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Handmade in India
A Geographic Encyclopedia of Indian Handicrafts

Edited by Aditi Ranjan and M P Ranjan

Size: 9 3/4" x 13 3/4", 
Cloth, 580 pages
3,500 full-color photographs and 140 maps
Published 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7892-1047-0
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$75.00

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A unique compendium of Indian crafts, this informative source-book maps the handicrafts of the subcontinent and captures the traditions that have enriched the day-to-day lives, and incomes, of Indian craftspeople.

If you've become smitten with Indian handicrafts—clothing, toys, carpets, pottery, etc—this hefty encyclopedia will be your Rosetta stone for additional craft appreciation and collecting. Organized by region, and packed with hundreds of small but legible color photographs, no better guide exists in revealing the astonishing diversity of Indian craftwork. An added plus is how the materials, tools, and processes used in handmade crafts are elucidated alongside explanations of their symbolism and aesthetic value in today's Indian lifestyles. -- The Christian Science Monitor

“... takes on the monumental task of examining the eye-popping variety of handcrafts made across India's vast landscape... The thousands of objects pictured here, and accompanied by detailed notes, include terra-cotta jewelry, leather puppets, wood carvings, bamboo baskets and silver ornaments. The exquisite white-on-white embroidery known as Chikankari—from Lucknow, in north-central India—is just one of the countless delights in this visually stunning display.” -- The Wall Street Journal

"An important book... craft values are important for a sustainable future... an astounding 516 types of specific regional crafts are covered... All readers will be impressed." -- Library Journal

"Many libraries will want to add it to the circulating collection to allow their patrons the pleasure of extensive browsing. Summing Up: Highly recommended. **** " -- Choice

Handmade in India examines all aspects of Indian handicrafts—historical, social, and cultural influences on crafts, design and craft processes, traditional and new markets, products, and tools—unraveling a wealth of knowledge. Based on extensive fieldwork and research, this work maps out the regional crafts identified across the country on the basis of prevailing craftwork patterns. It is closely woven with images to reveal the array of crafts in India, enabling the reader to discern subtle, sometimes unusual, differences in the same craft practiced by distinct regions or communities. Some of these are well known, like the woodwork of Kashmir, blue pottery of Jaipur, and the bamboo craft of Assam. The authors also describe lesser-known crafts like stitched boots from Ladakh, paintings from Jharkhand, and tinsel printing in Ahmedabad.

With its extensive photography, this unique volume will be a tremendous resource for product and textile designers, artists, architects, interior designers, collectors, development professionals, and connoisseurs alike.

Aditi Ranjan is a weaver, textile designer, and design teacher. She has conducted research on the textile traditions of India, designed collections for its handloom sector, and introduced the use of culture as a design resource in education. She has been involved with textile design education at the National Institute of Design since 1972. Ranjan resides in India.

M. P. Ranjan is an industrial designer and design teacher at the National Institute of Design. His interests include design theory, basic design, and the systems-level function of design in managing economic change. His ongoing work in bamboo has helped open up an entire sector for bamboo industry in India. He has been with the National Institute of Design since 1976 and has published extensively on design education, craft, and information technology. He lives in India.

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