Decorative items have always made their entry into our homes and living spaces. We always look for special artefacts and hand-made items, reflecting our aesthetic sense and creative bent of mind. In the modern era, this taste translates into demand for such exquisite handicrafts, creating livelihood opportunities for skilled artists and artisans, while fulfilling our desire for special interiors. Lamp shades represent one such special legacy of art work, made in Andhra Pradesh. Both Leather puppets and Lamp shades are the hallmark of Andhra Pradesh art and crafts.
This form of craft is linked to the state’s traditional folk and cultural expression, called Leather puppetry. The artisans of Nimmalakunta in Ananthapur district, Narsaraopet in Guntur district and D.C. Palle in Nellore district create these masterpieces making these places the main centers of leather puppet industry in Andhra Pradesh. In Nimmalakunta, artisans practice this as a hereditary craft. Lamp Shades are also made by the same artisans in colorful designs and patterns.
The raw materials used are Goat hide and sheepskin and in addition to this, water proof colors, paint-brush and mould are some of the materials used for lamp shades. Lampshades are created using a mould and most of them are based on mythological figures. The colors which are derived from vegetables dyes, like brilliant red, green, white, yellow, browns and orange are popular. Creating small holes inside the decorative patterns enhances the attraction of the lampshade, which is done using a pogaru (chisel). After coloring, the lampshade is dried in the Sunlight for two to three days.
Hindu epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata inspire the artisans of the state to create lampshades of attractive shapes and sizes. Most of the Floor lamp shade feature interesting patterns of mythological prints, which are considered quite popular among art collectors. There are few Floor lamp shades of alternating bands with different colors, making it quite attractive and artistic. These are ideal for ornamental purpose. The lamp shades constitute important artefacts of Andhra Pradesh.