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Labor of Love by Potli
Ganjifa Cards, Framed Ganjifa Wall Art & Pattachitra Paintings




NEW ARRIVALS IN JEWELRY
NEW ARRIVALS IN DUPATTAS
NEW ARRIVALS IN SCARVES & STOLES
NEW ARRIVALS IN SAREES
NEW ARRIVALS IN APPAREL
NEW ARRIVALS IN HOME TEXTILES
NEW ARRIVALS IN HOME & DECOR
NEW ARRIVALS IN ART
NEW ARRIVALS IN SHAWLS
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THE STORY
In June 1527 Babar, founder of the Mughal dynasty, sent a unique gift to Shah Hasan, a close friend from Sindh. It was an exquisite set of Mughal Ganjifa round playing cards, each hand-painted on ivory and inlaid with precious stones. He sparked off an entire continent’s passion for playing cards! By the 16th century, Ganjifa cards became one of the most popular forms of entertainment for royals and commoners alike. Today, the only hope of survival for this amazing game is for people to start playing it again, and let history and mythology come to life once more. Presented here is a collection of Ganjifa Card sets and framed Ganjifa Wall Art, alongside traditional Pattachitra paintings, precious collectibles for the discerning connoiseur. First, the canvas is hand-cut into a perfect circle. An intricate border is painted around its edge. The artist then says a prayer to Vishnu and outlines his figure first with pencil and then with thin white brushstrokes. Then he paints on the clothes and ornaments. Secondary motifs are then outlined in black. Last, the whites of the eyes are highlighted. Interestingly, Ganjifa artists always paint freehand, beginning and ending with the colour white. Ganjifa cards are painstakingly crafted upon a canvas that is made from old saris, painted using colours pounded out of stones and leaves and then finished with layers of natural gum. It is no wonder then, that each set of cards takes as many as 30 days to make. Painted in the homes of a handful of artists and played by a dying breed of aficionados, Ganjifa Cards are in grave danger of being lost in oblivion. Ganjifa canvases are prepared from old cotton saris that are soft and starch-free. These are soaked in a solution of crushed tamarind seeds and water for four to five days, which is then sun-dried . A layer of similarly processed cloth is placed on top. After the layered cloth is dry, a paste of chalk powder, tamarind and gum is applied on both sides. This dries into a tough, hard base. Artisans buff this into a smooth canvas using locally available stones. Now, one week into its production, the canvas becomes ready for painting. Traditionally, Ganjifa Cards were painted with mouse-hair brushes and natural colours like White (from powdered conch shells); Green (from various leaves); Black (from lamp soot); Red (from a stone called Hingulal); Blue (from a stone called Khandneela) and Yellow (from a stone called Hartal). Pattachitra is a traditional art form from Odisha and is based on Hindu mythology. The art work is specially inspired by Lord Jagannath and the Vaishnava cult and all the colours used are naturally obtained.