Handicraft Of Visakhapatnam


Vizag offers some unique handicrafts and can be located by the Andhra Pradesh State owned handicraft store, Lepakshi. It has an impressive collection of sandalwood sculptures, etc.

Etikoppaka Toys

Etikoppaka, a small town in Vizag reminds one of childhood days, of vivid, sparkling wooden toys and colorful objects that were the source of endless joy. 

This village in Vizag has an age-old tradition of toy making. The toys are usually made of wood. The wood is soft and has a fine grain. Women and children pick it up from nearby hills and leave it to dry in the courtyards. The workplace and tools are primitive. It is a wonder that with these primitive tools, objects of such skill originate here.

In 1906, Sri C.V.Padmanabha Raju, a landlord of Etikoppaka, brought colored lac from Chennai. The local villagers made toys using the soft lightwood and colored lac.

Lacquering is done on a lathe, hand or machine operated. For making slender and delicate items, the hand lathe is considered suitable. Dry lac is pressed against the item to be lacquered and then exposed to heat. The wooden base is continually rotated for uniform application. It speaks of the skill of the craftsman as he uses different colors and yet manages to get uniform shine on them. 

Etikoppaka toys have become very popular in India and abroad. As the toys are exported also, vegetable dyes are used in coloring instead of lead based dyes. Vegetable dyes are brought from Madhya Pradesh in powdered form. A thick decoction of color is mixed with hot lac and sticks are made similar to those with synthetic dyes.

In making new designs, Etikoppaka artisans are helped by the School of Fine Arts, Andhra University, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and M.S.University, Baroda besides individual designers

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