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Channapatna Wood Turnery Craft

The lac turnery craft of this small town on the outskirts of Bangalore, en route to Mysore, dates back to the Tipu Sultan era when he brought back immensely skilled craftsmen from Persia. The hand turning craft flourished under his reign which now has developed due to the advent of technology. The artisans have progressed from working on simple hand lathes to power generated lathes that not only reduce the labour but enable greater output.

Initially known for brightly coloured toys and dolls for children the craft has stayed in tune with contemporary times with new-age designers, combining their skills with the traditional technique to create unique functional and décor items. Vegetable dyes are used in the colouring process to ensure that the toys and dolls are safe for use by children.

The off-white, soft Hale wood is used to create beautiful products on the lathe which is then coated with lac and screw-pine for its bright colour and sheen.The lacquering art of Channapatna is known for its mix of vegetable dye and food grade pigments, with natural shellac insect residue obtained from the trees of Amaltaas and Kusum in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa.