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The Crafting Process for Channapatna Toys

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This video is on the making and history of Channapatna Toys and is shot in multiple locations viz., Channapatna, Srirangapatna and Bengaluru.

The video explains the entire process of making Channapatna toys. The authors visited toy making units, both traditional hand-made and machine-made, to get a first-hand view of how ivory wood is converted into excellent toys that are safe for children. Ivory wood has a unique property of not being harmful even to artisans who spend years together in the midst of sawdust. The other salient feature of these toys is that the colours used are neither toxic nor chemical in nature. The artisans prepare the colours using shellac, an animal product like cocoon to give the toys very attractive colours. The over 200-year-old traditional handicraft industry has received the World Trade Organisation's Geographical Indication. Surviving the threat of Chinese imitations and cheaper plastic toys, the handicraft continues to thrive though the number of artisans at work has come down drastically. The surviving units do not foresee any immediate threat, but believe that with better marketing support their craft can a strong global market. Tipu Sultan with his innovative foreign policy push is said to have largely helped the industry reach a global audience.