Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Silk Route – India Today Home

The Silk Route - India Today Home p1

Nice well-written piece about Arastan “The Silk Route” in the October India Today Home magazine.

Bangalore shop Arastan is a one-stop shop for rare art and craft pieces from across the world, discovers Ayesha Aleem. Tucked away in an unassuming bungalow in Jayamahal in Bangalore, it is easy to miss out the property that houses artifacts from around the world. Celebrating the fabled Silk Route particularly, this three-month old store is the brainchild of avid traveller and collector Nisha Misra.

Please click on the images to read the rest of the article, or better still come in to our studio on Nandi Durga Road and experience yourself “the retail stopover unlike other décor jaunts”…!

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Banarasi Brocade, Mirzapur Carpets, Fantastic Samosas and some Soul-searching (Part I)

Mirzapur Tufting Centre

Back from Mumbai and off to Varanasi (also known as Banaras and Kashi). I do love my job, well some parts of it. Dealing with octroi, (still waiting for the February refund) breakages and insurance has to be my least favourite part and so I left the mess TCI Express made of my return shipment to Binaifer and off I went. The main reason was the Indian Carpet Expo in Varanasi. There were over 300 Indian carpet vendors showing off their wares and I thought it was time to do a deep dive into the carpet industry in India. To understand the entire supply chain better, I went off to Mirzapur which, along with Bhadohi, is one of the main weaving centres in this part of India. What I found was both enlightening and disturbing.

My understanding of what I see is that Indian and Pakistani handmade carpet manufacturers have …

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Arastan Gift Cards

Arastan Gift Card

Looking for a special present for someone but not quite sure what to get? Like something for yourself but can’t quite decide? Then an Arastan Gift Card is the answer…

We’re pleased to announce that we have just launched gift cards, available to buy online and in the Bangalore store. You can enter a personalised message and, if purchasing online, you can choose to have one emailed directly to you, or sent to someone else. Available in various denominations, gift cards can be used either online or in our store.

If bought by November 12th then a gift card will also get you an entry into our Festive Carpet Offer so don’t delay!

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Festive Carpet Offer

Tazenakht Pendant Carpet

Diwali is here and we are celebrating. Buy anything at Arastan between now and Diwali day and you could win this glorious Moroccan Tazenakht carpet (worth Rs 40,000)!

Any purchase either online at www.arastan.com or in our Nandi Durga Road, Bangalore store from now until the end of 12 November 2012 will get you an entry into the draw for this carpet. Each additional item you purchase gets you one more card entered into the pool, so you have many chances to win. On Diwali day itself (13 November) one of our long-term customers, and great supporter, will draw the winning card and we will contact the lucky winner on the day.

Tazenakht, in the High Atlas region of southern Morocco, is at the crossroads of mountainous routes that have witnessed the passing of trade caravans since the 16th century. It has a long history of weaving and selling Berber …

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Alisher Nazirov (Master Ceramist from Rishtan)

Alisher Nazirov

Alisher Nazirov is one of Uzbekistan’s most famous ceramists. He works from his studio-cum-workshop in Rishtan, a small town in the verdant Fergana valley, which is virtually an open air museum and visited by ceramic lovers from the world over.

Born in 1958, Alisher began working with ceramics at the tender age of 12, under the tutelage of several ustos or master craftsmen. He learnt to extract the secret ishkor glaze and supplemented his understanding with studies of archaeological finds. It has been his endeavour to restore traditional forms and patterns of Rishtan ceramics while giving free hand to innovation, the hallmark of creativity.

Today, Alisher has a well-recognised style, compositionally rich yet elegant and harmonious. His painting is inspired by direct observations from nature, and this is amply showcased in his designs which depict flowers, branches, trees and pitchers, among other things. His skillful compositions beautifully emphasize the shape of the objects he …

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Rustam Usmanov (Master Ceramist from Rishtan)

Rustam Usmanov

Rustam Usmanov’s art amply reflects the culture of the Fergana valley and the rich ceramic making heritage of Rishtan town, the oldest centre of ceramic art in Central Asia.

The Usmanov family migrated from Russia to Rishtan to add to Rishtan’s rich tradition of pottery. With Rishtan being situated on the Silk Road, the ancient major East-West trade route, it is thought that Rishtan potters may originally have tried to copy Chinese porcelain, despite the necessary kaolin clay not being locally available. This led them to the discovery of the local Rishtan clay, which more than made up for the absence of the kaolin clay. The Rishtan ceramists say their clay is so good that it does not require preliminary processing and exposure time. Adding to the beauty of the Rishtan ceramics is the ishkor glaze which gives Rishtan pottery its brilliant blue-green glaze, bringing alive the colors of the earth and …

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Kaivalam to Iran: Antique Suzanis and Other Hand-crafted Treasures

Carpets & Suzanis

Mumbai drew us back and gosh what a response – wasteful bandhs and economic slowdowns not withstanding. I loved every bit of it although I did have to part with some of my favourite pieces and my feet hurt for three days afterwards! I am already thinking how we can better this one and that thinking is leading me to venture to unknown lands – another journey and culmination with another exhibition. How exciting! Now to cross borders without anything untoward happening!

In the meantime, I am off to Chennai (if I can manage to wrangle a pass) for the World Crafts Council Summit, then to Varanasi for the India Carpet Expo and a sojourn with my artisans in and around Delhi. So many ideas, people to meet and so little time. The temptation to do a quick trip to Bodhgaya from Varanasi is great, however my current challenge is getting the …

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  • Welcome to Arastan

    Arastan was an online store that curated rare and handpicked treasures from exotic bazaars along the ancient silk route. Unfortunately we ceased trading in early 2014.

    You can read about the reasons for closure.

    You can still browse some of the products we used to have via the category links above, although none of these are available for purchase.

    Relive our travels and stories by browsing our articles and archives from the menus below.

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