed range from folk murals and handmade paper to sophisticated musical instruments and intricately crafted jewelry. Of particular interest are the chapter that describes India's textile industry and the list of names and addresses of businesses worldwide selling Indian arts and crafts. Jereb approaches Morocco as an anthropologist, thoughtfully examining the differences between Bedouin and urban culture and often comparing the former to tribal concepts typical of Native Americans. Jereb covers all manner of common Moroccan items embellished with decorative motifs?pottery, tools, leather goods, metalwork, rugs and other textiles, jewelry, and woodwork?and because Moroccan crafts are so intricately tied to religious beliefs, he includes tattoos and talismans that ward off the "evil eye" as well. Warren focuses on common household goods and village crafts rather than the architecture and stylish interiors that were at the center of his previous book, Thai Style (Rizzoli, 1989). Thai textiles are beyond compare, and the discussion in this book is detailed, illustrated with vintage photos of costumes and sumptuous color plates of the textiles. Equally captivating are sections describing woodcarvings, theater masks and costumes, basketry, and floral creations. Although temple arts are not included, a section on contemporary Thai crafts presents a very interesting overview of Thailand's artistic achievements. The books on Morocco and Thailand are the latest entries in a series that has already documented the works of Indonesia, Mexico, and South America. All three well-laid-out and informative books offer glossaries, maps, stunning photographs, good bibliographies, and tips on collecting; all three would be worthwhile additions to most libraries with collection emphasizing arts, crafts, or travel.?Margarete Gross, Chicago P.L.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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