The Handicraft sector in the Jharkhand state is providing job opportunities for more than
50,000 artisans of the state.Following are the handicraft products:-
Jharcraft brings you the primordial handicraft of Dhokra, an art-form handed down through the generations. Dhokra metal art reflects the creativity of life in its varied forms. From the pre-historic period, the Rana and certain communities of Jharkhand have been making the metal visions in bronze and copper.
Directorate of Hand-loom, Sericulture and Handicraft, Department of Industry, Government of Jharkhand, in associations with "Kalamandir", Jamshedpur got the metal craftsmen together and started a new era of Dhokra. Jharcraft has extended full marketing support to the group. Today Dhokra metal images and ornaments are made in the same way as it was done in the past. Though the process and style has remained very traditional, Kalamandir has given a finish to their skills. Dhokra artisans create their imaginations in clay with conventional design and patterns. They use dhuna, risen from the bark of tree, heated with cold tar to make wax threads and tapes for ornamentation on clay sculpture. For filler, Bronze or copper is liquefied along with zinc and the molten metal is poured in. Burning off the wax, the liquid metal takes the shape of the model. Knocking off the dried clay outcomes the Dhokra metal handicraft. Acclaimed the world over, the artistic metal forms are an aesthetic delight for the purest as well as for the general collector of folk art. Dhokra art is the metallic manifestation of primitive simplicity caste in instinctive forms and cared by Jharcraft.
It is also practiced in the neighboring states sharing common political boundaries and similar cultures. It is basically a brass-work (Metal Craft) done by the Malhore castes of the state. Brass is a combination of copper and zinc. The artisans of Jharkhand practice the traditional "Lost Wax Technique" to craft their imaginations. They use wax, resin and firewood from the forests, clay from the riverbed and make the firing oven in a hole dug in the ground. Through the craft the artists present the different aspects of life.
STEPS INVOLVED IN MAKING DHOKRA ART
The motifs used are generally taken from the nature. Elephants, Turtles, etc are made at large in Dhokra craft. The images of various deities are also crafted by the artisans of the state.
Five clusters of Dhokra have been developed within the state. They are in Hazaribagh, Khunti, Singhbhum East, Ramgarh and Dumka districts. Some artisans are also producing the craft in the Bundu area.
Jharcraft has prepared a module for the forward and backward linkage for the craft under one roof in Urban Haat, Hazaribagh. The whole value chain is fully supervised by the professional employees of Jharcraft. Jharcraft provides all possible support for group formations, Trainings, Raw materials, Design assistance, & Marketing of the produce of the artisans. With help of the master craftsmen & designers, more than 500 new designs in this craft have been prepared. This is supervised by Craftage Consultant.
During the 34th National Games Jharcraft had supplied around 14,000 mascots (Chauua) which were prepared fully by the artisans. It was a great success story for the artisans as they were recognised and appreciated by all for their efficiencies as well as timely delivery with perfection. Earlier the mass production was not done by the artisans as each piece is separately crafted but at the present dates the mass production is easily being monitored and is possible.
Today this art is a source of livelihood for many of the people of the state. Not only the Malhore caste is involved but other tribal and minor communities including women are being trained for making the craft so as to meet the rising market demand of the products. Today 130 craftsmen are involved in this craft. The regular demand and supply helps to generate regular income for the people in the rural areas.
The artisans earn 5000-8000 Rupees per month which has brought positive changes in the lives of people. Earlier the artisans who were involved in the craft were nomads. Today they have a settled life. They can rent houses, Buy property, Send their children to schools, fulfil their necessities, and live a respectable life in the society. The artisans are also provided with health facilities and online payment facilities. Direct bank payments of their remunerations have made their lives more comfortable.
"Everything that obliterates into dust...
.........is given birth in form of a new creation by Mother Earth."
Jharcraft has given a new form to the loam in form of this craft. Jharcraft is not only making decor items and mementoes of terracotta but has also added a new chapter in the Jewellery market. Teracotta dinner sets and tea sets are a new addition to this diversified craft. The speciality of these utensils is that these are lead-freeand are free from the hazardous colour pigments which may be harmful for the health. These are eco friendly products, which are being developed in the Bundu cluster and are being supervised by the "Adhaar Mahila Samiti".
In addition the Black potteries of Jasidih area are also being developed.
Jharkhand is a natural reservoir of Bamboo. Since ancient period, the bamboo is being used to make day to day products like baskets, vase, tokri and other handicrafts. Jharcraft has engaged itself in producing bamboo based products in an organised manner. To protect the bamboo from insects, Jharcraft has also established a Bamboo Treatment Plant in Mansumaria in East Singhbhum. Today, Jharcraft is producing bamboo based sofa sets, beds, lifestyle products, Jewelries and Bamboo houses. Jharcraft is also producing incense sticks as a bamboo based craft. "Jeevika Agarbatti" is being sold through the Jharcraft emporiums in 4 different fragrances. Clusters of high quality cane furniture are also being developed. Hazaribagh "Urban Haat" is engaged in producing designer furniture of Cane. Good quality solid cane (without hollow) sourced from Indonesia, Philippines, Andaman makes the products more durable compared to local products.
Jharcraft is producing cane furniture and small utility & show pieces of Bamboo. Recently it has started making bamboo furniture mainly moulded furniture of bamboo. These bamboo furnitures can be dismantled and transported to long distances.