Wood, turners and lacquers: French students explore Channapatna's toy-making tradition

That Channapatna's lovely headers have traveled around the world as favorites Karnataka The memory is known to many. However, what caught people's attention recently was that a group of French students made an effort to travel to the state's cultural center to learn about the history behind their world-famous tradition of toy manufacturing. Organized by a design school Based in Bengaluru, the group was composed of 19 students from France, who were accompanied by two faculty members. The trip was part of a student exchange program, under which they were taken to a manufacturing unit, where they were shown the method of making Channapatna dolls, from beginning to end. The students received first-hand experience in the process of turning wood, while also learning the use of lacquer to color the toys. Local artisans familiarized young people with the use of machinery and tools, and taught them other complexities of the trade. “We had seen several films and documentaries about the Indian textile industry before. But what we saw in Channapatna is something we had never experienced before, ”says Lea enthusiastically.

It is interesting to see how artisans assemble different parts of a toy

The fact that, even during an era of advanced machinery, these toys are manufactured with simple tools is what makes them unique in their own way, the students think. At home, we also have the culture of handmade products, but the process that artisans follow here is intriguing, particularly the way they assemble different parts of a toy and then polish them with bright and contrasting colors, add the Lea , twenty-one.

The installation of zero waste receives the approval of the students

What also won the hearts of the students was that the manufacturing unit they visited was a zero waste facility. “Being ecological is the need of the hour. And we were quite impressed with the factory we went to, as it has adopted sustainable methods to make toys, says Marie, 22, adding: Saw dust and discarded wood pieces in the unit are used to make incense . sticks and coils of mosquitoes. This definitely encourages us to think about how we can use similar techniques in our field. On the other hand, Alix, 20, was impressed by the use of organic colors.

Educational trips help further promote the state tradition of toy manufacturing

According to Shaheda Noori, who received the students during the day trip, such exchange programs help to familiarize foreign students with our culture and heritage, and at the same time help to promote this art form. In the past, we have had foreign citizens who take Channapatna's toys as a trading company in their respective countries, explains Shaeda.