Tops & toys at Channapatna

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In april 2006 Prabha and I took a drive thru Channapatna is a small city located 60 km south-west of Bangalore, India on Bangalore-Mysore state highway.

The city is famous for its wooden toys and lacquerware. Channapatna is also called as "goMbegaLa ooru" in Kannada meaning 'toys town'.



Over 200 ago, Tipu Sultan, then king of Mysore and its surrounding areas, invited wooden toymakers from Persia to teach the art to local artisans. Today these toys are manufactured in traditional small scale industries.

Traditionally, the work involved lacquering the wood of the Wrightia tinctoria tree, colloquially called Aale mara (ivory-wood). Channapatna’s toys are made from wood that is not chemically treated, and the toymakers largely use vegetable dyes to paint them. The toymakers have also learnt to look beyond toys—at home accessories and decorative items.

Most of the toys are made using variations of the 'turning process'.

For those who don't know - Turning is the process whereby a lathe is used to hold a piece of material (wood, metal, plastic even stone) and it is rotated and a cutting tool is traversed along 2 axes of motion to produce precise diameters and depths. Turning can be either on the outside of the cylinder or on the inside (also known as boring) to produce tubular components to various geometries.

We were here on work. We were essentially scoutign for someone to supply 'well rounded' wooden beads for a designer range of leather bags and accessories we were coming up with... so went to a few shops and then a factory owned by Venkatesh. interestingly Venkatesh has a brand Katerpillar and a neat website too.

Here are some pictures take at the factory.

Top (bambaram) making pictures: using the Turning process on the 'Outside'.



The whole process took less than one minute!

Bangle making pictures: using the Turning process on the 'Inside' and 'Outside'



This entry was posted on Saturday, April 08, 2006 and is filed under , . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .

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